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Introducing the New Curated Content Channels for Advisors

Curated-ContentAn authentic voice. We all have one.
It is who we are. It is the words, grammar and syntax we use everyday to communicate our thoughts and talk about what is important to us, to the world around us.
Our authentic voice communicates our personality, and expresses our humanity.
How ironic it is therefore that on the most human of technologies, social networks, we often find ourselves communicating in a way that is robotic. Too often advisors post and re-post the same series of financial updates on social in some vague attempt to engage a following.
But ask, is that how an advisor communicates in the offline world? As an advisor of a person’s financial wellbeing, something that is highly personal, do you begin a conversation citing stats and dry, distant financial content in the hope your listener reacts positively?
Or do you make yourself relatable. Talk about your personal interests, ask questions and uncover the interests of others around you?
You do the latter. You want people to connect with you first as a person, and then as a financial advisor.
As Clara Shih, our CEO, has often noted, financial advisors have always been social. They have always first dawn on their personal connections and personal networks to build and grow their financial business.
Understanding this, Hearsay Social launched today Curated Content Channels, an innovative way for advisors to find and articulate in their authentic voice on social.
With the help of our Customer Success team, Hearsay admins can now create new content channels in the Hearsay content library. These content channels can be on any topic, general interest or financial, and can even be localized to focus on content from a particular region or city.
The Curated Content Channels offering will draw on tens of thousands of online sources to present the relevant content to the Hearsay admin. The Hearsay Customer Success rep can work with the admin to actually teach the system what content is desired, so the system will actually learn and seek out more relevant content in the future.
With a few clicks, admins can create a stream of relevant, curated content to make available for their advisors. This will save admins the considerable time they now spend to find content to populate content libraries.
Advisors, for their part, can find the content that is more relevant to them and that helps them best find their authentic voice. Sharing and commenting on their personally relevant content will help the advisor evolve from a seemingly automated poster to their original human, and social form.
Learn more about Curated Content Channels in the press release.

Interview with Alicianne Rand of NewsCred

aliciannerandIn episode 25 we interview Alicianne Rand (@AlicianneRand), VP of Marketing with NewsCred (@NewsCred) one of Hearsay Social’s content partners.
In our discussion we explore how content is being created, consumed and shared by brands and individuals as well as look at how marketers need to evolve their approach to gain new audiences and remain relevant.
Join the conversation with @VictorGaxiola and @RonnyKerr on Twitter using our hashtag #HSonAir.
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The Internet of things and other 2015 trends you need to know about

key15As a special holiday treat, eMarketer is sharing a complimentary report entitled Key Digital Trends for 2015.
The report is broken up into three distinct sections. First, it describes the the five key trends in consumer behavior and technology adoption that every marketer needs to know about. Next, it delves into five buzzy technologies that could possibly gain traction in 2015, but are still unproven. Finally, it plainly calls out the areas that “are more hot air than hard reality.”
Here’s a brief outline of the findings:

Five key things you need to know about 2015

  1. ‘Responsiveness’ will rule
  2. Mobile search will surpass desktop
  3. Programmatic will move beyond digital display
  4. The Internet of things will become a thing
  5. Cross-device targeting at scale

Five things that might get big (but might not)

  1. Wearables: not quite ready to wear
  2. Mobile payments? Wait until next year
  3. New life for social commerce
  4. Will content marketing sputter?
  5. Cord-cutting: still more hype than reality

Five things you won’t need to worry about

  1. The desktop
  2. QR codes: not the next big thing
  3. Social TV: the conversation is pretty quiet
  4. Baby boomers: going bust
  5. Privacy? Security? Yawn.

Learn more by downloading the full report and exploring additional resources below.
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3 strategies to overcome social media challenges in wealth management

Article first appeared on thewealthnet on Tue, Dec 9, 2014.

logoThe wealth management industry has been slow to embrace and understand how to harness the power of social networks in their organizations. However, with a billion people on Facebook and 200 million on Twitter and LinkedIn each, there’s no question that your customers – both young and old – are already there. Clients today expect their advisors to interact more often, to offer them more personalized service and to communicate when and where they want.
A recent 2014 survey by PAM Insight of financial advisors shows that, compared to last year where only 67.9% used Linkedin, this year that number has increased to 83%. The other network that was mentioned was Twitter with 54% having corporate Twitter accounts. The future also seems bright for social media initiatives with over 72% planning to increase spend in the next year.
Hearsay Social recently had the opportunity to dig behind these numbers when it partnered with Financial Services Forum to host a meeting with heads of marketing from some of the largest wealth management firms in UK. A roundtable discussion on the state of social media and the challenges facing this industry brought to light three key challenges and strategies to overcome perceived barriers:

Risk

When it comes to the biggest barriers in adopting social, compliance and risk took center stage. PAM Insight reports that “as with previous year’s survey, 66.7% of advisors stated compliance as the main concern.” But the problem here was less about specific requirements and more about the fact that there is no clarity on what the rules are, which has paralyzed many companies into taking no action.
Recent guidelines from FCA were applauded by the group to be a move in the right direction but there were still a lot of questions on what FCA will and will not accept. There was agreement that the industry can’t wait indefinitely for the rules to be clear, so companies should start by implementing some basic social media strategies:

  • Provide advisors with a pre-approved library of content
  • Enable a workflow to automate content approval
  • Adopt a third-party system to capture social conversations and archive it.

Content

Another area that sparked a lot of conversation amongst the group was content. How do you differentiate your content from your competitors? How do you ensure that your content is not “spam” for your customers? And, more importantly, how do you shape the conversation on social media?
This concern was consistent with PAM Insight’s finding that showed 64.3% of respondents were concerned about lack of control on what content is communicated. After much discussion on this topic, attendees agreed that the best strategy to overcome content issues is education. Education on how to represent yourself online in a manner that is true, trustworthy and personal. Education on the right type of content for the right audience. And education on regulatory risk and social media policies of the company.

Timeliness

Most participants feel that social media moves too fast. If you want to be on social media channels, you need to be prepared to respond in time. Many people spoke about the compliance process and the length of time it takes, often making social conversations less relevant by the time they are ready.
Since introducing any change takes time, it is imperative that companies start now to understand what social media can do for them and take incremental steps to help their people build relationships online. Creating cross-functional teams with marketing, sales and compliance and educating themselves on how social media works are a couple strategies that can help with timeliness and embracing these new channels of communication.
Overall the impact and benefits of social media dominated the conversation. This is again in line with the survey results of PAM Insight. The survey showed that 61% of advisors believed “building industry presence and credibility” was the biggest benefit. While 44% said attracting clients and retention of existing clients (80%) were important benefits of social media.
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On Facebook, high-quality, engaging content is more important than ever

FacebookIn order to ensure people are always seeing highly relevant content, Facebook® recently announced that fewer overly promotional posts will appear in people’s News Feeds beginning in 2015.
As people connect with more friends and Like more business Pages, News Feed is becoming increasingly crowded. Overly promotional posts in News Feed add little value compared to other more relevant posts, so Facebook, after conducting a widespread survey, listened to people’s feedback and addressed this in their recent announcement.
As we’ve highlighted with other evolutions of the News Feed, high-quality, highly engaging organic content will continue to be featured. So for financial services professionals, if your posts are getting a lot of Likes and comments, Facebook will continue to feature them in News Feed; good content that informs, entertains and makes people think will win.
What does Facebook define as “overly promotional?” This will include posts that strictly sell and make no attempt to engage, such as:

  1. Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app
  2. Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context
  3. Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads

High-quality organic posts will continue to appear in News Feed. In addition, with Hearsay Social’s new promotional posts feature, financial services professionals can also use ad dollars that were previously wasted on low yield ads like billboards and instead invest them in higher yield Promotional Posts to get even greater reach.
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Facebook® is a registered trademark of Facebook Inc.

Interview with Pat Hume of TrapIt: #HSonAir Episode 10

Pat-Victor-WebinarIn episode 10 of Hearsay Social On the Air we launch our Partner Highlight Series with an introduction to TrapIt President Pat Hume (@pathume66).
The episode features a replay of a joint webinar hosted by Victor and Pat on content marketing and the importance of having a content strategy to connect and add value to your social audiences. You can follow the webinar conversation on Twitter at #FinServContent and add your review and feedback to our show at #HSonAir.
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Advisor use of social media matures, regulatory requirements are still a challenge: Recap from #SIFMAsocial

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Last week we attended the sold out SIFMA Social Media Seminar in New York City, a one-day event in the heart of Wall Street that brings together experts from a variety of business roles including marketing, business, compliance, and legal, as well as financial advisors, to discuss the expanding use of social media for financial services.

Major themes from the conference included:

  • The financial services industry has greatly advanced its use of social media in recent years, but there is still a lot of opportunity for social media to impact the business.

  • Interpreting regulatory and compliance requirements continues to be a challenge for firms and financial professionals.

  • Social media can be a truly valuable tool for advisors and branches to build their business, especially if they leverage it to expand their client base in a target niche.

Michael Lock (President & COO at Hearsay Social, @michaelhlock) kicked off the seminar with a lively perspective on technology trends and how consumer expectations are changing. In his session, Michael shared some ways in which financial professionals are using social media to build customer relationships. Harking back to a lesson familiar for every good salesperson, he reminded us that social media is about listening first. OnWallStreet author Andrew Welsch (@AndrewWelsch) published a great recap of Michael’s session here.

Here are more key takeaways from the event:

Updates from the social networks

The next session was a panel moderated by Mike White (CMO at Raymond James, @MikeRJF) with financial services industry leaders from LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. Mike set the stage with learnings from a roundtable conversation that a group of SIFMA members had shared the day before: “We’ve come a long way over the past few years, but there is still a lot of opportunity,” he said, however, noting “the importance of not looking to social media as a standalone panacea. […] The most successful advisors and firms are looking at it as a piece of an overall marketing program.”

The following conversations from the respective social networks followed these same themes. Some of their insights included:

  • Brad Murphy (Client Partner, Financial Services Vertical at Facebook) described how the Facebook platform has evolved over the past 18 months. Although many business owners have seen a decrease in the organic reach of their pages, Facebook has greatly expanded its targeting ability with its evolving advertising program. Brad specifically referenced new data partnerships, such as with Acxiom, that help financial professionals reach exactly the audience they’re targeting.

  • Jennifer Grazel (Head of Category Development, Financial Services at LinkedIn, @jgrazel) provided insight into the core pillars of focus for LinkedIn: “identity, network and knowledge.” She also explained how the network’s continued push into content publishing and sharing is intended to support the “knowledge” pillar. In addition, she said that LinkedIn’s acquisition of Bizo will support the company’s plans to enable marketers to run nurture programs.

  • Michael Wong (Head of Financial Services at Twitter, @mw145) said that when it comes to content, timing and quality is more important than frequency and volume, citing Vanguard and Motley Fool as two organizations that excel at sharing good content during volatile times. He also predicted that, going forward, the focus will be on developing a mobile experience for end users as well as better analytics to measure effectiveness of campaigns and activity.

Static vs. dynamic content and other regulatory requirements

In the second panel, “Navigating The Web of Social Media Regulation,” Rick Apicella (Morgan Stanley Wealth Management), Thomas Selman (FINRA), Doug Preston (Bank of America Merrill Lynch), and Melissa Callison (Charles Scwhab) discussed the regulatory requirements that govern social media use.

Selman, who is responsible for advertising policy at FINRA, summarized how the regulatory authority thought about social media. They “took a principles-based view of social media,” he said, in order to write regulation that would not have to be changed every time the technology changed. And they “tried to leverage existing rules and terminology” wherever possible instead of introducing new terms. This approach lead to FINRA Regulatory Notices 10-06 and 11-39, which directly address social media.

Supervision and review requirements for social media address two key content categories: “static” content and “dynamic” content. FINRA requires that all static content be pre-reviewed before it is published, and therefore what is categorized as dynamic or static is often a hot topic in conversation amongst legal and compliance professionals.

At this event, Thomas Selman notably commented that “a case can be made for why a tweet is considered dynamic content.” Somebody from the audience even asked him to repeat this because this opinion was in contrast to other interpretations of the regulation that we’ve heard.

“Content is king, and context is queen”

After spending the first half of the day discussing mostly advisor use of social media, the panel “Social Media Strategy & Use at the Corporate Level” specifically zeroed in on corporate and brand use of social media.

Ruth Papazian (HD Vest Financial Services) moderated a discussion with Joe Corriero (Bank of America Merrill Lynch), Kraleigh Woodford (UBS Wealth Management Americas), Jon Pauley (Ameriprise Financial), and Melissa Socci (LPL Financial). This conversation kept coming back to the importance of content, with each team member describing how their respective organization sources, develops and distributes content.

It was especially interesting to hear how firms of different sizes deal with the challenges of creating social content. Joe Corriero, for example, said that Bank of America Merrill Lynch created a “social media newsroom,” which is a regular meeting bringing together all the disciplines (including research, marketing, legal and compliance) to brainstorm and plan their content timelines. And sometimes internal teams aren’t enough. For example, Melissa Socci explained that they occasionally turn to contractors to create additional content pieces like infographics for social media because their traditional, print-first content team doesn’t have quite the right skillset for that. With a much leaner team, Ruth Papazian and her team rely upon the integration of Trapit and Hearsay Social to curate a regular stream of social media content.

Kraleigh Woodford from UBS Wealth Management Americas pointed out that, in additional to the common adage “content is king,” “context is queen.” Kraliegh argued that “it’s the ‘why do I care’ factor” that leads to successful social content. Companies don’t have a shortage of content but they have to be thinking about what people want to consume through social media; feeding them the wrong content, like “linking to a 60-page report,” might not be the be the most effective strategy.

When it comes to a corporate presence and approach to social media in financial services, Melissa Socci said it best: “We are not social media marketing, we are marketing in a social media age.”

Social media strategies for financial advisors and client communication

In the second panel moderated by Mike White (CMO at Raymond James, @MikeRJF), five financial advisors representing Raymond James Financial, Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network, Ameriprise Financial, LPL Financial, and Robert W. Baird & Co. shared some of their most successful social media strategies for enhancing communication with clients and prospects.

One theme that stood out? Each of the panelists has found success using social media a little bit differently–depending on their target clients, location, and team structure.

Evan Shear (Branch Manager with Raymond James Financial) uses social media to stay up with what is happening in the lives of his client. One anecdote he shared: he saw via social media that his client had lost a family pet, and so he sent a thoughtful sympathy card and gift. Fueled by what he learns through social media, according to Evan, this type of activity strengthens client relationships and builds deep client loyalty.

Charles Camilleri (Financial Advisor with Ameriprise Financial Services) uses social media to stay top of mind and to get the word out to his extended network that he is a financial advisor. Within a week of using social media for business, Charles got a new client referral from a friend of a friend, simply due to the fact that they learned Camilleri’s profession after connecting on LinkedIn.

In addition to the financial advisors on the panel, Dan Swift (Director of Financial Services at LinkedIn, (@danjswift) shared insights into social selling and some of the exciting functionality that LinkedIn Sales Solution provides to help financial professionals. Dan described how LinkedIn Sales Navigator solves for the “now what?” feeling that often accompanies users who are new to social media. He recently spent three months on the road training 160 advisors on social selling with LinkedIn, and they saw some amazing success. Within that same time period, a subset of those financial professionals won over $100 million in new investable assets–impressive ROI for a program that was just getting started!

With the various success stories that can be correlated to a social presence, we think financial professionals would do well to take advice from one other participant on the panel, Jamie Cox (LPL Financial): “You don’t have time to not be on social media.” We would agree.

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Financial social business needs content marketing [WEBINAR]

Pat-Victor-WebinarContent is the fuel for social business. If you’re not sharing high-quality, relevant content on social media, then you’re not providing your audience with real value.
That’s why, earlier this year, Hearsay Social partnered with several industry-leading content providers to expand our Content Exchange platform and better equip financial professionals with the right kind of content to be successful on social media.
If you have questions about how content actually plays into a successful social business strategy, join our webinar next Thursday: we’ll be sitting down with one of our partners–Trapit–to talk about the power of social business, brand awareness, and content marketing. Register for the webinar and learn why financial social business needs content marketing.
WHENThu 10/2 at 1:00 PM PT
WHO: Patricia Hume (President of Trapit) and Victor Gaxiola (Customer Advocacy Manager at Hearsay Social)
WHAT: Social media is great, isn’t it? It can help increase business. It can help build brand awareness. And it can help differentiate your business from your competitors. To maximize their use of social media, sales professionals must know what kind of content resonates with their prospects, and they must become reliable, trustworthy sources of information. Join this webinar to learn how your marketing and sales teams can leverage content marketing to build brand awareness, engage with prospects, and close deals.
WHERE: Register here!
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3 ways advisors can use social media content to connect with clients

thinkadvisor-logoSharing compelling content is the most effective way to engage an audience on social. The challenge is that there is an endless supply of material coming from every possible direction. At a certain point, it all just starts to sound like noise.
So how can advisors rise above that noise to deliver information of value to their customers? How do you decide what’s best for your social channels?
Hearsay Social recently signed content partnerships with Broadridge, Life HappensNewsCred and Trapit so that agents and advisors can always access high-value, compelling industry and general interest content to share on s­­ocial and engage their audiences.
By working with these great companies, we’ve come up with a few important tips for social media publishing that will help investment professionals clear through the clutter to drive meaningful interactions with clients.
Continue reading this article over at ThinkAdvisor.
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Compliant social business for financial services with LinkedIn’s new Sales Navigator

logo-linkedinToday, LinkedIn is making social business even easier with the launch of their new LinkedIn Sales Navigator, and we here at Hearsay Social are excited to enable financial services customers of both LinkedIn Sales Navigator and Hearsay Social with enhanced compliance and content publishing capabilities to support this new product.

Financial services professionals using the expanded features of the new LinkedIn Sales Navigator can rely on the same compliance and content support they’ve always enjoyed with LinkedIn and Hearsay Social.
Designed specifically for the sales professional, the new LinkedIn Sales Navigator combines LinkedIn’s network data, relevant news sources, accounts, leads, and preferences in a customized, stand-alone experience for your day-to-day sales needs. The new LinkedIn Sales Navigator leverages the power of LinkedIn’s 300+ million professional network to help sales professionals focus on the right people, stay informed on key updates, and build trust with prospects and customers.
So what does this mean for financial services professionals and particularly Hearsay Social customers? As part of LinkedIn’s Certified Compliance Partner program, Hearsay Social is helping to ensure that the new LinkedIn Sales Navigator will be ready for the financial services industry. We’ve been working with LinkedIn’s product team to ensure that all new features and functionalities on the new LinkedIn Sales Navigator are backed with Hearsay Social’s leading compliance platform.
Drawing on our deep experience in enabling social business for financial services, Hearsay Social will provide compliance capabilities for the new Sales Navigator. Existing customers should look for more information about using the new Sales Navigator in financial services in the upcoming months.
We’re incredibly excited to help bring the new LinkedIn Sales Navigator to the financial services industry. LinkedIn and Hearsay Social believe that social media represents an enormous business opportunity for our customers. By combining Hearsay Social’s advanced compliance and content delivery with LinkedIn, the largest professional network on the Web, financial services professionals will be able to better prospect, build sales relationships and grow revenue while enabling social media compliance.
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