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Thrivent Financial's path from social media compliance to ROI: Lessons from LinkedIn's Financial Services Summit

May 10, 2013

LEFT TO RIGHT: Knut Olson, SVP, Financial Network, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans; Paul Johnston, VP and Deputy General Counsel, Thrivent Financial; and Hearsay Social COO Michael Lock.

Many financial institutions get started on social media only to manage risk, but with the appropriate policies and processes in place, social networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter can be extremely valuable for sales representatives. Yet many firms still struggle with making the transition from social media compliance to ROI.

At LinkedIn’s Global Financial Services Marketing Summit in New York last week, Hearsay Social COO Michael Lock (@michaelhlock) sat down with representatives from one of Hearsay Social’s customers, Thrivent Financial, to discuss their organization’s social selling success. Thrivent’s Head of Sales, Knut Olson, teamed up with his Head of Compliance, Paul Johnston, to share how they have gone beyond social media compliance to enable their financial advisors to sell socially.

Before using Hearsay Social, Thrivent was tracking social media activity for compliance manually, and it was so time-intensive that they could only allow a small number of field representatives on social. Eventually, however, they had to catch up wih the field.

“Social media is here,” said Paul. “Whether or not we like it from a compliance and legal perspective, our sales reps are going to be using it.” To make compliance manageable, Paul recommended assigning a single team or person to focus on understanding the technology and regulations. “The rules are changing rapidly” said Paul, and the “functionality of social networks is changing rapidly.”

It really helps having a point person to keep an eye on these constant changes. Also, Paul described how important it was to establish expectations cross-functionally, so that everyone remains flexible and can adjust as regulations or technology changes in the future.

Technology for his field sales organization, Knut described, was intended to “accelerate a human process that is already part of the business.” So, in their relationship-based business, social media was a no-brainer. Hearsay Social has Thrivent Financial sales representatives to attract prospects, build stronger relationships with customers, and grow business overall.

You can watch the full session here:


See more from the event:

LEFT TO RIGHT: Knut Olson, Michael Lock, and Paul Johnston.

Meagan Herfkens Hency

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