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Adviser firms without a social media policy at risk

10 September 2017

Social media continues to grow in popularity among UK adviser firms as they seek to attract new clients, but failure to put in place social media policies could put them at risk, warns Intelliflo.

Seven out of 10 users of Intelliflo’s specialist adviser software, Intelligent Office, now engage with social media for business, up from 58 per cent in 2014 and 70 per cent in 2016, according to their latest annual survey.

Findings revealed LinkedIn remains the preferred social platform for business with 59 per cent of respondents actively using it in 2017. Facebook and Twitter have also increased in popularity, with 41 per cent now using the former and 43 per cent active on Twitter this year.

Advisers cited attracting new clients as the main reason for engaging with social media. Being seen to keep up with modern communications, and communicating with existing clients also ranked highly on advisers’ decision to be active online, while keeping abreast of financial news, tracking competitors and search engine optimisation were also listed as key drivers.

However, despite its surge in recent years, governance around social media continues to be an issue, with only 48 per cent of advisers putting in place formal written policies that employees must follow and 42 per cent admitting to having nothing in place.

Nick Eatock, Intelliflo’s Executive chairman, says: “There are still too many adviser firms who are trusting to luck and not putting in place formal social media policies. The FCA has made clear what it wants to see in terms of governance. This includes the requirement for advisers to keep a record of all social media interaction.”

In an effort to combat the issue, Intelliflo has partnered with Hearsay social media system, which provides a traceable time-line for all social media activity if used across the platforms.

For the 27 per cent of respondents not active on social media, the survey found lack of knowledge and understanding about the benefits to their business continued to be a barrier for almost a third. Over half (54 per cent) also questioned its relevance to their business.

To help firms put in place a social media strategy, including a template for a formal social media policy, Intelliflo has devised a social media tool that adviser firms can download for free. Further information can be found on the Intelliflo website.

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