·        New directory of IFAs and financial planners who use Twitter

·        Starling growth in uptake of Twitter and social networking websites

·        Business case proven for financial advisers

As the Internet celebrates its 20th anniversary, financial services social networking website IFA Life is launching a Directory of IFAs, Financial Planners and Advisers who use Twitter. This will help the growing number of Internet-savvy consumers who are looking for financial advice to find advisers who use the simple but cutting-edge tool.

Twitter is an Internet-based micro-blogging website which enables users to post very short (140 characters maximum) comments, observations and business updates to prospects, existing clients and professional connections.

The growth in use of Twitter has been nothing short of startling – coinciding with the news from online intelligence company Nielsen that ‘member communities’ which include social networking websites and blogging have now overtaken email in popularity.

But Twitter’s core benefit, is that it is proving to be a powerful tool for business users, with one financial planner in the UK having already received a large SIPP enquiry as a result of his use of Twitter.

Philip Calvert, founder of IFA Life said today: “As the World Wide Web reaches its 20th anniversary, it’s exciting that financial planners and IFAs are adopting this powerful new tool to communicate and engage with clients and the wider business community.”

“One of the most interesting trends occurring right now is growing use by consumers to search and find IFAs and planners through social networking websites and tools like Twitter. Google is still the first choice to find financial advisers, but these new Internet tools are growing in popularity because they add a human touch to the search results as real people provide answers to people’s questions.”

Twitter is already an important source of traffic to many websites, meaning that IFAs who want greater exposure for their business online need to build social networking into their marketing strategy.

Whilst there are still many financial advisers who don’t believe that social networking websites can be of benefit to them, they can be heartened by the news that use of sites such as Facebook by those in the 50-64 year-old group is growing at twice the speed as those under 18.

Philip Calvert added:

“Given the extraordinary speed at which Twitter is growing, there’s no doubt that its search capabilities will become more and more important – that’s why we’ve created a directory of IFAs and Financial Planners who are using Twitter. Financial advisers who don’t use Twitter and who aren’t in the directory will miss out on business leads – it’s as simple as that.”