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Social sales a hot topic at FINRA's 2013 Annual Conference

It was our pleasure this year to attend the FINRA Annual Conference, where social sales and marketing continues to be the buzz. Two sessions specifically dedicated to social media—”Using Social Media Tools (Small Firm Focus)” and “Social Media Considerations”—showed strong attendance.
During one of the sessions, the audience was polled on their social media usage:

  • About 25% of the audience say their firm already allows reps to use social media for business purposes.
  • Most popular social networks for business use continue to be LinkedIn and Twitter, followed by Facebook.
  • Primary reasons for lower usage is worry about proper supervision and resultant damages to the firm’s reputation should things go awry, highlighting the need for compliance policies and tools.

Slide from the “Social Media Tools (Small Firm Focus) session.

Of those firms that do have a social presence, many were hopeful in their experimentation, with 20% saying they were already reaping positive business results.
In a separate session on technology, panelists commented on the importance of the cloud and big data. The ability to leverage elastic infrastructure and to provide rich correlated analytics is the wave of the future. Having a mobile presence is also of utmost importance for any firm to succeed.
FINRA itself is more precisely defining the role of social media to sales and marketing. Not all communications with customers need to be pre-approved, FINRA recognizes, and only static content requires pre-approval. Interactive communications should be monitored for compliance. When a recommendation is being made on a product, then Suitability rule applies.
This is where Hearsay Social can help! We have an enterprise-ready cloud platform that powers social sales and marketing for financial firms, while also addressing compliance concerns. Using our platform, customers have the proper controls in place to pre-approve certain content while monitoring ongoing social activity. Our powerful data platform provides rich reporting and social signals empower sales forces to attract prospects, retain customers, and grow business.
Social media provides a great opportunity for firms to find new business. We have been working with finance and insurance firms for years now and are here to help any company reach their full potential.
The “Social Media Considerations” panel: Amy Sochard (moderator), Director, FINRA Advertising Regulation; Deborah Corej, Specialist Leader, Deloitte & Touche; Alexander C. Gavis, VP and Associate General Counsel, Fidelity Investments; Joseph Price, SVP and Counsel, FINRA Corporate Financing / Advertising Regulation.

The “Using Social Media Tools (Small Firm Focus)” panel, from left to right: John Veator (moderator), Director, FINRA Member Relations; Patricia Bartholomew, Managing Partner, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer, Craig-Hallum Capital Group LLC; Mitchell Atkins, SVP and Regional Director, FINRA South Region; Hardeep Walia, CEO, Motif Investing, Inc.

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