ETF sponsor iShares has long been known for its creative advertising and web savvy, and now the firm is trying to reach even more investors by leveraging social media platforms such as Twitter and through the content on its blogs.

“While still lagging sister firm iShares in total Twitter followers, BlackRock is gaining fast in building up its own Twitter following, as well as its overall social media presence,” reports Peter Ortiz for “The combined social media marketing effort will be worth up to $18 million of advertising exposure this year, the firm predicts.”

@iSharesETFs currently has nearly 80,000 followers on Twitter, while @BlackRock has almost 72,000 followers. However, BlackRock’s follower base has grown faster over the past three months, according to Ignites. BlackRock announced a deal to buy the iShares ETF business from Barclays in 2009 for about $13.5 billion.

“BlackRock does a really good job of retweeting and tagging and focusing on centers of influence,” said Amy Mcllwain, president of Financial Social Media, in the report.

Eileen Loustau, head of global social media marketing at BlackRock and iShares, estimated that one third of the firm’s Twitter strategy is focused on “replying and retweeting our influencers and our followers and making it that symbiotic relationship that you want on Twitter.”

In the blogosphere, iShares recently moved its old iShares Blog to the BlackRock Blog. The consolidated blog features content from iShares and BlackRock experts on the economy, financial markets, ETFs and other topics.

BlackRock’s iShares is the largest U.S. ETF provider with total assets of $607.5 billion, according to

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of John Spence, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.

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