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Social media – are you still holding out?

Those holding out against social media may have to accept that times have changed, with 73% of advisers now engaging in some sort of social media activity for business purposes.

  • Use of social media among advisers is rising
  • LinkedIn remains the most popular tool, but Facebook is catching up fast
  • Plenty of advisers are still not sure why they are using social media

The latest Intelliflo survey into social media usage found that the percentage of advisers using social media has risen 15% since 2014.

There are also trends in the way advisers are using social media. Facebook has traditionally been seen as a social tool and not as effective for business networking and promotion. However, it has seen a notably increase in popularity among advisers with 41% now using it for business purposes compared to 36% in 2016.

Equally, it may just be because people are waiting see the next mad missive from the White House, but Twitter usage is also slightly up: 43% are using it in 2017 compared to 40% in 2016.

“A lack of knowledge and understanding about how to use social media to generate tangible business benefits remains a barrier for around a third of advisers.”

LinkedIn is still well-ahead – with 59% using it actively in 2017 – but this is slightly below the 2016 reading of 60%. Other social media platforms, such as Google+ are static at 6%.

Advisers continue to use social media mainly as a source of new business. Asked why their company gets involved in social media, the top answer (60%) was ‘to attract new clients’ (down slightly from 62% in 2016).

However, they also use it so they can ‘be seen to keep up with modern communication’, to communicate with clients, to keep up with industry news, and to see what competitors should be doing. A fairly chunky proportion – 12% - are still using it because they feel they should be doing something, or they’ve simply got ‘no idea’. This proportion is declining, but does suggest that some advisers need to think harder about what social media might be able to do for their business.

A lack of knowledge and understanding about how to use social media to generate tangible business benefits remains a barrier for around a third of advisers. However, lack of time and resources is becoming less of a factor, but many advisers are still worried about falling foul of the regulator.

Nick Eatock, Intelliflo’s executive chairman says that too many adviser firms are trusting to luck and not putting in place formal social media policies. He points out that advisers need to keep a record of all social media interaction. Intelliflo and other providers are increasingly helping advisers do that, but in general, advisers need to remember that social media can’t be completely ad-hoc and works best when there is a plan in place.

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