Brokers still unsure about social media
LinkedIn was the preferred platform for brokers using social media to share views on market issues, discuss best practice and offer advice amongst peers, as 23% of people read discussions and 16% actively engaged in them.
David Robinson, Accord’s national intermediary sales manager, said: “There is still uncertainty about how to effectively use social media for financial business despite regulatory advice, and some brokers may be wary of using it in a business to consumer capacity.
“Those thinking of taking the plunge need to have a robust strategy in place, knowing exactly who their target audience is and what they want to communicate to them.
“The results of our survey suggest those who are on board with social media are using it as a platform to share with fellow intermediaries, rather than engaging with clients.
“This might be a shrewd way to utilise the platforms, as clients can prefer the personal touch of a face-to-face meeting when seeking advice.
“From our perspective, we are carefully considering our social media presence and this research helps us to understand how brokers are using the medium.”
A total of 7% of those using social media were active on Twitter, using the platform to garner information and read discussions. One in five (21%) accessed Twitter as a sounding board to answers questions, however only 12% of Twitter users followed mortgage lenders.
Facebook was used by 7% to gather information, as over half of users (57%) enjoyed reading discussions but were not taking part in conversations.
Andrew Montlake, director at Coreco, one of London’s leading Mortgage Brokers, said: “We have been using social media actively for a few years now and, whilst it will not change your business overnight, the benefits to those who persist with it are very clear.
“Not only is there is a whole generation growing up who will only ever use social media and peer recommendations to consume financial services, but there has been a massive growth in its use from a wide range of ages, many of whom are our traditional client base.
“Being able to communicate with our clients and introducers in this way has enabled us to develop deeper ties and attract new contacts which have directly benefitted our business. For brokers looking to grow in the future it will not be a question of “if” they develop a social media strategy but rather “how” they chose to do it. Ignoring it will not be an option.”