Despite heavy snow on the first day of Social Media in Financial Services, the Internet marketing event for IFAs and Providers has been hailed as ‘groundbreaking’ and a huge success.

Speakers from Google, YouTube, The Gate, Fincision, the BBC, Ecademy and LinkedIn revealed why and how the Internet is rapidly changing financial services distribution. Organiser of the event Philip Calvert said today:

“The opportunity for IFAs is clearly immense. All they need to do is to admit and learn what’s happening on the Web and to apply it in their own businesses. It’s a learning and training issue – nothing more”

“We saw once and for all that all consumers of all ages are now actively using Social Media, and IFAs who assume otherwise are in for a nasty shock.”

One of the most eye-opening presentations came from Internet psychologist Graham Jones who revealed that the Financial Services industry has most to gain from using Social Media. Out of all major industries, Financial Services engages with its customers the least online, in direct contradiction to how consumers are using the Internet.

Attendees at the London event were left spellbound by presentations from IFAs and financial planners including George Kinder of the Kinder Institute, Nick Bamford of Informed Choice and North Financial Management’s Jaime Steele – all of whom warned IFAs that the Internet is likely to have more impact on their businesses than anything else.

Philip Calvert added:

“The event proved once and for all that there’s a misconception that Social Media is all about marketing, but it goes a lot deeper than that. IFAs can use the technology to:

  • Listen to consumers and industry experts
  • Learn and share best practice
  • Search engine optimisation and attract website visitors
  • Thought leadership
  • Networking and building relationships
  • Building Brand loyalty and creating buzz
  • Customer service and answering questions
  • Promotion and sales
  • Building Community around your Brand”

Throughout the two-day event and continuing over the following day and into the weekend, attendees at the event posted over 1,000 comments on to Twitter, highlighting key points made by speakers. At one point, financial professionals in the USA were contributing to the online sharing of information and IFAs were even communicating through Twitter with colleagues at other conferences that were taking place across London.

Philip Calvert concluded;

“We knew there would be some interest in the event from Internet-savvy IFAs, but we’ve been totally overwhelmed at the sheer amount of chatter there has been during and afterwards. Several IFAs have literally demanded that we hold another conference on Social Media in Financial Services this year, and a date will be announced imminently. We have received huge numbers of emails from IFAs and Providers wanting to attend the next one.”

IFAs (and Providers) can request further information by sending an email to events@ifalife.com.

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