Advisers give thumbs up to social media but risk falling foul of FCA rules, finds new Intelliflo survey

By Jo Gilbey
Find me on: LinkedIn Sep 14, 2015 4:22:00 PM


UK advisers are finding social media channels increasingly useful for attracting new clients, keeping up with financial news and looking at what competitors are doing but the majority are yet to have formal written policies in place for employees, according to the second survey into social media usage by leading adviser software provider, Intelliflo.

The survey, first conducted in June 2014 and repeated last month (July 2015) among 223 users of Intelliflo’s specialist adviser software, Intelligent Office (iO) found:

  • The number of advisers getting involved with social media increased to 61% from 58% in 2014
  • LinkedIn is the most popular social media platform, with 53% of those surveyed using it (up by 5% on 2014)
  • Facebook is less popular than last year (25% using compared to 32% in 2014)
  • Twitter is also less popular (35% using compared to 41% in 2014)
  • Other social media platforms, such as Google+ have failed to gain users (down to 4% in 2015 from 6% in 2014)

Asked why their company gets involved in social media the survey found:

  1. Being seen to be keeping up with modern communications systems (69%, up 16% on 2014)
  2. To attract new clients (59%, up 4% on 2014)
  3. To help with search engine optimisation (SEO) (41%, up 2% on 2014)
  4. To keep up to date with financial news and events (39%, same as in 2014)
  5. To communicate with existing clients (37%, down 1% on 2014)
  6. To see what competitors are doing (20%, up 16% on 2014)

Since the first survey was carried out in June 2014, the FCA has published Social Media and Customer Communications, its final guidance following a consultation period with the industry. Click on the image or click here to enlarge.

Publicity for the FCA’s guidance document does seem to have made an impact, with more awareness among advisers as to whether or not their firm has a formal social media policy. In 2014 more than half (52%) said they didn’t know if there was a policy in place, dropping to just 6% in 2015, a difference of 46%.

However, the majority (52%) said their firm does not have a formal policy for employees to use, something that potentially increases their risk of doing something that falls foul of the regulator.

Nick Eatock, Intelliflo’s Executive Chairman says, “It is interesting to see that more than half of those surveyed said there was no social media policy in place for their firm. Although having a policy doesn’t guarantee that things will go smoothly when engaging with social media, defining what is and what is not acceptable for all employees can certainly help to mitigate situations that might attract negative feedback from the FCA.”


Fear about how engaging with social media could negatively affect business is something that concerns almost of quarter (23%) of firms who choose not to get involved, a rise of 9% compared to 2014.

To help firms quickly and easily put in place a social media policy, Intelliflo has prepared a social media policy tool that is free for advisers to download at

For further information please contact Jo Rimmer at Redspark PR on 07970 088383 or

About Intelliflo

Intelliflo ( has been providing information technology services to financial services companies since its formation in 2004. Its leading web-based business management software, Intelligent Office, helps financial businesses large and small to improve efficiency and increase profits. Intelligent Office supports over 1,450 firms and 12,600 users with assets under advice of £207 billion (as at 30 June 2015).

In July 2013 HgCapital, a leading European private equity investor in B2B technology companies, became a majority shareholder in Intelliflo Ltd. HgCapital has a wealth of expertise in developing web-based software businesses and is committed to supporting the next phase of Intelliflo’s growth.

In March 2015 Intelliflo was listed among the top 25 best performing privately owned technology companies in the UK mid-market. The list is compiled by Megabuyte’s independent and highly-regarded research team and is based on financial performance and long-term potential.