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Advice firms struggle to make most of socials

A recent survey by BT found just 37% of financial advisers have received referrals via social media in the last 12 months.

Earlier this year BT conducted a three-part webinar series on social media, with the majority of advisers in attendance using social media as part of business strategy.

However, a survey of attendees found only about a third of them are actually gaining business from that presence; 51% haven't received a single referral in the last year.

That said, only 14% of advisers said they're using social media to build referral partnerships. Growing brand awareness (40%) and sharing information with clients (39%) are advisers' key objectives when it comes to social media.

"These results suggest that advisers may be trying to get the balance right between engagement and sales activities on social media. And, as with any digital media usage, there tends to be a cohort who are early adopters and, in this case, may be using social media to obtain referrals more proactively," BT head of platforms distribution Chris Mather said.

"Generally, we are hearing from an increasing number of advisers that establishing referral relationships is an area that they are looking to improve on, as part of their growth plans."

Of those surveyed, about 78% are on Facebook while 75% are using LinkedIn. They prefer to see their own employees post too, with most practices spending just 10% of their marketing budget on social media advertising. Only 11% of advisers see value in paid posts, the survey shows.

However, the survey also found that about 31% of company LinkedIn profiles are inactive while only 41% are actively posting to their pages.

"Over 10 million Australians are on LinkedIn, the world's largest professional networking platform," Mather said.

"It's surprising that advisers aren't more active on LinkedIn; they may be missing opportunities to expand their client base and referral networks."

Read more: BTLinkedInChris MatherFacebook