Can social media positively impact advice?

Social media is a good vehicle for engagement in the advice industry, but it is best served only as a gateway into advice, according to experts.

Asked what advice he would give members for communicating on social media platforms at the MarketLit forum, Phil Anderson, Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) general manager for policy and professionalism, said they supported the use of social media as a vehicle to promote financial advice.

“We think it’s a fantastic mechanism for advisers to educate their clients on all things related to financial advice,” Anderson said.

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“But financial advice, and in particular personal financial advice which is required to take into account the client’s personal circumstances, is a one-on-one interaction and we don’t really think social media is vehicle to deliver that advice.

“It has an important role and advisers are increasingly using it, but its more about education, helping people understand how they make changes to the way they behave, to improve their financial position and be more successful in the future.”

Anderson said AFA members were increasingly using social media as a promotion mechanism, but also for accessing leads to get new clients and put new arrangements in place.

“But there are a number of members who have taken it to another level and the produce regulator podcasts and social media activity that’s generated a huge following,” Anderson said.

“My oldest daughter has taken a great deal of interest in Victoria Devine from ‘She’s on the Money’ and she thinks her podcasts have done a fantastic thing to raise awareness of finance among young females and to encourage them in the future to invest.

“But they need to be ready to invest; they need to make sure they have savings habits that allow them to have money that’s available to invest, so it’s much bigger than just assisting them with working out what they might invest in which is something that can’t be done via social media.”

Esther Althaus, Perspective Financial Services managing director/financial adviser, said the information on social media can be a good gateway for people to warm up to advice.

“We’ve either read a book or we’ve seen something on social media or we’ve watched a podcast – I’m very excited about that because that does me a huge favour as it saves a lot of time for me because that’s where they are getting [Finance] 101,” Althaus said.

“What I say to them is ‘great, you’ve now got Finance 101 now speak to an adviser because now it’s time to turn Finance 101 into Finance 1-0-You.”

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