Aegon's John Joe McGinley explains why advisers will increasingly use social media.
Social media is everywhere:
- 3.5 billion pieces of content are shared on Facebook each week.
- 22 million professionals are networking on LinkedIn.
- 200 million tweets are posted every day.
The statistics for the UK are very powerful:
- More than half of UK pensioners are now on Facebook.
- 37.4 million UK adults use Facebook regularly.
- 32.1 million UK adults use YouTube regularly.
- 15.5 million UK adults are on Twitter.
- 7.9 million UK adults are on LinkedIn.
- 6.7 million UK adults are on Flickr.
We're in the midst of a second industrial revolution. UK financial advisers are finally waking up to the fact that if they ignore this, they may go the way of Comet, Jessops, HMV and all other organisations who failed to grasp the challenges and exploit the opportunities faced by our changing world.
The UK advisory profession needs to be aware of changing consumer habits. More and more of us are doing things for ourselves, and are becoming more inquisitive before we use a service or approach a professional. The ‘Google before you buy or have a conversation' age is upon us.
Advisory businesses can combat this through effective communication of not only their proposition, but of one of the key elements of that proposition - their experience.
The way consumers now recommend and refer is changing. Yes, word of mouth is still prominent, but social media is fast becoming the preferred way to recommend or condemn products and services. How many ‘likes' does your business have?
If referrals are important to you and you've no social media presence, you could be in danger of missing out. You could miss out to another source of financial advice or risk your clients doing it themselves.
While the use of social media among UK advisers in the past has been slow, it's now growing rapidly. It's worth noting the trends among US advisers to see how quickly it could grow.
In the US, financial advisers view social media as an increasingly important tool to:
- engage clients
- grow their business
- better understand their clients' investment goals
A recent study from Accenture Wealth and Asset Mangement Services highlighted that:
- nearly half (48%) of financial advisers are using social media on a daily basis to interact with their clients
- 74% of advisers believe social media helps them increase assets under management
- half of advisers claim to have successfully used social media to convert prospects into clients
- nearly half of advisers (49%) said they believe firms that fail to leverage social media will lose clients to firms that do
Social media will become a core part of an adviser's client engagement, and as such, we want to help advisers use social media as part of our ongoing adviser engagement strategy.
John Joe McGinley, head of business brain, Aegon