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Optimizing the Advisor Sales Funnel on Social Media

When we launched Hearsay out of my San Francisco apartment in 2009, social media was uncharted territory for most companies. Rather than recognizing its potential to disrupt media, relationships, and influence – and creating new opportunities for business in the process – companies largely viewed social as an experiment with unproven returns.
We can all agree that social is now table stakes. Nine out of 10 companies are on social. Hearsay now has more than 150,000 financial advisors, insurance agents and bankers in 20+ countries using our Hearsay Social solution.
But we’re far from the end of the journey. Even in just the last few years, the way businesses and consumers engage on social has evolved, influenced by strategic business decisions made by the social networks themselves, new digital communication options, and shifting demographics.
Our flagship Hearsay Social product is evolving as well, informed by everything we’ve learned over the years as a company exclusively focused on serving the industry. And as we bring the Advisor Cloud vision to life by integrating cross-channel products and data-driven insights into the daily flow of an advisor’s business, social is an essential component.
Get Hearsay’s new, free report, “Optimize the Advisor Sales Funnel on Social Media”
For many advisors, social media and social selling started with top-of-funnel activities, like publishing to their Facebook or Twitter account a few times a week – what we call one-to-many social posting. But it can no longer end there.
Today, firms must digitize the entire customer lifecycle for their sales and distribution teams, from one-to-many awareness and demand generation, to referrals and upsells that can only be gained through ongoing, one-to-one interactions.
We know that generating top-of-funnel, one-to-many awareness on social is not an efficient use of an advisor’s time. An advisor is much more valuable when they’re in front of customers and prospects, fostering authentic, one-to-one connections that long-term, trust-based relationships are built upon. Birthday and anniversary wishes, holiday greetings, and investment change notifications – all of which are important engagement opportunities for someone selling financial advice – are best-suited for private communication.
In fact, Hearsay research has found that the single-biggest factor in advisor adoption and business outcomes of social and digital lies in enabling one-to-one interactions between advisors and their customers.
So, we’re making a significant investment in our Hearsay Social platform to facilitate compliant, one-to-one direct messaging on social (including on Facebook and LinkedIn) and email, as well as continuing to strengthen our advisor-client texting solution, Hearsay Messages.
Top-of-funnel activities are still important, of course. And brand awareness, including one-to-many social posting, is what corporate marketing does best. Our enhanced Campaigns automation features will allow corporate teams to easily schedule and post compliant, on-brand organic and paid content across thousands of advisor social profiles in minutes, with built-in intelligence on what types of content will resonate most with each advisor’s networks and, hence, preserving authenticity.Imagine a scenario where a customer updates her employer on LinkedIn. Hearsay Social will be able to send an alert to her advisor within the Hearsay dashboard, along with a prompt to follow up with a pre-written congratulatory text, followed by a prompt to send a pre-written email to discuss a 401(k) rollover.
All the while, the advisor continues to authentically share educational content related to financial planning and other topics of interest to his broader social networks, thanks to the one-to-many capabilities offered by Hearsay to the marketing team at his home office.
See this post for more details on our newest Hearsay Social product developments
This is only the beginning of what’s possible with predictive technology and as we harness more and more industry-specific data to flow among Advisor Cloud solutions.
For eight years, our customers and partners have entrusted us to deliver powerful, intuitive solutions purpose-built for the way they work. I’m excited for the future of our shared journey.

Clara Shih

A pioneer in the social media industry, Clara developed the first social business application in 2007. Her latest book, The Social Business Imperative, is a Wall Street Journal-featured bestseller. She is a member of the Starbucks board of directors.

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