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Highlights from Wells Fargo's Technology Summit

Last week, our CEO Clara Shih was invited to speak about social media at the Wells Fargo Technology Summit held at the St. Regis Hotel in San Francisco. Ed Terpening (VP Social Media, Wells Fargo), Rahul Sonnad (CEO, Geodelic), and moderator Vince Thompson (Managing Partner, Middleshift) joined her on the panel.

Clara Shih Wells Fargo Technology Summit


Throughout the lively discussion, Clara remarked that the financial services industry  is moving from the era of social media strategy that took place in 2010 into social media execution in 2011. Ed Terpening heads up a team that does just that at Wells Fargo.


I was particularly fascinated to hear Ed describe how a large financial institution uses social media to engage customers and solve problems. This is what Hearsay Social was designed to do—as well as to monitor for compliance issues. So, it was enlightening to learn how Wells Fargo is approaching, implementing, and managing social media. Here are a few points I took away from Ed’s comments:

Wells Fargo’s most active social media channel is Twitter. They use Twitter to talk with customers and help solve problems in real time, as well as to provide helpful tips.
Listening is a core critical function for the Wells Fargo social media team. They are highly tuned-in to what customers are saying , in order to better understand customer sentiment and identify social media influencers relevant to the business.
The budget for social media has traditionally come out of marketing, but it’s slowly spreading across the company into groups like customer support, sales, and IT.
While social media is often described as fueling political power (like presidential campaigns), Ed predicts that the next phase will be more about economic power. People will be looking to save and make money through social media.

2011 is already shaping up to be an exciting year for social media, and companies like Wells Fargo are proving that social media is becoming a necessary part of companies’ business plans. It’s great to see the power of social networking finding its rightful place in industries like financial services.

Ally Basak Russell

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