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Half of brokers using social media for business: Accord

Half of brokers using social media for business: Accord

Two thirds of brokers regularly use social media, but just over half (56 per cent) use it for business purposes, according to research from Accord Mortgages.

Research was conducted by BDRC Continental among 100 brokers during August found that LinkedIn is the preferred platform for the majority of brokers currently using social media.

A total of 7 per cent of those currently using social media are active on Twitter, with one in five using it as a sounding board to answers questions, although only 12 per cent of Twitter users follow mortgage lenders.

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Facebook was recently used by 7 per cent of those surveyed as a means of gathering information, with over half of users enjoy reading discussions, but are not taking part.

The research from Yorkshire Building Society’s intermediary-only lender suggested that many brokers are wary of using social media, or feel that it does not offer any benefit to their business.

David Robinson, Accord’s national intermediary sales manager, said that there is still uncertainty about how to effectively use social media for financial businesses, despite regulatory advice.

“Those thinking of taking the plunge need to have a robust strategy in place, knowing exactly who their target audience is and what they want to communicate to them.

“From our perspective, we are carefully considering our social media presence and this research helps us to understand how brokers are using the medium.”

Andrew Montlake, director at broker Coreco, commented that whilst it will not change your business overnight, the benefits to those who persist with social media are clear.

“Not only is there is a whole generation growing up who will only ever use social media and peer recommendations to consume financial services, but there has been a massive growth in its use from a wide range of ages, many of whom are our traditional client base.

“Being able to communicate with our clients and introducers in this way has enabled us to develop deeper ties and attract new contacts which have directly benefitted our business.

He added that for brokers looking to grow in the future it will not be a question of ‘if’ they develop a social media strategy, but rather ‘how’ they chose to do it.

Following the release of the Financial Conduct Authority’s updated social media guidelines earlier this year, the Financial Services Forum recently published a report into how firms can build an effective framework.

The report noted that the FCA requires staff training so employees understand the difference between appropriate and misleading content, adding that this is especially important when employees use the same social media accounts for both business and personal purposes.