Does social media play a role in financial planning?

Almost every individual or business has a presence on social media in some way, and financial advisers are no exception.

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Increased use of social media

According to a survey by Putnam Investments in 2016, 80% of US financial advisers who took part said that they had gained clients through using social media, up from 49% when surveyed three years earlier in 2013. By interacting with potential clients via a platform they are already using on a day to day basis, they are able to establish a stronger connection.

Although these statistics were taken from a survey of American financial advisers, it would be reasonable to make the assumption that UK advisers are experiencing the same effect.

Powerful and complementary

Despite the strict regulatory environment that advisers must conduct themselves within, use of platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook are continuing to grow. Financial Adviser School head, Darren Smith has pointed out that promoting a professional identity via social media appeals to a particular demographic. Clients who use social media a great deal will naturally gravitate to financial advisers who they see as like-minded.

Provided that best practices are adhered to, LinkedIn can be a useful resource for prospecting, because it is a large network with specific search parameters, for example. But it’s not just about finding new clients. Social media is proving to be an excellent way of retaining existing clients, too. Advice given by those advisers who have been successful using social media stress how important it is to look professional yet personal, keep messages personalised, and don’t be excessive in your posting.

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Client contact is a key aspect of providing financial advice as it is tied into the regulations that advisers must follow. Many rely on financial adviser software from providers such as, which, among many other prospecting and back office features, can help manage a seamless client contact experience via multiple routes, online, face-to-face or by telephone. Social media is shown to have the potential to expand and enhance those methods of communication.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) recognises the powerful method of communication social media can provide, but warns that professionals in the financial industry must use it responsibly.

Advisers considering the use of social media should check with their compliance teams first about their company’s policy on use.

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