Moneyfacts reports the results of a survey which suggested that 43% of us buy financial services as a result of a recommendation via social networking friends.
In addition, more than one in five people said they pass on advice about financial services they receive via their social media tools, overlooking experts in favour of giving advice on mortgages, investments and bank accounts.
From my own experience, these figures sound a little high.
After all, if I think of all of the friends I’m connected with on both Facebook and Twitter (excluding those that I’ve connected to thanks to help me develop this site who will naturally talk about money and financial products, and this could be where my definition of social media friends varies from the research), then I don’t ever recall seeing any recommendations for financial products from them*, or any discussion about money between them.
In fact, I barely see any recommendations for any sort of product, let alone financial. It could be the type of people I’m linked to, of course, but I doubt they’re any different to anyone else’s.
I’m sure that if asked, my network of friends would be happy to recommend a new washing machine or a holiday destination, but how many of us would be comfortable requesting advice and talking about our finances on a social network? Not only is there an element of pride, along with our typical Britishness of not wanting to talk about money stopping people from posting financial questions, there’s also the obvious security risks associated with posting anything about your financial situation.
There’s a chance I’ve missed the gist of the research (I couldn’t find the full details), but it has got me thinking about the extent to which we’ll discuss our finances with our online friends.
Do you talk about your finances on social networks, and would you ask for recommendations from your online friends? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
(* Actually, I’ve just seen one of my friends asking for recommendations for an accountant only yesterday, so that’s not now strictly true).