Following the publication of the FCA guidance document for social media use (https://www.fca.org.uk/news/fg15-04-social-media-and-customer-communications), web-based adviser business management software provider, Intelliflo has published a social media policy template for advisers to use to help set a framework for compliance.
A survey¹ by Intelliflo in 2014 showed three in five (58%) UK advisers actively use social media but just a quarter (25%) had written policies in place that all employees must follow. Slightly less than a quarter (23%) openly admitted they didn’t have any policy in place, while the rest (52%) didn’t know, indicating that either policies don’t exist or communication about their existence requires work.
Jo Gilbey, Intelliflo’s Marketing Director comments: “Now that the FCA has published its guidance for social media usage, advisers must ensure they have adequate controls in place that mean they will not fall foul of the regulator. Putting a policy together from scratch can be a daunting task so we wanted to share a ‘starter for ten’ with advisers, to help them get on top of this as quickly as possible.”
Intelliflo’s survey also found:
- LinkedIn (48%) is the most popular site, followed by Twitter (41%) then Facebook (32%). Many use a mix of all three.
- Of those who use social media, almost one in three (30%) believe it has a measurable or positive effect on their business. Slightly more than a third (36%) of respondents find it hard to know its effect on business, with around one in six (16%) believing it has no positive benefit.
- When asked to list the reasons why their company gets involved with social media, the top answers were:
- To attract new clients (55%)
- To be seen to be keeping up with modern communications systems (45%)
- To keep up to date with financial news and events (39%)
- To help with website search engine optimisation (SEO) (39%)
- To communicate with existing clients (38%)
- To see what our competitors are doing (9%)
- Not sure, just seems like we should be doing something (9%)
- No idea (3%)
As expected, the FCA guidance document includes a strong focus on product promotions and endorsements through social media but the document also contains other key points that advisers need to know to ensure they stay within the rules. Two of these are:
- Sign-off of social media posts and tweets. The FCA guidance document states that sign off of all digital media communications must be carried out ‘by a person of appropriate competence and seniority within the organisation’.
- Keeping adequate records. Relying on social media platforms’ time-lines is not enough. Advisers should be using separate tools that will log and maintain all social media activity across all platforms.
The Intelliflo Social Media Policy Statement template is available for free download from www.intelliflo.com/socialmedia
¹Intelliflo surveyed 117 advisers attending regional user groups in May/June 2014 about their firms’ social media use.
Intelliflo (www.Intelliflo.com) 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 1,320 firms and 11,450 users with assets under advice of £181 billion (as at 31 December 2014).
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.