In a poll of more than 200 users of Intelliflo's Intelligent Office, the survey found:
• LinkedIn remains the most popular social platform for business, with 59% actively using it, up slightly from 57% in 2018.
• Facebook has seen a significant increase in popularity, with 44% now using this for business compared to 37% in 2018.
• Twitter usage is also slightly up: 42% are using it in 2019 compared to 40% in 2018.
• Other social media platforms are slightly down at 6% compared to 7% in 2018.
• Those not getting involved with social media is up slightly, to 31% in 2019 from 30% in 2018.
Asked why they use social media, those using it to help with search engine optimisation was up by around 20%, indicating a growing awareness of digital marketing.
It also highlighted that less advisers are using social media to gain information for themselves, with ‘keeping up with financial news and events' down from 43% to 34% this year.
“What are the reasons your company gets involved in social media?”
• To attract new clients was the top response (62% in 2019 compared to just 54% in 2018).
• To be seen to be keeping up with modern communication systems (53%, down from 56% in 2018).
• To help with search engine optimisation (47% compared to 39% in 2018).
• To communicate with existing clients (38%, down from 41% in 2018 but down from 46% in 2017).
• To keep up to date with financial news and events (34%, down from 43% in 2018).
• To see what competitors are doing (16%, the same as in 2018).
• Not sure, seems like we should be doing something (10%, compared to 9% in 2018).
• No idea (3%, compared to 4% in 2018).
For the 31% who do not currently engage in social media, lack of time (48%, compared to 33% in 2018), lack of knowledge and understanding about how to engage with it to provide business benefits (29%, compared to 13% in 2018) and fear about how it could negatively affect the business (14%, compared to 9% in 2018) were all more of an issue this year.
The biggest issue is around believing it is relevant to the business: this increased to 59% from 45% last year.
In terms of governance, those who have formal written policies for using social media that all employees must follow remains the same at 58%, while awareness of not having a written policy is up, from 30% in 2018 to 36% in 2019.
Those who don't know dropped to 7% in 2019 from 11% in 2018.
In terms of other marketing activity used by advisers, advertising, PR, sponsorship and blogging all saw some gains.
Elsewhere the survey showed:
Paid for ads (excluding social media): 25% (18% in 2018)
Social media paid for: 10% (9% in 2018)
PR: 19% (16% in 2018)
Google ads/paid search: 10% (11% in 2018)
Sponsorship, including sports teams and events: 33% (31% n 2018)
Events where clients and prospects are invited: 34% (36% in 2018)
Email marketing: 29% (30% in 2018)
Direct mail/print media: 17% (19% in 2018)
Blogging: 19% (16% in 2018)
Podcasts or video: 8% (7% in 2018)
Nick Eatock, Intelliflo's executive chairman said: “It's clear that many advisers are becoming far more tech savvy, using social media to not only get messages across about their businesses but also to help drive traffic to their websites via better visibility on search engine front pages.
“Governance is still an issue for a significant number though, although it's good to see that awareness of whether or not their firm has a social media policy has increased.
“Hopefully this awareness will lead to action being taken to put policies in place soon.”