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Social media and the IFA — the realities.

SM can be more problematic for financial advisers than others.

Any business considering sm has to decide whether it’s worth the bother, the platforms to use, deal with the technology, assess the risks and the likely ROI and understand what’s required in terms of effort and commitment. Large or small, manufacturer or service provider, you have to do all that and more to find your sm feet. The professions however have some additional issues, over and above compliance, to address.

Of all the professions, financial advisers can find it more challenging than most to get involved in sm and here’s why:
  1. In sm terms, the audience is minuscule
  2. Many people still find it uncomfortable talking about their money and finances even in private spaces, never mind in public domains
  3. On those sites where personal finance is discussed, the conversations tend to revolve around investment: the more mundane aspects of advice hardly get a look in. (Count the number of UK-produced videos there are about IHT planning, annuities or SIPPs on YouTube for example.)
  4. According to Twitter, entertainment and freebies are what people like about sm. Financial advice holds no entertainment value and there’s no opportunity to offer discounts or free stuff or to run promotions

Where does that leave you?
The inescapable conclusion is that at this stage in the medium’s development, sm does not hold a great deal of potential for financial advisers and is not a mainstream marketing option. Be that as it may, sm does however have a role, or two, to play in your marketing.

If you have clients who already use sm, then by establishing a presence on sm you’re seen to be ‘keeping up’. In client acquisition terms, sm takes you down a different path to the one you’re accustomed to following — in a sense, it’s networking, but at arm’s length.

The link between sm and branding
To engage with purpose in sm you have to know yourself — i.e. you must know what your firm stands for and what you want to say to the world. Who’s going to be interested in your views and opinions, if you don’t have any? Your voice will be never be heard above the sm din if you lack the courage of your convictions. You’ll be standing on the sm side lines, spending hours on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn without really knowing why. In essence sm is not about how much time you spend tweeting or the number of platforms you’re on, it’s about conveying to people — patiently, politely and sincerely — who you are and what you stand for.

Given some creativity, common sense and sufficient self belief, and providing you’re prepared to abandon any attempt to correlate activity and results, IFAs should be able to use social media to good effect. There’s an entry fee to pay (in terms of a learning curve and commitment) but if you go about it the right way, stick with it and be patient, it might start to work for you: precisely how and when, nobody can say.


Link to Home Page

First steps

The marketing plan 1

The marketing plan 2

And what about your brand, while we're at it?

The (dreaded?) social media thing

Social media — why it's tricky for IFAs

Social media — are you up to it?

Social media and search engine rankings

The costs

About me

Terence Martin

01227 656027

07740 422755