A social media presence isn’t just nice for a wealth management firm to have, it is now vital to the business, Clara Shih, founder and CEO of Hearsay Social, a social media marketing software maker, told the audience at SIFMA’s Private Client Conference last week in New York City.
“The world has gone social and mobile,” Shih said. Ninety-eight percent of U.S. Internet users belong to a social network, with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn being the most important social networks for advisers, she said.
But social media is more than a marketing tool. It allows advisers to see the life events of clients that trigger financial decisions, such as getting married, having a baby or buying a home. Savvy wealth managers use the information gleaned from social networks to set up phone conversations and in-person meetings. For example, Shih mentioned how some advisers call clients to congratulation them and schedule meetings to update clients’ financial plans when advisers see birth announcements on social media.
Automated financial advice services, such as Wealthfront, Betterment and Personal Capital, have changed clients’ expectations, Shih noted. “[Clients] want an adviser who is always on,” she said. Face-to-face meetings combined with social media can give wealth management firms an edge when competing against these robo-advisers.