Social media is becoming an increasingly important tool for UK mortgage advisers to grow their businesses and enhance their careers.
<a industry-insights-the-rise-and-regulation-of-social-media-in-the-regulated-advice-sector.pdf?sfvrsn="0''">A white paper, published by CeMAP® providers ifs University College, reveals that 75 per cent of recently-qualified mortgage advisers are now actively using social networks to communicate with new and existing clients, build their profiles within the industry and keep up to date with the latest issues.
Linked-In is the most popular network according to the research, with nearly half (46 per cent) of advisers using the platform to conduct business, followed by Facebook (41 per cent) and Twitter (36 per cent).
And while following industry news is the main way in which advisers are using these channels, innovative firms are also turning to social media to build their brand identity, complete CPD requirements and even search for new employees.
But while individual advisers are embracing social media, on an organisational level it seems that many firms are reluctant to embrace social media fully. Nearly 60 per cent of firms do not currently build social media into their marketing communications, while 70 per cent of advisers have received no formal training on its usage. Reasons cited for this reticence include reputational damage, regulatory violations and misuse by employees as potential pitfalls.
Commenting on the findings, Martin Day, Vice Principal at ifs University College, said:
“With the FCA publishing social media guidelines for advisory firms, which requires them to keep accurate records of their communications, coupled with growing usage among clients and individual advisers, organisations need to think about how best to incorporate social networking into their business plans.
“Social media, when used in the right way, can be an incredibly powerful marketing and professional development tool, particularly for smaller organisations and sole-traders in the mortgage industry.
“As the providers of CeMAP® we will work with the industry accordingly to ensure all mortgage advisers are in the best possible position to take advantage of the opportunities presented by an increasingly connected world.”