According to the research, while 88 per cent of advisers said they use Facebook, 59 per cent LinkedIn, and 59 per cent Instagram, just 11 per cent use TikTok or YouTube, and only 18 per cent were active on Twitter.
Each to their own of course, and firms might be determining that it is on those first three channels where they have the best chance of having content seen and picking up leads.
However, when it comes to the younger generation, then you might surmise that the websites and social media channels that advisers themselves use, might be some way distant from those used by those younger potential clients.
This appears to be a bridge which needs building because 90 per cent of Generation Z use TikTok and YouTube, and it appears to be this younger generation who are more engaged with, for example, protection and who are less likely to use a price comparison site than older consumers.
A lack of Gen Z engagement
Perhaps they feel less confident in ‘doing it themselves’ but this research potentially opens up a new front for advisers, because if you can channel your content, marketing, services, etc towards this generation then you are likely to get a positive response. The big question however tends to be ‘How?’
I’ve attended various sessions on how advisers can build an online social media presence, and to say the general response amongst the room tends to be muted, would be something of an understatement.
But, we neglect this communication channel at our peril, particularly when it comes to how younger people are engaging with financial services, and the ways and means by which they digest financial ‘advice’.
I write ‘advice’ like this because it will be quite clear from a lot of content on TikTok that this is, for the most part, not being delivered by advisers, instead it is merely money-savvy people who have eyed a gap in the market and are filling it.
The ‘Martin Lewis’ effect
The problem of course can perhaps be easily defined as the ‘Martin Lewis’ issue. You’ll recall similar arguments over the course of the last 20 years made by advisers who bemoaned Lewis’ influence and worried about his lack of professional qualifications or advice knowledge, when it appeared to many in the industry that he was delivering exactly this.
Again, we have to acknowledge that there was a gap and Lewis filled it, and we might have the same issue here with social media in that many advisory firms have not been quick to recognise the potential audience, and in the meantime, many of those who have recognised it are not qualified advisers.
AMI’s research is specifically about the protection space, but it appears to be relevant across other product areas, and again it comes down to recognising that the traditional ways and means by which firms have built relationships with new clients, are unlikely to be the ones that will deliver future generations to the business.
The TikTok opportunity
But with a real focus on this area, with an understanding of what social media channel might work best, what content will get cut through, and where your resource is going to make the most difference in terms of maximising engagement and drawing potential clients to you, there is a real opportunity to go places where very few adviser firms have even contemplated going.
I need not point out to you that last year, the biggest purchasing demographic group was first-time buyers, and of course while the average age of that group has grown, they are still younger consumers who are potentially engaging with financial services and advice in a very different manner to their parents.
It will require time, effort and potentially some investment, but in terms of finding a new avenue to explore, which is immensely popular with the younger generation, and which has the potential to deliver clients and leads, then it is these social media channels which could deliver for many years to come.