Social media: a financial planner’s key to success?

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Financial advisers can’t afford to ignore the power of social media if they are going to make the most of business conditions in the twenty-first century.

According to IRESS, keeping abreast of your clients’ circumstances via social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter can lead to better outcomes for clients and greater efficiencies for practices.

David Rae, a Canberra-based financial adviser and director of Beames and Associates, for example, found out via Twitter that his client’s three-year-old daughter had a life-threatening disease – and was then able to provide some vital advice.

“I have social media relationships with lots of my clients and happened to see a tweet from a client talking about his daughter’s illness,” said Rae. “I then learnt a little more from a link to his Tumblr account. What’s significant is he had not notified me of the child’s illness. He didn’t realise that when we reviewed and updated his policies last year, we included some child trauma cover for his daughter.”

After contacting the client to let him know his insurance cover situation and get the claims process started, Rae noted that he “would not have known so quickly and therefore would not have been able to start the claims process so quickly, if not for social media”.

Social media specialist, and former financial adviser, Baz Gardner from The Social Adviser noted that Rae’s case was a perfect example of how advisers, via social media, “can learn of and respond to a change in client circumstances well ahead of review time”.

“These responses not only help relieve a client’s pain and stress, they also help ensure that the advice is timely and truly appropriate to the client’s needs and current situation.”

Jumping on the social media bandwagon, IRESS has now social media widget in its December 2011, XPLAN 2.1 update, which is aimed at helping advisers to keep abreast of their clients’ social media activity.

According to IRESS senior business development executive Michael Kinens, the widget, which has been further enhanced in the release of XPLAN 2.2, allows advisers to see a complete history of everything their clients have tweeted, posted or blogged via various social media networks in XPLAN.

The client’s social media history sits inside XPLAN alongside other key information on the ‘Client Dashboard’, which can be tailored for each client by each user. An adviser must have a social media relationship with a client before any of the client’s social media activity can be included in XPLAN.

Advisers can also post to various social media sites directly from XPLAN, rather than having to go to each individual social media outlet.

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Why Twitter is vital to bringing in new financial advice clients

  • Nobby Kleinman on 31/10/2012 11:06:32 PM

    One of the biggest gripes I used to hear about advisers was their lack of communication. With todays technology, there is no reason why clients cannot be contacted on a regular basis. The main hindrance is the availability fo time, and the knowledge of how to effectively use the mediums available, and how to do so on a regular basis. I think many advisers also miss the point about how to communicate with clients about what and why. Opening up to listen to clients, and also drawing a picture for them, will lead to greater client retention and involvement.

  • Kym Turner on 27/08/2012 1:27:49 PM

    There's no doubt the points you've raised about immediacy of contact and business efficiency, should lead all planners towards using social media. And if used with care (and some smart strategic planning) social media can add other important dimensions to your business.

    In today's world, scepticism is easily adopted..especially when it comes to something as personal as 'Your Money'..So, planners need to work on ensuring that their clients don't succumb to the same scepticism.

    To combat this, planners should adopt pro-active marketing strategies that continually show your clients just how authoritive, expert and trustworthy YOU are!

    Social media is an excellent platform (one of several that can and should be used) to build Know, Like & Trust.

    That is getting prospective and new clients to know you, like you and trust you more...And re-enforcing these trust positioning messages with our longstanding clients!

WP forum is the place for positive industry interaction and welcomes your professional and informed opinion.

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