New geo-location social networking tool to help IFAs differentiate themselves locally.

IFA Life has launched its branded page on Foursquare, the leading location-based social networking site – giving IFAs and financial advisers a great new way to raise their profile on the Internet.

One of just a few hundred brands from around the world including Sony, Gucci, NASA, The Wall Street Journal, Harrods and others – IFA Life’s partnership with Foursquare enables consumers to locate information and tips about financial advisers on GPS-enabled mobile devices, such as iPhones, Android mobile phones, Symbian and BlackBerry smartphones.

In 2010, users checked in to Foursquare on 381,576,305 occasions, and it is believed that IFA Life is the first financial services brand in the world to have teamed up with Foursquare in this way.

With more people accessing the Internet via mobile devices than fixed desktop computers, IFAs and financial advisers need to focus their attention on ensuring their website is easily accessible from smartphones and tablet devices such as the iPad.

Founder of IFA Life Philip Calvert says:

“There are still many IFAs who do not even have a website, let alone have an online presence that has been optimised for mobile devices. And when people do search online for financial advisers, they need to find more than just directories of IFAs which list out services provided.”

“Lists and directories of IFAs are nearing the end of their sell-by date, as consumers will increasingly want new and more interactive ways to quickly see how one financial adviser differs from another locally.”

RDR will force many IFAs to clearly differentiate their service proposition, and social networking technology is helping to facilitate that through blogs, video, photographs, photos, reviews, question and answer services, forums, presentations, location-based services and Apps.

When a user checks in to Foursquare via their mobile device, they are able to view tips about locations and businesses. IFA Life members taking advantage of the service are now able to add tips about their service or business – including financial advisers around the world.

“Tips about businesses need to reveal a different side to your financial advice business; simply saying that you help with pensions is of limited value. People want to see what’s different about you and something of your personality.”

Tips should be:

Actionable (go here, do this, see this, ask about etc)

Relevant to a specific location/address

Valuable and useful, giving ‘insider information’

Interesting, short, clever, worthwhile, occasionally entertaining and as though from a trusted friend

Under 200 characters

Tips could also promote seminars, events, local sponsorship initiatives, networking opportunities, IFA job vacancies and niche markets catered for