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How Charles Schwab Doubled Advisor Social Selling Adoption in One Year

One of the biggest issues wealth management firms have during digital transformation is getting financial advisors to adopt new ways of doing business. The move to a social selling model can be uncomfortable for advisors not well-versed in social media or viewed as a waste of valuable time by those unfamiliar with the power of social selling.

When we saw the success Charles Schwab was having with their Social Networking Activation Program (SNAP), we knew they had cracked the code. Winning our annual Innovator Awards at Hearsay Summit was a good start but, in the spirit of our mission to lift the whole industry we had to share some of their keys to success.

Introducing the SNAP Team

Managing a group of over 1000 advisors, the SNAP team is comprised of seven people, including Amy Heiss, VP of employee activation and engagement. Stacey King, Managing Director of the team, oversees the program strategy and supports the SNAP team in driving program engagement. Rounding out the team are Sean Carey (Senior Team Manager, Social Media), Katie Leimkuehler (Senior Manager, Social Media Coach), Katie Pfledderer (Senior Manager, Social Media Coach), Jake Thompson (Senior Manager, Social Media Coach), and Nia Copeland (Manager, Social Media Coach).

Social Networking Activation Success Stats

The numbers are undeniably impressive. During the 2018 calendar year, the SNAP team were able to:

  • Increase advisors in the SNAP program: 100%
  • Increase the number of Power Users: 67%
  • Decrease inactivity*: to only 35%
  • Grow social post engagement: 333%
  • Increase posts from the Hearsay library: 292%
  • Increase customized library posts: 107%
  • Help SNAP participants grow their overall network size**: 13.5x
  • All-­in-­all, advisors shared nearly 150,000 posts from the Hearsay Content library in 2018 and published over 20,000 original, organic posts.

Five ways Charles Schwab’s SNAP team turns advisors into social sellers

We can’t give away all their secrets but, with permission, here are a few ways Amy, Stacey and the team turn advisors into social sellers.

  1. Provide world class service. SNAP’s team charter is to provide white glove service to Schwab advisors as they make their move to social selling. The team is fortunate to have talented, curious, bright Social Coaches who provide regular coaching to SNAP participants at various stages of their digital journey, helping advisors use Hearsay and develop a social selling strategy to grow their business. In addition to one-on-one coaching and guidance, SNAP’s Social Coaches provide best practices and advice on topics such as time saving and productivity hacks, how to build a personal brand and how and why to create custom content. White glove service from a SNAP Social Coach goes well-beyond 1­-to-1 meetings and expands into more scalable coaching, like webinars and ‘5-­minute drills’ – short web based trainings covering trending topics.
  2. Provide a digital maturity model with a clear path to each next level. Like American Family Insurance, the SNAP team uses a digital maturity model so advisors can gauge their level of understanding and use of social media. Each stage has concrete goals and behaviors to move to the next level.
    • Beginners are new to social media, just getting comfortable posting and starting to define what they’re known for. They heavily rely on Hearsay Campaigns for one­-click easy posting.
    • Learners are starting to post their own content or customize library/Campaign posts, beginning to grow their network and maturing in their content strategy.
    • Social Sellers have grown a substantial number of connections and are building a strong brand around financial acumen and the areas they want to be known for (leadership, family focused, etc.). This is the level where advisors will see a real business impact and the SNAP team expects most advisors to end up here
    • Power Users are driving business more consistently through client acquisition and the recruiting of talent through social media. They have a robust social network, an established personal brand and are as comfortable networking online as they are in person. This level is aspirational and the team expects only 5% of advisors to reach it (though they have been able to help grow this pool by 67% in 2018 to 2% of the overall participant population). It’s not necessary for success but does offer extended benefits.
  3. Set goals. Sales people are goal oriented so setting concrete goals at each stage of the digital maturity model gives them something to set their sights on. A few metrics the team measures are network size (how many connections an advisor has), number of posts and engagement rate. They also measure percentage of custom content. It’s interesting to note that we’ve heard from more than one client that custom content – whether it’s original or corporate content that an advisor puts their own spin on – always outperforms corporate content. This makes sense in an era where people appreciate authenticity.
  4. Make it fun, reward and recognize. Don’t underestimate the value of “fun”; it is critical to success. The SNAP team’s ‘Surprise and Delight’ campaign has a hand in everything from attracting new advisors to moving them further along in their social selling journey to engaging advisors’ social networks. It’s a great example of the way SNAP keeps social media, and the program, top of mind with advisors. Some particularly fun examples include:Social media themed Valentines (I will like you forever, You’re Twitterific) that doubled as advisor business cards
    • A cookie/business card with a haiku on it for ‘Haiku Appreciation Day’ (imagine the social media pics!)
    • Fat Heads of top performers at sales leadership meetings to highlight Hearsay ‘Power Users’
    • Buttons (think “flair” from Office Space) with the faces and names of top Hearsay users ­ all pinned to the coat of the head of sales at internal events ­ to elevate their brand
    • All of these double as rewards for the top advisors who receive them, as well as motivators for other advisors. Each time a Surprise and Delight package goes out or these type of items are on display at events, requests to join the SNAP program always spike.

      “Recognition encourages loyalty. We inject fun at every turn to attract new participants and keep advisors coming back,” says Amy Heiss, Vice President, Employee Activation and Engagement, Charles Schwab

  5. Share success stories. Seeing how other advisors are able to use social media to drive real leads and close business helps other advisors envision themselves having the same success. Just like seeing others get rewards they want, it can act as a flame for the competitive fires. The SNAP team shares success stories everywhere they can to get the word out. There’s a monthly internal podcast where they focus on one program participant who talks about their success; monthly best practices calls where they do the same; and coaches share them through their monthly newsletters.

    Sales meeting SNAP program station promotes top performers

A final note, the Schwab team are also big believers in tracking ROI. In addition to the program metrics they shared, they track both new business and new hires (an important advisor metric where social can make a big impact) sourced by social media through Salesforce.

*  Inactivity is defined as posting less than 10x/quarter; down 11% from 46%
**  From beginning 2017 to end of 2018

AmFam’s Blueprint for a Successful Agent Digital Maturity Model

At last week’s Hearsay Summit, we held our annual Hearsay Innovator awards. The American Family Insurance Field Digital and Social Marketing team won our ‘Transforming the Enterprise’ award for the way their cohesive approach is helping agents grow their digital presence using social media, agent websites, and compliant texting and voice. But what truly stood out to us is a program they pioneered in 2010 to measure digital maturity and drive agent digital adoption.

AmFam Social and Digital Marketing Team – Jeff, Ashley and Josh

Josh Feyen, Field Digital and Social Media Administrator, created the field social media program and digital maturity model. They called it “Crawl, Walk, Run, Fly.” The straightforward program name established easy-to-understand vernacular for the field and their staff, as well as the field management teams, to understand what the agents’ digital social media capabilities were. Since all sorts of metrics were tracked and shared, AmFam’s marketing team could show that moving up the digital maturity scale could help with desirable results like an increase in leads, motivating reps to participate.

3 Top Tips for Making the ‘Crawl, Walk, Run, Fly’ Digital Maturity Model Work

Agents are Inherently Competitive but Require Education Too
“Salespeople at heart, agents are a competitive bunch. As such, we knew we had to make metrics across regions transparent. We wanted one sales manager to see the team down the street further up the maturity model scale and think “What are they doing that we’re not doing?” to stoke their drive. Here’s a good anecdote: We sent the percentage of Walk, Run, Fly agents that each state had to field management. One state was at the bottom in the percentage of Fly agents. It’s a small state but the sales director got keen to reversing that number and charged his operations folks to work with the field. In a year he reversed it and they now have a higher percentage of Fly agents than any other state. We’ve toyed with the idea of giveaways or incentives but it just hasn’t been necessary so far,” says Josh.
That said, AmFam shared that ‘Fly’ status is aspirational and they tell agents it’s not a necessary status for success. However, the AmFam team truly believes that the criteria they’ve set for the Run level is what agents need to achieve digital and social marketing success. To get there, agents rely on continuous education and training. The AmFam team regularly develops field specific educational material such as a “5 ways to make your new website work for you” tip sheet, and a monthly newsletter with features like “In case you missed it/want to learn more” highlights section.

Provide Plenty of Content and Leave Room for the Agent to Create and Publish Their Own
AmFam uses Hearsay Campaigns to give agents a way to automatically publish prepared content. They know salespeople don’t want to spend too much time on their social media so they’ve created an ‘Ongoing Campaign’ which runs the gamut in content from holiday greetings to the value of Life, Auto, and Home insurance and the and the occasional safety information. They also include content around the American Family ‘Dream Fearlessly’ campaign, an inspirational lifestyle component. Since posts that are personalized or created from scratch by agents often receive more engagement than posts prepared by marketing (not because they’re better written, but because it’s more authentic – the audience knows it’s in the advisor’s own voice), AmFam leaves a couple of days per week without a prepared post from the Ongoing Campaign.

The Rules of Digital Success Continually Change
Every year the American Family Social team reviews the criteria to qualify for each stage of the Crawl, Walk, Run, Fly model, and updates it according to what’s changed in the digital and social marketing sphere. The digital landscape changes fast and so do best practices. To truly progress, they need to help agents easily keep up with the times.

They’ve found that it’s been easy to update tracking metrics since partnering with Hearsay, with regular information provided around things like agent created content, number of posts, number of engagements, etc. They also use metrics (from outside of Hearsay) like the number of online reviews for each agent. Then they combine all the metrics to generate an agent’s monthly score to compare against the Digital Maturity Model stages.

This year, AmFam is changing a key metric: post volume will no longer be tracked. The goal is to show the agents the value and importance of original content. There are two reasons for this. First, as previously discussed, agent-created content has higher levels of engagement (quality over quantity). Second, it supports their upcoming Instagram rollout where agents will be entirely on their own for content. As Josh says, “The last thing we want to do is unleash 3,500 of the same photos on Instagram one Monday morning. We want to get them into the mindset, now, early, well before we launch this, that it’s valuable to create their own content.”
One final note: Though Instagram calls for 100% original content and they’re emphasizing quality over quantity, the marketing team will not be decreasing the amount of content they create and make available to agents on every other social platform.

Lesson Learned – Metrics Overload: Another Move to Quality Over Quantity

Over the last five years, all AmFam Agents with a Hearsay account and their staff, have received a monthly newsletter from the AmFam team. As happens over time, more and more metrics have been added for tracking and those were all included in each newsletter. Salespeople like their numbers (!) but they also have to be able to make sense of them. Instead of the 23 metrics that had made their way into the newsletter over time, the social team recently decided to pull back and focus on one important metric each month, including a deep dive into why it’s so important, how it plays into the Crawl, Walk, Run, Fly criteria, and what an agent or staff person needs to do to advance to the next level. In each newsletter, the team will still share a link to the dashboard that tracks all 23 metrics and, for the foreseeable future, will also promote the value of original content.

And the Innovator Award Winners Are…

One of my favorite things about Hearsay Summit each year is the Hearsay Systems Innovator Awards. Not only is it a chance to recognize and celebrate our customers – indisputable leaders across wealth management and insurance – it’s also a chance to highlight the cutting-edge work they’re doing to inspire the financial services industry as we collectively go through digital transformation.

We get dozens of Innovator Award nominees each year and selecting the winners is never an easy task. Each nominee brings passion and drive to their work. The companies and leaders that stand out are the clear change-makers, setting the pace for their peers. Winners are those who have made significant process transforming the advisor/agent-client experience with a combination of innovation, creativity and execution. They have shown compelling progress harnessing the power of digital and social technology to implement cutting-edge best practices that drive real change within their organizations.

This year’s winners, selected by a panel of industry peers and leaders, were honored today on the Summit main stage, in San Francisco. The 2019 Hearsay Innovator Awards recipients are as follows:

Home Office Categories

Transforming the Enterprise

Winners: Josh Feyen, Jeff Frye, Ashley Mortimer – American Family Insurance

Josh Feyen accepting the Innovator award for the American Family team.

The American Family Insurance social and digital marketing team have a singular focus on increasing agent adoption. Josh Feyen, Jeff Frye and Ashley Mortimer dedicate their time to identifying new ways to engage and support their field. Their innovative digital maturity model, Crawl, Walk, Run and Fly, pioneered in 2010, challenges agents to grow their digital presence, spotlighting those who have been successful in key tracked performance areas.
“Josh Feyen, Jeff Frye and Ashley Mortimer are the backbone to the success of the American Family Field Digital program. Their well rounded and cohesive approach in implementing Hearsay Social, Sites and Relate provide the strong foundation needed to explore new use cases adding to their already transformational program,” said Steve Scanlon, at American Family Mutual Insurance Company.
Look for a blog post next week discussing AmFam’s Blueprint for a Successful Agent Digital Maturity Model (aka the Crawl, Walk, Run, Fly program).

Best Strategies for Driving Adoption

Winners: Stacey King, Sean Carey, Katie Leimkuehler, Katie Pfledderer, Jake Thompson, Nia Copeland – Charles Schwab

Two members of the Schwab SNAP team accepting the award.

Under the watch of the Schwab team, social media adoption has soared. In the past year alone, they grew the number of social post engagements by 333%, increased overall program adoption by 104%, and grew the number of Hearsay “power users” by 67%. In addition, the network size of participants grew from 55,393 at the start of 2017 to 758,796 at the end of 2018. Participants shared nearly 150,000 posts from the Hearsay library in 2018.

“It was only in November of 2016 when Schwab broadened a social media program that allowed more employees to participate in firm–sponsored social media usage and since then the Social Networking and Activation Program (SNAP) team has demonstrated a number of successes,” Amy Heiss, Marketing VP: Social Networking and Activation at Charles Schwab.

Greatest Productivity Gains

Winner: Joanne Koenig, RBC Wealth Management – U.S.

Joanne Koenig accepts her award.

Joanne Koenig, Social Media Program Lead for RBC Wealth Management, has been the force behind the growth of their social media program since it launched in 2014.
“Joanne has been an innovator in the industry being one of the first to launch specific new tools for our advisors, implementing a benchmarking model, and improving our advisors’ social media effectiveness by leveraging some of Hearsay’s prominent features,” said Jen Zimmerman, Field Marketing Digital Channels Manager at RBC Wealth Management – U.S.. “Thanks to Joanne’s efforts, we are seeing real results with our Hearsay program, including one advisor who recently brought in a $10 million account through social media.”

Agent and Advisor

Top Digital Performer

Winner: Renee Corwin-Rey, Farmer’s Insurance

Renee Corwin-Rey accepts her award.

Renee Corwin-Rey, owner of Corwin-Rey Insurance Agency based in Centralia, Washington, has been a Farmer’s Insurance agent for over 15 years. These days, she is taking a more data-driven approach with metrics and can confidently say that 75% of her agency’s new business has found them because of their digital presence.

“Social media has changed the way I work and communicate. Be it by phone, email, texting, social media – my team has to be present everywhere. Social media has also helped with our retention of long-term customers,” said Renee Corwin-Rey. “Even when customers are shopping for value only, they love having a connection with someone via social media. They like to be a part of our lives, and we like to be part of their lives.”

You can learn more about the secrets of these winners in blog posts past and present. Read about the secrets of Renee Corwin-Rey’s success here and stay tuned for blog posts in the weeks to come about the American Family Insurance team’s digital maturity model, the Charles Schwab team and RBC’s social media efforts.

Next Generation Digital Engagement for the Modern Insurance Agent

Digital Transformation is top of mind in the insurance industry. The conversations that customers used to have in person or on the phone are increasingly happening over digital channels: web, email, text, and social media. The challenge we face is to make those conversations as continuous and natural as a face-to-face conversation in an office or over a meal.

That is why I recently joined Hearsay as Vice President of Insurance Solutions. As a Certified Property and Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) and because of my prior experience at Guidewire, a P&C software provider, I know first-hand that insurers are in a never-ending search for growth. Unfortunately, most digital transformation investments have gone into back-office, self-service, and direct-to-consumer solutions, while their existing agents struggle with offline and manual processes. But Digital Transformation is about more than self-service. By bringing digital transformation to the agent, incumbent insurers can better leverage the competitive advantage of their existing distribution networks.

The lynchpin of the insurer-customer conversation is the agent. Over the past decade, Hearsay has built an omnichannel engagement platform that manages digital conversations across text, web, email, and social media for over 150,000 insurance agents and financial advisors. For those agents, the first step is done: getting those interactions automated, tracked and compliant. This enables insurers to understand the flow of digital conversations, what’s working and what isn’t.

But digital transformation for the agent doesn’t stop there. The second step is to begin to automate those interactions and to guide best practices based on what is being learned. Enter Agent Actions, an engagement workflow automation solution designed to improve business outcomes by extending best practice enterprise workflows to field agents.  An extension of the Hearsay platform, these configurable, specialized workflows eliminate time-consuming manual processes and provide operational guidance, automation, and tracking.

Many people I’ve spoken with over the years have suspected there are latent sales and retention opportunities in a superior claims experience, a reduced premium on renewal, or a delinquent payment. Because Hearsay can automate and guide the agent-client conversation after one of these events, our customers will start to learn how.
A number of early adopters have been working with Hearsay to automate key agent workflows like corporate lead follow-up, recovering delinquent accounts, and proactive outreach during policy renewals to optimize retention and cross-selling. American Family Insurance is an excellent example. The Hearsay team worked closely with American Family to customize Agent Actions for specific billing workflows to drive higher customer satisfaction and loyalty.

If you missed the press release, here’s what American Family said about our work together: “Our partnership is centered around using Hearsay’s technology to drive customer loyalty and address our billing response and follow-up processes to help reduce the possibility of policy lapses in the future,” said Cesar Pinzon, Vice President of Sales Strategy and Support, American Family Insurance. “The Hearsay team worked very closely with us to devise workflows that address our specific objectives. We continue to explore ways to utilize this technology to drive policy acquisition and servicing workflows for our agents to be more impactful with customers long-term.”
Learn more about Hearsay Agent Actions at https://hearsaysystems.com/advisor-actions/.

In the Spotlight: Marty Garrity, Regional Sales Manager, Citizens Bank

Each month we put the spotlight on a customer who’s fully embraced digital transformation. We’ll share stories of financial services industry professionals who are using digital (social, websites, email and/or compliant texting with mobile calling) to be more productive, build deeper relationships and increase business, as well as those of distribution, marketing, compliance and IT leaders who successfully led or participated in digital initiatives.

I ran into Marty Garrity, a Regional Sales Manager for Citizens Bank in the Midwest, at the Citizens Bank sales rally in Boston. With success after success, he got to be a big fan of using social media, coaches his team to use Hearsay Social and spreads the word within Citizens Bank to other loan officers that social is a great way to engage with their networks and drive real leads.

Marty went on to tell me about his ‘10 Commandments for Social Media’ and why he tells everyone at Citizens they’re missing the boat if they’re not actively using Hearsay Social. Instead of our usual Q&A format, I had him share this for a twist on our usual customer spotlight. I think you’ll get to know something about Marty and his passion for social selling just by reading! So without further ado…

Marty Garrity’s 10 Commandments for Social Media, for Citizens Bank Loan Officers

  1. Schedule posts for the future, and use Dynamic Campaigns to save time! You don’t have to be on social media all day, every day. Hearsay allows you to schedule a post for a future date and time, so you can spend 10 minutes on a Monday and get all your posts for the week set up. Or just hit one button – Subscribe – to let marketing’s campaigns around a specific topic automatically post for you on an ongoing basis. (Note to our loan officers: you will all have access to this soon so don’t miss out!)
  2. Submit original content pieces that you like and want to share with your connections too. Go the extra mile to find content you know will resonate with your prospects. Compliance will need to pre-approve but it’s easy with Hearsay’s built-in tools.
  3. Be selective with content from the corporate content library. Don’t just use everything in the content library. You know your client base! Pick and choose what you know will be of interest to them.
  4. Hearsay is our shield. USE IT! Don’t go rogue and use social media outside of the Hearsay Social tool. It’s our proof to Regulators that our team does things compliantly. This is important to Loan Officers specifically because most banks don’t want their Loan Officers on social media at all.
  5. Use social media as a sales tool with referral sources. Loan Officers can use this “cool” tool for discussions with referral sources to educate and encourage them to find ways to use social media.
  6. Measurement can be difficult, but there’s good anecdotal proof that it works. We may not always know if social media is effective or not, but I can validate there are people I have never met who have spoken up after a conversation and said ‘I see you on Social Media all the time.’ That gives me instant credibility. Likewise, over my aggressive 2+ years of using Social, I sometimes get a message from people I have never approached before.
  7. Be a leader. If all you do is Like and Share on social media, you don’t appear as the Author. I see these people as followers more than leaders and some clients will make the same distinction.
  8. Be in control of your personal brand. When you engage in social media, you build a personal brand. What brings more value than being in control of how your prospects and clients see you?
  9. Take advantage of the training provided. Hearsay and our admin team provide excellent training and premier services so no Loan Officer is left behind. If you’re uncomfortable with social media, take the time for training! There are so many things that will make it worth your time (see 1-8).
  10. Hearsay Systems will just continue to get better and better… don’t get left in the dust.

The Citizens Bank marketing team that creates the content and manages the Hearsay program has also done a stellar job. They’ve created some of the most compelling content in the industry with an average engagement rate of 1.8% across their organization from over 14,000 publishes last year. This is not an easy feat.
The pairing of engaged loan officers and efficient, creative marketers at Citizens make their success. Well done and thank you for sharing, Marty!
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In the Spotlight: Renee Corwin, Corwin-Rey Insurance Agency

Running two successful office locations is no easy feat. It also means double the territory size. Making your clients feel connected to you while you are unable to be physically in front of them is not always an easy task.

Each month we put the spotlight on a customer who’s fully embraced digital transformation. We’ll share stories of advisors and agents who are using digital to be more productive, build deeper relationships and increase business, as well as those of distribution, marketing, compliance and IT leaders who successfully led or participated in digital initiatives.

Renee Corwin is the owner of the Corwin-Rey Insurance Agency in Washington. She uses Hearsay Social to schedule quality content, keep a watchful eye on her clients and prospects for life changes, and strategize with her team to create their digital marketing plan. Read on to hear how social media has impacted Renee’s business.

What’s a typical day like for you?

I typically like to get to work before we open, to filter emails and get my day organized. We all get caught up in the day-to-day routine, putting out fires, but I have dedicated time on my calendar for certain things that I truly try not to waiver from. For example, every Thursday I do at least one thing on my digital/social media calendar. I may update Google My Business photos/videos, schedule posts through Hearsay, write a blog post, or update my Agency website. I found that if I did not dedicate specific time to these things, they would fall through the cracks and never get done; it’s easy to shove them to the back burner.

What trends are you seeing in the industry lately?

A trend that I’m seeing is a lack of loyalty from our customers; more specifically, the children of our long-time customers. It used to be simple – when a child would get married or move out, we would always write up their insurance policy. However, in the past year or so we have noticed these young adults are shopping online and really searching based on price instead of value. Regardless of the relationship we had with them and their parents.

How are social media and texting changing the way you work?

Convenience and connection are key for our customers. We have to be able to communicate with them in the manner they want to communicate. Be it by phone, email, texting, social media –we have to be present everywhere. Social media and texting certainly make it much easier to communicate in a rapid manner. Social media has also helped with our retention of long term customers. Even when customers are shopping for value only, they love having a connection with someone, or a perceived connection, via social media.  They like to be a part of our lives, and us a part of their lives.

How has Hearsay improved the way you work?

Hearsay allows us to plan ahead, schedule posts, and creates/helps us with our marketing plans. I love personalizing our own content but being able to efficiently schedule posts out into the future makes sure we are always reaching our audience.

What best practice have you adopted?

Make sure all of your contact info is visible on your social media sites and websites. Every platform that you have, you need to make sure your connections can contact you. Use social media to do your research on prospects and clients. People won’t always offer up information on the phone that they are posting on their social media sites. You can stay up-to-date with people based on life signals that you wouldn’t know were happening unless they called and told you (which is highly unlikely). For example, I saw a friend bought a home and called them to make sure they were covered on homeowners insurance. This alone has led to a lot of client retention.

What myths would you like to dispel about social media?

That it’s only young people on social media. My 82-year-old mother uses Facebook frequently. She comments, crowdsources, and interacts on Facebook. It’s not just young people.

What results have you seen from adopting social media in your business?

I’ve trained my staff to always ask how people heard of us which helps track the metrics. 75% of our new business has found us because of our digital presence.

When you’re not at the office, what do you do for fun?

I love hiking, running, traveling, and in the past few years I took up a childhood dream of learning how to play the harp.

In the Spotlight: Mark Teofilo, Program Administrator and Social Media Consultant, CIBC

With an enormous base of advisors and agents using social, websites, email and compliant texting with mobile calling, Hearsay is in the unique position to be a hub for those in the industry to learn from one another.
Each month we put the spotlight on a customer who’s fully embraced digital transformation. We’ll share stories of advisors and agents who are using digital to be more productive, build deeper relationships and increase business, as well as those of distribution, marketing, compliance and IT leaders who successfully led or participated in digital initiatives.
Mark Teofilo is a Program Administrator and Social Media Consultant for CIBC in Toronto. He uses Hearsay Social Dynamic Campaigns to deliver targeted, quality content to his field advisors and consultants, saving them a great deal of time. Read on to hear how digital has impacted Mark’s previous 2 years with CIBC.

Tell us about the Hearsay program that you manage at CIBC.

We launched our Hearsay program in May of 2017, to our mobile sales force, which includes Mortgage Advisors and Investment Consultants across Canada. We are extremely thrilled with the partnership Hearsay has offered; it has enabled us to build a successful social program. We currently leverage Hearsay primarily for its social capabilities and we will be looking to expand in 2019 to included Relate [compliant texting and calling], Advisor Actions, and 1­-to-­1 Outreach.
Our team at CIBC continuously focuses on increasing engagement, activity and adoption. We strive to provide relevant content, best practices and training to help advisors achieve social success.

What Hearsay Social feature has benefited your advisors the most?

Hearsay’s Dynamic Campaigns help automate publishing for advisors, ensuring they continuously stay top of mind with their connections. Campaigns make it easy for advisors to be active without having to do the legwork of actually “being active.” They also provide the admin team the ability to push out and publish content fairly effortlessly and are great for organizing and adding content on an ongoing basis, along with insights that allow admins to determine the strategy of what content should go out at what exact time.

What is the most successful campaign that you have run?

Our most popular and engaging campaign is “Lifestyle” related. Without giving away our secrets, this specific campaign often trends weekly on all social sites and receives high engagement from our advisors’ connections. The success of this campaign points towards the 80/20 rule.
This campaign and campaigns, in general, offer the benefit of time savings. Advisors are busy and often dealing directly with clients. They understand the importance of social but don’t have time to develop those channels. If advisors subscribe to Dynamic Campaigns, it ensures they are socially active without hindering their daily/weekly schedules. Dynamic Campaigns also provide assurance that any important and time-­sensitive content will still be published, even if advisors are unavailable.

How do you measure the success of campaigns?

We measure the success of these campaigns by the number of advisor subscriptions and overall engagement by our advisors’ connections. A high number of subscriptions by our advisors shows demand for the content that is made available. A high number of engagements shows that the advisors’ audience values the content too. Campaigns that generate engagement help facilitate and develop relationship building and ultimately lead to increased business.

What excites you about Hearsay’s vision?

Hearsay’s dedication to innovation and growth is what excites me. They never rest on their laurels, and continuously strive to create an all-­encompassing tool which is essential for any advisor who is looking to be successful. In just a year and a half, I’ve seen Hearsay roll out a bundle of new features and platform capabilities – all of which are extremely valuable. I think we are only touching the surface, and I’m excited to learn more about what’s to come!

When you’re not at the office, what do you do for fun?

I enjoy being active and spending time with family and friends. When I’m not at work, you can often find me at the gym, playing sports, or watching my beloved Maple Leafs. I mean what Canadian doesn’t love hockey?!
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Have a story to share? Email Brittany Hedin for a chance to be on the blog.

In the Spotlight: Kyle Nowadnick, Thrivent Financial Consultant

Kyle_Nowadnick
Talking to customers is a way of life for Hearsay; engineering, product, marketing and customer success teams are in daily contact with thousands of corporate financial services customers and their advisors and agents. With an enormous base of advisors and agents using social, websites, email and compliant texting with mobile calling we’re in the unique position to be a hub for those in the industry to learn from one another.
Each month we’ll put the spotlight on a customer who’s fully embraced digital transformation. We’ll share stories of advisors and agents who are using digital to be more productive, build deeper relationships and increase business, as well as those of distribution, marketing, compliance and IT leaders who successfully led or participated in digital initiatives.
Welcome to our first Customer Spotlight! This month, we caught up with Kyle Nowadnick, a Thrivent Financial Consultant in the Greater Seattle Area, for over 10 years. Kyle uses Hearsay Social, Sites and Relate to prospect and deepen client relationships. Read on to hear from Kyle himself about how making the move to digital selling has positively impacted his work.
What’s a typical day like for you?
Every day is different for me – I never know what to expect as my schedule constantly changes and a variety of things can happen each day. That’s why I dedicate 5 mins each Monday morning to plan my digital communication strategy for the week. With very little work, I schedule my social media pushes and set automated text reminders for my upcoming meetings. It’s such an easy way to stay top of of mind with my clients.
What trends are you seeing in the industry lately?
Today, clients look to their financial professionals for a point of view on market events, such as the recent stock market dips, and industry trends that are impacting their accounts. They want and expect answers to topics in a timely and actionable format before they have a chance to ask the question. As financial professionals, we have the opportunity to be positioned as a thought leader which will change the way our clients currently engage with us.
How are social media and texting changing the way you work?
Social media is changing the way I interact with my clients and prospective clients. When I started in this field, the only way I engaged with clients was over the phone. It was time consuming and not that effective. Now, there are a number of ways one can and is expected to engage. Clients look me up on Facebook, LinkedIn, or see my website through a Google search to learn more about me. They will message me to set up a meeting after they already know a little about how I work with clients. I text a lot more with my clients these days; it’s definitely an easy way to stay engaged and in front of them.
How has Hearsay improved the way you work?
Hearsay gives me an easy way to manage all of the ways I can engage with my clients and it aggregates those interactions in one place. Knowing that I’m covered by compliance as well is a huge relief. I don’t have to think about it at all.
What best practice have you adopted?
Consistent weekly postings and creating my own content have been instrumental in my social strategy. When I started I set a goal of posting just once a week and did that for a few months, learning what worked and what didn’t. Over time, I increased the frequency of my posting to 5 times a week and my social network began to expand much more. While I post content from our corporate library a few times a day, I have also created my own voice through content that I have created. Also before assuming my clients want to communicate over text, I ask them in person first before sending them the initial text.
What excites you about Hearsay’s vision?
I’m excited about the possibility of leveraging all of this great client engagement data in our CRM to give me more insight into what’s working (and what’s not) to I continue to grow my business.
When you’re not at the office, what do you do for fun?
When I’m not at the office, you can find me scuba diving in the Puget Sound or spending time with my family.
To connect with Kyle, follow him on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and you can check out his Hearsay powered Thrivent Website here.