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New Facebook Advertising Solution Enables Corporate Marketers to Harness Proven Effectiveness of Local Ads

HSS-Corporate-to-Local-AdvertisingI’m excited to announce that Hearsay Social’s newest feature, Corporate-to-local Advertising for Facebook, launched today. Built from the ground up, this new functionality will help make Facebook advertising so much more easier and effective for our customers.
Here at Hearsay Social, we pride ourselves on our laser focus to help our enterprise customers leverage social and digital to drive business at the field level. And the value and power of hyper-targeted, local Facebook advertising has become increasingly clear. Consumers want to hear from and learn about businesses that aren’t just relevant to them, but are also accessible so that when they’re ready to buy, the experience is easy, local and convenient. This consumer buying journey is especially relevant to financial services, since ultimately an advisor’s or agent’s business is built on highly personal – and usually local – relationships.
Given that so many consumers are spending time on social media, networks like Facebook present a huge opportunity for advisors and agents to attract new local prospects, which is crucial to their business. But they don’t always have the time, trust, budget or know-how to capture those prospects using online advertising.
But corporate marketing teams at the firm level do have the expertise and budget for building and delivering great ad campaigns. What if organizations could use their existing advertising account and apply their marketing knowledge and budget to drive prospects directly to their local advisor or agent websites?
Our new Corporate-to-local Advertising feature does just that. It enables central marketing teams to leverage their marketing expertise to create, manage and optimize individualized Facebook ads for their field force … at scale. With just a few clicks, they can generate thousands of ads, each personalized with each advisor’s name, location and more, so that they have more in-market relevance while minimizing competitive bidding that can occur among advisors. Corporate marketers have the ability to centrally manage ad budgets while gaining full visibility into and access to manage local advertising campaigns – so that their advisors and agents can spend more time doing what they do best: servicing their clients.
To that end, I’m thrilled to share that American National, a leading insurance firm founded in 1905 with regional presences in all 50 states, has already seen impressive results from their Corporate-to-local Advertising program through Hearsay Social. The company has experienced 2,658 percent more traffic to their representatives’ local websites at a cost-per-click that’s 58 percent less than past Facebook advertising efforts that didn’t utilize Hearsay Social’s technology. Read more here.
This solution would not be what it is without the ongoing support and encouragement from our customers, many who have been with us from the very beginning of the initiative to help test, refine and pilot the technology and overall program – thank you!
Along with the rest of the Hearsay Social team, I look forward to adding new Corporate-to-local Advertising features and efficiencies, as well as expanding it to new social media platforms. Look out for more news in the coming months!
For more information, check out our press release.

Highlights from Hearsay Social London Customer Forum 2016 – Key Trends and Takeaways

Hearsay Social customers from across Europe gathered for the 2nd annual customer forum in London on June 16. The interactive forum — geared for customers to learn how to derive success from their social media programs — was filled with practical tips and insights on the most pressing questions concerning their programs today, including those related to product queries and requests, scaling the business, and measuring ROI.  
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The afternoon opened with an address by Steve D’Angelo (@stephendangelo), global head of sales at Hearsay Social, and focused on major global trends shaping digital programs in the financial services industry. Steve thanked everyone for joining and and for their continued business. Steve stressed that this was their meeting and that they were free to ask any pressing topics that were on their minds concerning their programs. 
Below are some of the key trends and takeaways from the day’s event:

Industry Trends

Trend #1:  Communicate on your clients’ terms
Steve spoke about the changing preferences of the consumer in interacting with businesses.  Like other brands they are used to, customers expect their advisers to communicate on different channels with relevant and timely content, tailored to them. He emphasised the need to become a customer-centric organisation which goes beyond just having a single data view of the customer. The need to provide an omni-channel experience – where interactions move seamlessly between online and mobile SMS via phone and in-person – is increasingly important in this hyper-connected era. By being findable and available on multiple channels and platforms, the easier it is for customers to engage with you.
Trend #2:  Better connect marketing with relationship managers
Across our clients, there is no shortage of great content generated by marketing teams. But for that content to reach the right audience at the right time, firms need to leverage their front line salespeople – client advisers, relationship managers and agents. This not only ensures that marketing content gets amplified many times over, but it also creates a more personal relationship between the client or prospect and the advisor.
Trend #3: Get access to “dark data”
All companies collect and store dark data. Dark data is defined as operational data that is collected by firms but is currently not used by relationship managers in the field.  Steve emphasized the importance of this information for serving clients in an optimized way and improving the customer experience. For example, if a customer comes to your corporate website and then visits an advisor’s site, you should be able to have this data against the customer available to the advisor for timely and effective lead follow-up.  

Product Roadmap

Opening remarks was followed by an interactive session on our product roadmap led by Mark Gilbert (@Markegilbert), vp of products and Chris Andrew (@chriswandrew), managing director for Hearsay Europe. There was ample time for active discussion during the product session on how to enable agents/advisers to use Hearsay more often.
Scaling the program  
In one of the more interactive sessions presented by customers such as Thomas Rudelle (@ThomasRudelle ) ofAXA France, James McQueen (@McQueenUK) of Charles Derby (part of Old Mutual Wealth) and Liz Thompson of Aberdeen Asset Management, participants received practical tips for motivating and growing their social program. Some of the key takeaways on what makes for a successful program, included the following advice from Thomas:

  • Start small
  • Teach your Sales team to use social media through discussion forums, weekly meetings, and Facebook/LinkedIn groups
  • Engage in change management
  • Test and learn
  • Amplify and share adviser success stories, including through the use of regular video testimonials

Start small when measuring ROI
The day concluded with an informative discussion on how to measure ROI led by Hearsay Social’s Matthias Göllner (@goellnermat) and Andreea Costea of Allianz Romania. Matthias demystified ROI by presenting the Hearsay ROI framework mapped against the stage of digital maturity the customer is in – outlining a journey towards measurable ROI (see illustration below).
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Andreea showed the framework in action as she shared a recent case study based off of an online survey with advisers to understand the impact of social media on an adviser’s business.  Her presentation was full of practical tips on how to think about ROI, such as:

  • Leverage multi-dimensional views on ROI (NPS, agent success stories, agent survey)
  • Use the right measurement approach depending on the maturity of the program
  • Measure success early on in order to influence the actions and strategic direction of the project (e.g. agent training, social signals, Facebook ads)
  • Share successes in various ways (agent stories, best practices, leader boards for social)
  • Develop a community of agents on social media (e.g. Facebook group) to motivate them to actively share their success.  

Finally, a big thank you to everyone who took time out of their busy schedules to come for the annual customer forum in London.  Your engagement and dialog are the reason we strive to do better.  
Connect with us on Facebook, or visit for more information.

Key insights from the 2016 Hearsay Innovation Summit

In May, we hosted our 4th annual Innovation Summit in Silicon Valley for more than 100 CEOs as well as sales, marketing, IT, and compliance leaders. From Morgan Stanley Wealth Management co-head Shelley O’Connor to Palantir founder Joe Lonsdale and a panel of roboadvice startups, we had a terrific two-day dialogue on key industry trends and how to adapt to the new normal. We had a great speaker line-up and hope you will find some of our highlights insightful.
Shelley O’Connor, Co-CEO, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management
• The vast majority of people, even millennials and Gen Z clients, want an advisor, a human being they can call on, trust, and hold accountable. But they may not want to meet in person every time (or ever).
• Morgan Stanley is doubling down on their human advisors and will give them tools to free their time to focus on the human touch valued by clients.
Vik Sohoni, Partner, and Brant Carson, Partner, McKinsey & Co. 
• Digital marketing and content are more important than ever, as customers are researching online before even talking with an advisor.
• It will always be important to meet with client in person, but it’s imperative for agents to become digitally-enabled and savvy.

John Fishback, Managing Director, CEB
John Fishback, Managing Director, CEB

John Fishback, Managing Director, CEB
• A large-scale global research study showed digital conveniences like a mobile app or check deposit were seen as table stakes and did not drive loyalty. Overall, using digital did not incrementally increase loyalty, but a lack of digital drove disloyalty.
• According to the study, the greatest factor driving loyalty was the presence of an advisor or banker when their client experienced a moment of truth, and the ability of the advisor to drive the client to take an action he or she would not have otherwise taken in that situation.
Clara Shih, CEO and founder of Hearsay Social
• Each step of the advisor-client journey now deeply intersects with digital, from discovery and research/validation to consideration, loyalty, and referrals.
• Firms must digitally train and equip their advisors to be findable, responsive, and in touch via social, mobile, and digital, and provide a technology platform that’s easy to use especially for the late-career technophobes who can be your top producers.
Chip Roame, Tiburon Advisors
• There’s incredible hype around robo-advisors, which have raised $540M in venture funding. In reality, they have gathered just $7.2B AUM and each generate less than $10M in revenue.
• The largest “robo” is actually Financial Engines, which grew $10.5B AUM in 1H/15. Their net flows exceed all robo-advisors’ AUM combined. Vanguard Group’s Personal Advisor Services business (in pilot mode) has already gathered $31B, with no paid advertising.
> View slides from this session
Ken Lin, CEO & founder, Credit Karma
Moderated by Noah Wintroub, Vice Chairman, JPMorgan
• Credit Karma is an eight-year-old tech “unicorn” valued at $3.5B that began with a simple vision: Give consumers their credit reports for free. It has blossomed into the leading marketplace for credit cards, loans, and more serving one in five Americans, with a focus on millennials.
• The secret to their success has been saying no to seductive short-term revenue opportunities (like selling member data) and thinking longer term for customer loyalty.
Mike Sha, CEO & founder, SigFig; Bo Lu, CEO & founder, FutureAdvisor (BlackRock); Naureen Hassan, Chief Digital Officer, Morgan Stanley
Mike Sha, CEO & founder, SigFig; Bo Lu, CEO & founder, FutureAdvisor (BlackRock); Naureen Hassan, Chief Digital Officer, Morgan Stanley

Mike Sha, CEO & founder, SigFig
Bo Lu, CEO & founder, FutureAdvisor (now part of BlackRock)
Naureen Hassan, Chief Digital Officer, Morgan Stanley
• Three different models on stage: Standalone startup SigFig, a startup acquired by a big firm but run independently FutureAdvisor, and traditional 80-year-old brokerage Morgan Stanley.
• Robos will expand the market to serve people through a purely robo model and a hybrid model in which advisors leverage robo technology along with a more traditional approach.
• A few days later, SigFig announced major investment and partnership with UBS.
Amit Jhawar, COO, Braintree Payments (part of PayPal)
Moderated by Deepa Seetharaman, Wall Street Journal
• Braintree recently led $30M investment round and partnership with Acorns, a “micro-investing app” for millennials. How it works: Rounds up every purchase to the nearest dollar and invests the extra money in ETFs.
• Most millennials don’t have enough money set aside or saved to invest, so this is a way for them to easily begin investing. PayPal is expanding into adjacent areas in financial services. It’s no longer just a payments company.
Jon Sakoda, General Partner, New Enterprise Associates
Jon Sakoda, General Partner, New Enterprise Associates

Jon Sakoda, General Partner, New Enterprise Associates
• NEA is the largest and oldest venture capital fund, $1B AUM
• The biggest challenge facing financial firms is the unbundling of their products and services by thousands of startups — which makes it difficult to know who their competitor is because there are thousands of competitors across the breadth of what they do and provide for clients. The solution for many firms has been to buy and partner with these point competitors rather than trying to build everything themselves.
> View slides from this session
Watch complete the videos from the event here:

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#HSonAir Podcast: Customer Spotlight Series- An Interview with Sabrina Magyar of BMO Nesbitt Burns

Sabrina Magyar PicIn Episode 81 we take the show on the road and up North to Toronto, Canada, for a special interview with Sabrina Magyar, Senior Marketing Manager, Advisor Support at BMO Nesbitt Burns.  In our interview, Sabrina shares how the Advisor Support team works closely with advisors to help educate and illustrate the value of social media as part of their overall marketing and personal branding strategy.  Sabrina also shares how senior leadership buy-in helps drive adoption and the best practices learned along the way.
Be part of the conversation with @victorgaxiola and @alissadossantos on Twitter using hashtag #HSonAir.  If you have a question, comment or suggestion, please send an  e-mail to   We also invite you to “like” our podcast page on Facebook where we share posts about the podcast, our guests, and other fun stuff.


Digital Technology Transformation and Adoption at RPM Mortgage

In the past year, I’ve had the good fortune of sitting down twice with Amy Malloy, Social Media Marketing Specialist at RPM Mortgage, to understand how they are empowering their loan advisors to leverage social media to connect with clients and prospects. The result of our meetings were a short recorded video and a longer form Hearsay Social on the Air podcast.
Video Case Study
In this video, Amy shares how social media has impacted the ability for their loan advisors to reach and connect with clients and prospects in a more dynamic way to tell their stories and stay connected. Through social media, they’ve managed to increase referrals and stay top of mind, all while leveraging the ease of use of the Hearsay Social integrated platform.

Hearsay Social on the Air Podcast
Earlier this year, Amy visited our offices again and we recorded a special Customer Spotlight podcast to explore further some of the ideas introduced in the video, including looking at how RPM Mortgage is analyzing the value of social media and what is driving people to make buying decisions.

In both instances, Amy provided insight on how the mortgage industry, and specifically RPM Mortgage, is using technology to react to changing regulations and customer expectations. By empowering their loan advisors with the technology to tell their stories, connect with customers, and measure their success, they are embracing the digital transformation necessary today, to thrive in our digital world.

How 3 Firms Are Using Social Media Education Programs to Grow Business

shutterstock_130643495One of our goals at Hearsay Social is to arm financial professionals with the tools necessary to succeed in an always-connected world. This includes educating advisors and agents on how to use social media to build their credibility, engage with customers and prospects, and grow their business.
A recent article in Ignites, Financial Times publication, entitled “Anti-Social Shops Failing to Connect with Advisors” states “fund companies that fail to help advisors navigate social media are likely blowing a big opportunity to connect with client assets.” 
The article highlights three leading financial services firms – including Pacific Life, Putnam and Vanguard – who have successfully implemented programs to train and encourage its sales teams to use social media for business. 
In a Practical Perspectives study conducted in December 2015, nearly 90 percent of advisors rely on some type of social media guidance to build their practices’ online presence, but few lean on their home office for education and support. Instead, most (72 percent) do their own research, ask colleagues (37 percent), or rely on broker-dealers and custodians (36 percent).
But, according to the article, there’s a real opportunity for firms to build awareness and differentiate themselves at the advisor level on social media. It describes Pacific Life’s successful social media training initiative:

“The firm made sure its external wholesalers had LinkedIn presences in 2014 and knew how to use the network to connect with advisors. After launching the website in 2015, Pacific Life began holding presentations in branch offices, says Christine Tucker, VP of marketing at the company.

‘We do see it as a growth opportunity for helping advisors and helping our wholesalers differentiate themselves,’ she says.

Advisors have particularly gravitated toward more sophisticated training materials, Tucker says. The site includes pieces on how to prospect for clients by age or limit the visibility of connections on LinkedIn.

The social media education effort started because Pacific Life sought to create a unique value-add offering, one that would help advisors attract more business, Tucker says. The future buyers of mutual funds have been raised on technology, so the medium struck the firm as an ideal way for advisors to connect with them, she says.

‘We wanted to be able to have a different story to tell [in advisor offices],’ she says.”

The article also describes how Putnam Investments provides a multitude of ongoing social media training resources for its sales team:

At Putnam, everyone across the retail sales team is well versed in how to use social media to build business, says Jayme Lacour, director of social media at the Boston-based firm. That includes internals giving presentations over the Web and externals presenting ideas to advisors at the branch level and one-on-one, as well as the firm’s sales and marketing leaders speaking on panels. ‘It’s an expectation of our sales team from the top to the bottom,’ he says.

The firm offers a full range of presentations that cater to social media neophytes and experts alike. Putnam reps cover everything from creating a profile to using Boolean search terms to find potential clients on LinkedIn, Lacour says. …

A few years ago, Putnam rolled out a dedicated website, called Advisor Tech Tips, that includes social media pointers.

Building relationships with advisors through social media has been a major focus at Putnam, says Mark McKenna, head of global marketing. ‘This is really what we do hands-on with advisors,’ he says. For instance, the firm recently brought about 30 advisors into its offices for a full day of training, which also included professional head shots taken in Putnam’s studio, he says.”

Vanguard also is included in the story as a leader in providing social media education and support for its field force; the article says the firm recently added a section to its website offering tips for how advisors should use social media.
Log in to read the full Ignites article.
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Local Content to Engage Local Audiences: A Look Inside Farm Bureau Insurance of Tennessee’s Social Strategy

crop imageThere was never a doubt in the minds of the leaders at Farm Bureau Insurance of Tennessee that their agents had to be social. An integral part of the community for 67 years was the belief that by banding together, local farmers and community members could engage and cooperate to provide a better way of life in rural Tennessee.
If Farm Bureau’s history is about providing the hard working people of Tennessee financial advice and stability, then its future is about taking that local ethos to where their neighbors and customers spend a lot of their time today: on social networks.
When launching their new social program in August 2015, Jeff Pannell, chief marketing officer for Farm Bureau Insurance of Tennessee, knew he wanted to help agents provide their audiences with important news and updates about their financial lives.
But to be really part of the local community on social, Pannell also wanted agents to be a hub of information for their community about local news, events and other goings-on.
The question was, how to find and organize all the great personal planning and local content Farm Bureau needs for its agents? With only four people on the communications team, they needed a solution that would help them scale to distribute content its many users.
Enter Hearsay Social Curated Content Channels.
Hearsay Social’s Curated Content Channels is content offering that automatically populates the Hearsay Content Library with timely, relevant content that is directly in-line with Farm Bureau’s social strategy.
Curated Content Channels is flexible enough to provide content relevant to any social strategy. It eliminates the need for long online searches to find just the right content.
Kaz Suzuki, social media administrator at Farm Bureau, described the value of content by saying, “our agents’ involvement in their communities around the state is an important value for us. In working with Hearsay Social we were able to create a series of content channels that are populated every day with localized content about topics like Tennessee football, community events­­ and important causes, like the American Cancer Society.”

Screen Shot 2015-10-20 at 12.41.44 PM
Example of a local social post by Farm Bureau Insurance Tennessee showing their support for Breast Cancer Awareness month via their #FBITNpinkout2015 campaign.
Suzuki worked with her Hearsay Social Customer Success Manager, Senol Akin, to create a custom series of Content Channels that find and organize new content everyday about financial news as well as local Tennessee news and sports.

“The Curated Content Channels offering through Hearsay Social is great,” Suzuki said. “Everyday I’m served up new and relevant content that I can provide to our agents so they can inform and engage with their social audiences.”
We’re proud to support our customers in their efforts to engage customers and deepen relationships.
Learn more about Curated Content Channels on the Hearsay Social blog, or download Making the Shift: From Corporate to Local Marketing: 5 Ways to Maximize Agent Success in the Digital Age
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Customer Spotlight: Advisor Use of Social Media Thrives at Thrivent Financial (VIDEO)

This blog post is part of our Customer Spotlight Series designed to showcase a Hearsay Social customer, share their experiences with our technology, and highlight the benefits they are reaping from it. Here, Kyle Marie Woods shares her thoughts on how leveraging technology like Hearsay Social is making an impact at Thrivent Financial.
It’s no secret how social media is making a big impact with financial services firms. One such firm, Thrivent Financial, is harnessing the power of social media to discover new ways of creating value and mutual benefit for both company and customer. In fact, just today at the 6th annual LIMRA LOMA Social Media Conference  (#LLSMC), Thrivent Financial took home a coveted Silver Bowl Award for “Best Use of Social Media by an Advisor/Agent.” (Congratulations @Thrivent and @HannahThrivent!)
In this short video, Kyle Marie Woods (@kylemarie), Marketing Manager at Thrivent Financial, shares how their team is leveraging social media via Hearsay Social to connect with clients and prospects, and grow their business. As a fraternal organization, community is a big part of what makes Thrivent stand out from others, and social media is a big part of connecting with their existing membership to reach out efficiently and quickly. (For additional insights, check out Thrivent Financial’s success story to learn how the company equips their field representatives to compliantly use social media via Hearsay Social to achieve success.)

Watch the video below to learn more about the business value that social media provides at Thrivent Financial.


Learn more about the Predictive Social Suite for Advisors and subscribe to our blog to keep up with the latest.
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Customer Spotlight: How Raymond James is Leveraging the Power of Social Media (VIDEO)

This blog post is part of our new Customer Spotlight Series designed to showcase a Hearsay Social customer, share their experiences with our technology, and highlight the benefits they are reaping from it. Here, Tash Elwyn shares his thoughts on how leveraging technology like Hearsay Social is making an impact at Raymond James.
Ever wonder how leading-edge firms are leveraging the power of social media in their business programs? Well, we recently sat down with Tash Elwyn, President of the Private Client Group at Raymond James and Associates, to learn how Raymond James is implementing social media in their business program to differentiate themselves, cultivate relationships, and grow their business.
Similar to other firms in the financial services industry, regulatory concerns and marketing support were factors considered in the implementation of their social media program. Raymond James advisors are able to use their voice and better engage with customers and prospects by listening through social media and leveraging technology like Hearsay Social.
In this short video, Elwyn explains how their firm measures the impact of social media both from an engagement standpoint and a brand standpoint — and likens social media to email and smartphones, essentially challenging advisors to “get off the fence, or risk the fence breaking.”
Watch the video below to hear more from a firm who ‘get’s it’ and what’s next in terms of digital and social for Raymond James:

For more information on how advisors can leverage the power of social media, check out Hearsay Social’s Predictive Social Suite for Advisors and read our recent Advisor of the Future executive report.
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