I just got off the phone with an IFA who is interested in attending our Social Media Strategy Day for financial advisers, but he was concerned that he would be wasting his time joining us because his network currently takes three to four weeks to process each Social Media post request.

This isn’t an isolated case; we’re often asked by financial advisers if there’s any point to them using Social Media because they feel their network is holding them back.

In this day and age, it’s frankly laughable that some networks simply don’t understand how Social Media works and its importance as part of an IFA or financial planning firm’s overall proposition.

It’s true that many IFAs don’t see the returns they were expecting from Social Media, but that’s almost always because they don’t have a documented plan.  But for some networks to adopt such a restrictive approach simply isn’t acceptable.

On our website at www.ifalife.com, an all too common point of discussion is the effectiveness or otherwise of lead generation companies.  The general consensus of opinion is that around fifty percent of advisers love them, whilst others simply aren’t seeing the returns they want for their money and many tell us they are giving up.

I’ve always held the belief that financial advisers should put much more effort into generating their own leads.  It is still the case that the best quality leads come from their own efforts – that of providing a high quality service which results in a new referral.  However, in an age when the Internet inevitably plays a part in the client acquisition process, IFAs should be using every tool at their disposal but within the context of a clear plan.

For example, our research at LifeTalk tells us that approximately 85% of financial advisers in the UK have a LinkedIn profile – but when we ask them why they have one, fewer than 5% are able to tell us. 

We also see this with their use of Twitter, YouTube and Facebook, yet the common thread is that hardly any IFAs have a clear, articulated plan as to specifically how they will use these tools to support their business plans, key objectives and client proposition.

Networks presumably want their members to be successful, and offer a wide range of business services to support that aim.  But to take up to four weeks to process a Social Media post request is letting members down badly.

It’s entirely possible that these networks don’t regard Social Media use by their members as a priority, in fact more of an irritance - after all, Social Media is for kids isn’t it?  

But as a tool for advisers to build and enhance the perception of their expertise, credibility and professional identity – and to drive traffic to their website, Social Media is right up there.

Our workshops are primarily aimed at IFAs, financial planners and their support teams, but we’d be only too delighted if the compliance teams at some networks would join us too as it might shed some light for them as to just how important this medium is now.

IFAs wanting to hit the ground running in 2017 with a clear Social Media plan should sign up here.  Advisers from all round the UK are joining us, and each will leave at the end of the afternoon with an action plan that is bespoke to their business.

If you believe that Social Media has even the smallest part to play in your financial advice business moving forward, this is a must attend event.

If you have any questions before you sign up, please write to me direct at philip@ifalife.com