Financial advisers want more help with social media

Financial advisers are keen to further embrace social media but many would like more training in how best to use it, according to a recent Zurich Australia survey.

When asked about usage of social media channels, 36 per cent of financial advisers said they would start using or increase use of Facebook, 60 per cent said the same about LinkedIn and 20 per cent about Twitter, according to 666 survey respondents at a recent Zurich roadshow.

"These numbers clearly demonstrate the willingness of advisers to engage with their clients and prospects through social media channels. The next step is educating them on how to effectively use these channels to benefit their business," said Marc Fabris, national manager sales strategies and research.

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One third of those indicated they would be interested in attending one of the "boot-camp" style sessions Zurich runs for advisers keen to learn more about social media, according to Richard Dunkerley, head of marketing for the life and investments business.

The industry needed to bust the myth that social media was purely for social purposes and that it had many business applications, he said. But it needs to be treated that way - Twitter is about real time news, not updating your friends on what you had for breakfast, he added.

It is also important for advisers to think strategically about the desired outcome rather than expecting the phone to start ringing as soon as they give the business a Twitter account or Facebook page, he said.

The survey also showed that while 34 per cent of advisers are using an iPad in their practice, only 21 per cent are using it with their clients. This was up from just 10 per cent using iPads in the previous survey 12 months earlier.

"Advisers are either still getting familiar with these devices before using them with clients or there is a lack of apps that are client focused (or awareness of what is available)," Fabris said.

Dunkerley said there may not be a full appreciation of the kind of apps that are already out there, which includes information or note gathering apps, sales tools, calculators, and life insurance quoting apps.




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