It’s all hands on deck at Hearsay Social as we prepare for our fourth annual Innovation Summit (#hearsaysummit), which takes place this Thursday, May 5, in our hometown of Silicon Valley. We’re honored to host nearly 100 executive leaders and startup thinkers from the financial services industry and beyond for a day of thought-provoking discussion about the future of financial services products, distribution and the new customer experience.
Key themes include what the ongoing role of human advisors and agents should be in an era of direct-to-consumer options and changing consumer expectations, and the implications of the recent Department of Labor ruling regarding fiduciary duty. Attendees represent various sectors and functions of the industry, including wealth management, mortgage, insurance and banking, as well as general management, marketing, technology, compliance and distribution. In a series of TED-style talks, fireside chats and – new this year – a spirited presidential-style debate, guests will learn the latest industry perspectives, best practices, challenges and growth opportunities from leaders and disruptors in both financial services and technology. Shelley O’Connor, co-head of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management (@morganstanley), will deliver the opening keynote address. Clara Shih (@clarashih), CEO and founder of Hearsay Social, will present her perspectives on today’s omnichannel, always-connected customer journey and what firms and advisors must do to own the digital last mile. Attendees also will hear from Kenneth Lin (@kennethlin), CEO and founder of Credit Karma, and Amit Jhawar, COO of Braintree (@braintree), as they discuss how they’re revolutionizing the way people obtain credit scores and companies process payments. Charles “Chip” Roame (@chiproame), managing partner at Tiburon Strategic Advisors, will present the firm’s latest wealth management research. Also on the agenda is a friendly “robo-advisor versus traditional brokerage showdown” featuring the CEOs of two robo-advice startups – Michael Sha of SigFig (@sigfiginsights) and Bo Lu (@bolu) of FutureAdvisor (acquired by BlackRock) – and Naureen Hassan, chief digital officer of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management. To provide a broader view of technology at large and the forces shaping Silicon Valley, Debbie Sterling (@debbieblox), CEO and founder of Goldieblox, will share her startup story and viewpoints on where the tech industry is heading. Special guest Jon Sakoda (@jonsakoda), general partner of venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates, also will discuss his expert insights on the current and future state of tech.
Check out #HSonAir’s special podcast for more on what to expect:
Also, be sure to follow us on Twitter at @hearsaysocial and #hearsaysummit this Thursday, May 5, for live Summit coverage, and check back for key learnings and takeaways from the event! Related Posts:
“You can use social media to turn strangers into friends, friends into customers, and customers into salespeople.” — Seth Godin, auteur, entrepreneur, marketeur et intervenant
Plus tôt au cours de ce mois, Hearsay Social et notre partenaire associé l’Efma ont organisé un petit-déjeuner réunissant les professionnels les plus confirmés des secteurs de la banque et de l’assurance afin d’échanger sur les succès et enjeux des réseaux sociaux.
Dans un contexte où la digitalisation des entreprises devient inévitable, la rencontre visait à échanger sur la meilleure façon d’aider les agents, commerciaux et conseillers à valoriser leur réseau de connections et développer leur activité via les réseaux sociaux.
C’est dans le cadre chaleureux et original de l’Atelier du France situé sur les quais de Seine que les invités ont échangé sur les enjeux du digital dans leurs secteurs tout en profitant d’une vue dégagée et ensoleillée sur la Seine.
Pour commencer, les participants, répartis autour de différentes tables baptisées des noms des réseaux sociaux les plus populaires (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google + …), ont échangé par groupe sur une question très ouverte « Comment les réseaux sociaux peuvent-ils aider votre organisation à développer son activité, et quels défis imaginez-vous rencontrer ? ».
Voici un échantillon des meilleures réponses identifiées :
Un besoin essentiel de conduite du changement pour faire comprendre les évolutions comportementales amenées par les réseaux sociaux et en tirer parti (transparence, réciprocité, moindre contrôle, big data…)
La nécessité de former les conseillers et les agents à l’utilisation des réseaux sociaux
La formation des équipes marketing face à émergence de nouveaux métiers comme la création de contenu (content marketing)
Le paradoxe d’investissements sur du long terme avec une recherche de ROI rapide
Dans un second temps, Olivier Maire (Sales Director France chez Hearsay Social, @olivier_maire) a présenté deux de nos clients venus témoigner à cette occasion, BNP Paribas Wealth Management et Allianz France : Thierry Derungs (Chief Digital Officer pour le Monde chez BNP Paribas Wealth Management, @ThierryDerungs), a présenté la stratégie digitale mise en place depuis deux ans au sein de son entité et la manière dont elle s’est inscrite au cœur de sa stratégie globale.
Constat : les études montrent que 68% de clients qui partent ont le sentiment de ne pas être suivis et écoutés. Les réseaux sociaux deviennent ainsi incontournables pour renforcer la relation client
Défis rencontrés :
− Mener à bien une campagne de « change management » au sein de son entreprise et convaincre le comité de direction de la pertinence du projet
− Adapter la communication digitale à l’ensemble des pays et de manière cohérente
Concrétisation du projet :
− Création d’un « Lab » pour permettre aux collaborateurs d’expérimenter et d’explorer de nouvelles voies
− Mise en place d’une politique de partage d’informations entre les pays pour éviter la duplication de contenus et localiser la production au plus près de l’expertise
− Mise en place de « kits/guides d’utilisation » pour les pays
− Lancement d’un pilote de Relationship Manager présents individuellement sur les réseaux sociaux
Karine Lazimi (Manager Expérience Digitale chez Allianz France, @karinelazimi), a partagé l’histoire de l’entrée des réseaux sociaux chez Allianz France en tant qu’outil et pas uniquement media. Elle a donné notamment l’exemple de la naissance de la relation client sur twitter et facebook chez Allianz et la manière dont l’assureur a naturellement suivi l’évolution de ses clients en décidant de favoriser le déploiement de ses réseaux d’agents / conseillers sur les réseaux sociaux.
Les réseaux sociaux sont un levier pour la marque mais également pour le développement commercial.
Constat : le client a une relation avec son agent / conseiller et c’est donc avec lui qu’il aura le plus de propension à se connecter sur les réseaux
Défis rencontrés :
− La sensibilisation des agents / conseillers et de la ligne managériale à la réalité de la transformation dans la relation client pour les éduquer à l’usage des réseaux sociaux
− La nécessité de rassurer sur la façon de préserver la marque sur les réseaux sociaux tout en acceptant de ne plus avoir 100% du contrôle
− Le temps nécessaire pour la formation des agents, inspecteurs,…
Concrétisation du projet :
− Octobre/Novembre 2013 : kick-off avec quelques agents
− Décembre 2013 : formation des inspecteurs
− Avril 2014 : Accélération du projet et volonté d’embarquer plus d’agents
− Juin 2014 : formation d’un groupe d’agents supplémentaires
− Septembre 2014 : ouverture sur LinkedIn avec les conseillers financiers
− Octobre 2014 : Allianz renforce sa présence sur les réseaux sociaux: élargissement des agents sur Facebook avec le soutien de la solution Hearsay Social
Dans un troisième temps, Olivier Maire a repris la parole afin de présenter les 4 étapes clés pour tirer le meilleur parti des réseaux sociaux dans son activité commerciale :
Exister (Be findable)
Développer votre réseau (Grow your network)
Ecoute du client (Hear – Do your research)
Etablir sa crédibilité (Say – Establish your credibility)
Olivier a particulièrement insisté sur le fait que la présence sur les réseaux sociaux ne change pas le métier de conseiller / agent, qui a toujours cherché à se constituer une communauté de clients fidèles qui deviendraient ses ambassadeurs. Les réseaux sociaux sont simplement une façon de le faire à grande échelle et de manière industrialisée. Trois bénéfices découlent de cette approche :
Plus de relationnel : les conseillers multiplient le nombre de personnes avec lesquelles ils peuvent rester en contact
Plus de recommandations : le client satisfait partagera avec ses amis, sa famille et ses contacts personnels
Plus de leads : augmentation de 10-20% de nouvelles affaires
La séance s’est terminée sur une série de questions/réponses reflétant les interrogations des participants sur la pertinence des réseaux sociaux pour booster leur force de vente, l’intérêt qu’aurait un client à vouloir être connecté à son conseiller et les problématiques de protection de la vie privée sur des réseaux sociaux tels que Facebook.
L’ensemble des participants ont manifesté un intérêt réel pour la digitalisation de leur organisation en partageant à la fois leurs doutes, leurs questions mais également les bénéfices constatés par l’utilisation des réseaux sociaux. Afin de rendre l’événement plus ludique, des cadeaux étaient offerts en fin de session à la personne ayant le plus tweeté durant la séance avec le hashtag #HSParis2014, à celle ayant posé la 1ère question et au chanceux dont la carte de visite a été tirée au sort.
La matinée en quelques tweets :
“You can use social media to turn strangers into friends, friends into customers, and customers into salespeople.” — Seth Godin, author, entrepreneur, marketer, and public speaker
Earlier this month, Hearsay Social and our associate partner Efma organised a roundtable breakfast event, bringing together leading professionals from the banking and insurance sectors to discuss the latest successes and growing stakes in social media.
With digitalisation becoming a top priority for businesses, the meeting’s aim was to discuss the best ways to assist brokers, salespeople and advisers in optimizing and developing their networks and social network activities.
In a welcoming and original venue, the Atelier du France on the bank of the river Seine, guests exchanged ideas on the digitalisation stakes in their sectors, whilst enjoying a sun-filled view over the water.
The participants, who were grouped around tables named after the most popular social networks (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, etc.), started by discussing a couple open questions: “How can social media help your organization increase their activity and what are the potential challenges?”
Here were some of the best answers:
Organisations need to understand the behavioural changes brought about by social media if they are going to take advantage of these platforms. For example, they must be more transparent, prepared to engage with other social users, ready to accept they will have less control than they are used to with other marketing channels and willing to understand how to utilise big data.
There is a necessity to train advisers and brokers in the use of social networks.
Marketing teams also need to expand their skillsets, particularly when it comes to content marketing.
Assessments must be made to fully understand the long-term investment requirements and potential ROI of any social media project.
Olivier Maire (Sales Director France, Hearsay Social, @olivier_maire) also introduced representatives from two of our client companies, BNP Paribas Wealth Management and Allianz France: Thierry Derungs (Chief Digital Officer of Monde chez BNP Paribas Wealth Management, @ThierryDerungs) presented on his organisation’s digital strategy. He explained how it was first undertaken two years ago and how it has since been integrated into the organisation’s core strategy:
Key takeaway: studies show that 68% of clients which leave do so because they feel that they are not looked after; social networks are therefore essential to strengthen relationships.
– Fostering ‘management change’ inside the company, and convincing the board of importance of social networks.
– Adapting digital communication to international markets in a coherent way.
Putting the plan into practice:
– Creation of a ‘Lab’ that gives employees the chance to experiment with new channels.
– Setting up an information sharing network between countries, to avoid content duplication and to ensure local production according to local expertise.
– Common charters and instruction kits for every country.
– Launch of a Relationship Manager pilot scheme with individual presence on networks.
Karine Lazimi (Digital Experiments Manager at Allianz France, @karinelazimi) presented the origins of digital client relations at Allianz: how the firm had developed alongside its clients by adapting its network of brokers and advisers to the use of social networks:
Key takeaway: the client forms a relationship with a broker/adviser, with whom he/she is likely to connect on networks.
– Making brokers/advisers and managers aware of today’s transformation in client relationships, and educating them in the use of social networks.
– Necessity to ensure brand integrity on social networks, whilst accepting less than full control.
– Time taken to train brokers, assessors, etc.
Putting the plan into practice:
– October/November 2013: kick-off with a few brokers
– December 2013: training of assessors
– April 2014: acceleration of plan and more voluntary brokers
– June 2014: training of a group of extra brokers
– September 2014: LinkedIn launch with financial advisers
– October 2014: Allianz strengthen their presence on social networks: increasing the number of agents on Facebook thanks to the support of Hearsay Social solution
Next, Olivier Maire explained the four key stages to success for sales platforms on social media:
Grow your network
Do your research
Establish your credibility
Olivier underlined the fact that a presence on social networks should not alter the relationship manager’s role, which has always been to build up a loyal client base that will provide positive recommendations to others. The networks are simply a means of operating on a large scale, in an ‘industrial’ way. This approach has three benefits:
More client contact: advisers multiply the number of people they can keep in contact with
More recommendations: a satisfied client shares his/her opinions with friends, family and personal contacts
More leads: 10-20% increase in new business
The session finished with a Q&A session linked to the participants’ debates on the importance of social networks for boosting their sales. Also discussed were the benefits for clients in being voluntarily connected to his/her adviser and the privacy issues around networks such as Facebook.
All participants expressed a real interest in the digitalisation of their organisations. At the same time, they voiced their doubts and queries, whilst confirming the obvious benefits of social network tools. To make the event more fun, prizes were presented to the person who had most tweeted using hashtag #HSParis2014 during the session, to the first to ask a question, and to a lucky winner whose business card was drawn out of a hat.
The morning in tweets:
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.
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.
For any effective social media program; marketing and compliance must walk hand-in-hand, says Rick Apicella @MorganStanley#SIFMASocial
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.
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.
As James Kerley, chief membership officer for LIMRA and LOMA, explains: “LIMRA research shows that 93 percent of life insurance companies now have social media programs in place. With broad adoption like this, now the question becomes how to define social media excellence in financial services. That’s why we created the Silver Bowl awards.”
The quantity and quality of Silver Bowl Award entries this year demonstrated how quickly the financial services industry has innovated in its use of social media. And with over 90,000 financial professionals using Hearsay Social today, it’s clear that firms are moving their social media programs from being optional to now being a critical way to engage clients in a compliant manner. Without further ado, here were the winners:
John Hancock Financial Services — “Best Use of Twitter” and “Best of the Best”
By Dan Swift (Director Financial Services, LinkedIn Sales Solutions) and Ron Piovesan (Vice President, Strategic Alliances, Hearsay Social), who recently hosted a Social Media Strategies Workshop in New York.
Social selling leverages your professional brand to fill your pipeline with the right people, insights and relationships. Why has social selling seen such high adoption rates? The buyer’s process has changed:
According to the CEB (Corporate Executive Board, 2013), 5.4 people are now involved in the average B2B buying process.
The CEB also shared last year that 75% of buyers are using social media for research.
The Harvard Business Review in 2012 shared that 90% of decision makers say they never respond to cold outreach.
Sales in 2014 is the art of navigating and getting ahead of these trends. Leading to the point of sale, a revenue producer must stay in contact with the prospect to provide relevant and compelling information so as to always remain top-of-mind.
LinkedIn and Hearsay Social understand the modern sales process and have teamed up to help financial services professionals capitalize on the moment a client wants to make a purchase.
How Sales Navigator supercharges the LinkedIn experience
The LinkedIn Sales Navigator program is the premier social selling solution, allowing revenue producers to find, relate and engage with the best prospects on LinkedIn. Revenue producers can maintain contact with an ever-growing target list and move prospects along the funnel from initial interest to final sale.
The benefit is demonstrable. After using LinkedIn Sales Navigator for only 11 weeks, a major wealth management firm was able to connect with new clients, rapidly build new relationships and bring in more than $100 million in new investable assets. This is an actual benefit realized by a wealth management firm in the market today. How? By being notified by LinkedIn of life change events such as a job change and surfacing the person in their network who can provide a warm introduction. Referral selling at scale!
LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a premium subscription purchased centrally on an enterprise basis for revenue producers. The program also includes targeted training and education for the duration of the agreement.
This supercharges the LinkedIn experience.
Depending on their specific strategies, financial advisors are using Sales Navigator to identify C-Level executives, partners and business owners on LinkedIn in particular industries or at particular companies. They then see who in their networks can make referrals into that target audience.
Commercial bankers are going a step further by reaching out to business owners in their third degree to start sales conversations. The benefit is scaled exponentially in collaborative teams as Teamlink helps revenue producers share contacts and find the best way to enter and grow an account.
LinkedIn and Hearsay Social are seeing more and more traction in the insurance sectors where agents are looking for benefits managers and brokers. Revenue producers across the financial services, banking and insurance sectors are saving these prospect lists and receiving daily updates of new perfect prospects along with relevant insight gleaned from a member profile and the name of the person in their network that could make the referral. Why go in cold?
Using LinkedIn Sales Navigator and Hearsay Social to grow business
To harness the power of the LinkedIn Sales Navigator platform, insurance and financial services firms face the unique hurdle of regulatory compliance, as well as the need to access tools that make a revenue producer effective on social.
This is where Hearsay Social comes in. With over 85 leading financial services customers around the world including Raymond James, Penn Mutual, and Thrivent Financial, Hearsay Social’s 1-2 punch of its content library and compliance engine means that revenue producers always have access to compelling information to compliantly share on social.
The content can come from a third-party news source, the corporate marketing department or even be developed by the revenue producers themselves. Hearsay Social also has content partnerships so producers will always be able to engage their prospects in the most compelling way. And all these conversations can be as open or as closely monitored as compliance officers choose. Compliance sets the social media rules, and the Hearsay Social platform implements.
Hearsay Social also integrates with enterprise governance and archiving systems so access can be controlled via single sign-on, and conversations can be stored in a compliant WORM archive.
These and other topics were discussed at an exclusive recent event at the LinkedIn headquarters in the iconic Empire State Building in New York. A packed room of senior insurance, banking and financial services executives heard case studies, saw demos and learned how to use LinkedIn Sales Navigator and Hearsay Social to build new relationships.
Watch out for other such events happening soon. If you’d like to connect to get more information, please do so with LinkedIn at email@example.com or Hearsay Social at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If technology and collaboration are key to restoring investor trust and confidence, what role will social media play?
At the 2014 FINRA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., one panel of experts discussed how firms are embracing and using social media in a session called ”Social Media, Digital Communications and Compliance.” The panel was moderated by Amy Sochard (Senior Director, FINRA Advertising Regulation), and included Shayna Beck (Senior Manager and Head of Retail Communications, the Vanguard Group, Inc.), Windy Lawrence (Chief Compliance Officer, Lead Director, and Associate General Counsel of AXA Distributors, LLC), and Joseph Price (Senior Vice President and Counsel, FINRA Corporate Financing).
The panel focused on a number of topics including: how broker-dealers are supervising social media, partnering with marketing to incorporate compliance considerations into broker-dealers’ social strategies, and applying FINRA’s guidance on content and mobile device use.
Here were some of the highlights.
Collaboration and privacy
Both Shayna and Windy agreed on the importance of facilitating collaboration between a team of internal stakeholders in driving social media policy. At Vanguard, a social media governance council was created with various stakeholders to accomplish a few things:
Work together on any new social media program they were looking to launch
Work together to “kick the tires” of existing social program
Determine if they have the right technology in place
Discover if they are educating their crews appropriately to use these platforms
The Vanguard team meets every month to ensure that things are working and held together, which has allowed them to mature in this space. Brand engagement through content has allowed Vanguard to listen to its clients and hear what they are saying about their brand.
When you look at social media, explained Windy, one of the things that emerges almost immediately is the “multi-dimensional risk aspects” that it introduces, so it’s important to have the commitment and understanding of all stakeholders. When it comes to the creation of a social media policy, it would be dangerous for any firm to only consider regulatory guidelines. Privacy is very important and firms need to establish data security and disclosures to protect the firm, employees, and clients.
Social media best practices
AXA, which is heavily involved with social, ensures proper representation from two perspectives:
1. Their corporate presence and
2. Individual AXA Advisors financial professionals.
The way they engage on social is different. They want to use their networks and personal brands to engage at a level where they get to know their fans. Although AXA Advisors does not allow its representatives to solicit via social, it does allow them to share content, the majority of which is pre-approved.
“From the compliance perspective,” explained Windy, “we like being able to allow reps to use content that has been approved and we feel comfortable with.”
Initially, AXA Advisors did not allow postings without review, however, as time went on the organization began to allow for interactive content. Compliance staff monitor social media, and look at queues on social content that require moderation or review. The firm also uses a lexicon-based tool to alert compliance of any “trigger words” that will flag a need for review and prior approval. According to Windy, they’ve struck the right balance and understand that the idea behind social is the need to be interactive and timely. Technology helps provide a much more seamless process.
From the financial professional perspective, the challenge is in effectively using social as another marketing tool. So far no one is using it exclusively, however, it’s fast becoming a necessary part of how they market their business and complements their existing marketing activities.
Shayna shared how Vanguard manages the risk of posted content by investing in training and ensuring their people tasked with content know what they can and cannot post in advance. Twice a month they have “Power Hour” live events and are able to respond to social postings quickly by getting stakeholders from compliance and public relations along with a writer and editor in a single room (or via chat) to respond to client inquiries. As questions come in, they follow a quick process of having the responses vetted before going live.
From a historical perspective, AXA has progressed over the last 5-6 years in step with the changes in guidance. Having clear guidelines to define the difference between personal information and professional information helped narrow the scope of items that would require supervision. The challenge of categorizing the level of interaction between representative and the public determines how you supervise it. Fortunately, technology has evolved at the same time that the regulation and guidance evolved, and the ability to capture, retain, and review made it easier to adopt social and the ability to mitigate the content.
AXA determined early on that, because supervising everyone at the same level cannot sufficiently address the varied types and purposes of user content, they needed to thoughtfully segment their employee base and then focus separately on their registered representative population.
By segmenting the population, AXA was able to assess from a risk perspective if they had the resources to support supervision. They also looked at their social media policy and individual feature items from LinkedIn and Facebook. Windy emphasized that, when creating a firm’s training program, you want to be very clear about what users can and cannot do on the platform and about what features are available.
At Vanguard, they only have a corporate presence, so only a handful of folks are publishing on the site at time: no individual representatives are adding content to raise concerns on supervision. In addition, they have defined policies and training in place to minimize risk and follow up quickly on any red flags that may occur. Hyperlinks
On the topic of hyperlinks, the one-click approach can only apply for certain communications. Space limitations may make it hard to have the actual prospectus or disclosures, but a link can be provided to both.
Key considerations and effective approaches to hyperlinks include:
Static content links
Interactive content links
3rd party versus business partner considerations
Disclosures and disclaimers
According to Windy, AXA treats hyperlinks like any other interactive content. If there is a trigger word, it gets brought up. They also have proper disclosures to differentiate between content that AXA provides and content that is from a third party.
There are challenges and risks to mobile, especially if a firm adopts and allows for employees to bring their own devices to conduct company business. There are also positives, however, especially around the interactive nature of business and the ability to share more content using apps.
Windy shared how AXA created an iPad application about variable annuities–not the easiest product to talk about. Before developing the app, both marketing and compliance collaborated to ensure their goals were aligned to ensure it was easy to understand the product and how it works. The technology around the iPad app allowed AXA to provide a certain level of information that would not have otherwise been easy to provide via a print or more traditional format. AXA worked closely with FINRA to develop the application, in the end providing a more dynamic way to showcase its product in a clear, thorough and balanced way.
Shayna sees this as a progressive step on leveraging the technology for an improved customer experience: ”I do see the marketing goal and the compliance goal starting to align now with this technology.”
There are so many new and different ways to design an app that allows you to more easily share information versus a one dimensional brochure or website and she encourages firms to pick up the phone and call your FINRA rep to talk about new technology and how a new approach may actually help investors.
23 firms participated in the social media spot checks, and most were able to illustrate that they were doing what had been asked of them to do. Firms were providing training on differences between personal and business postings on social, had a process to retain and supervise records, and were doing attestations and disclosures.
According to Windy, the spot checks went relatively well and provided AXA an opportunity to take an objective view of their social program. The discovery provided them an assessment of where improvements could be made and the audit served as a template on what to do and what not to do. It was also an important process for the marketing department to know what regulators were looking for and it provided a reason for why supervision is set up the way it is.
The regulatory environment continues to evolve and technology is providing both new avenues for risk and solutions. FINRA continues to reinforce its commitment to work with member firms to restore investor faith in the financial markets, however, it will require collaboration between firms and regulators to make it happen. Recognizing that consumers are moving towards social to make informed decisions on the products and services they purchase, those firms that adopt a social strategy will be well-served, as illustrated by AXA and Vanguard from the social media panel. Member firms and regulators are aligned in a common goal to improve the relationship between financial markets and the consumers that drive it.
Celebrating innovation, technology and social business, Hearsay Social last week hosted its second annual Social Business Innovation Summit in San Francisco, bringing together executives and thought leaders from across the financial services and technology industries.
In attendance were CEOs, heads of sales and distribution, CMOs, and compliance officers, who packed Dogpatch Studios on Thursday morning to network, learn and understand the trends and themes that are guiding how people buy products and services as well as the opportunities and challenges driving financial firms to adapt.
Inspired by the rapid-fire, rousing talks given at TED conferences, the Summit provided those in attendance–and anyone following our Twitter hashtag #SBIS14–a front row seat into the future of technology and innovation and how businesses will survive and thrive.
See below for photos, tweets, and four key takeaways from the Summit.
Social media is about enhancing human capital, not replacing it
Kicking off the Summit, Hearsay Social CEO Clara Shih (@clarashih) shared how client expectations are changing, and technology is altering how consumers make buying decisions. Online sources today are key influencers in each purchase and consumers are conditioned to expect personalized service and an ability to communicate with brand on their own terms and with their own devices.
Faced with an aging advisor population, the firms of tomorrow need to prepare to serve the next generation of investors and provide the tools to recruit the talent that will serve them. Technology scales and offers the ability to serve those previously unreachable, as it challenges and redefines existing models.
Client expectations are changing, and technology is altering how consumers make buying decisions. Online sources today are key influencers in purchases. Additionally, consumers are conditioned to expect personalized service and an ability to communicate with brands on their own terms, with their own devices, through their own channels.
Chris Andrews (Managing Director, Northwestern Mutual) and Karen Kehr (Financial Advisor, Ameriprise Financial) shared how they are using social media to grow, maintain and serve their base of clients in this new climate. Key to their success was the realization that many of their clients were already using social media platforms to network and connect. A personal and professional presence was a natural extension of their existing platform use, allowing them to convert friends into clients and find new opportunities through organic referrals.
Establish a culture of innovation
Founded in 1847 in Philadelphia, Penn Mutual has seen its share of changes, and according to Eileen McDonnell (Chairman, President & CEO, Penn Mutual), the industry is in crisis. By the year 2020, over half of the workforce will be comprised of millennials, and financial institutions need to find a way to connect and add value to these consumers. The changing face of insurance means that firms need to broaden their reach to capture new talent, especially women and millennials.
This means firms need to employ tactical initiatives to address the change by choosing the right partners, embracing innovation, and stop making excuses.
“It’s not an either/or situation. People retreat to what is comfortable to them. It will tweak…but I do believe that there will be a next generation of advisor force that will operate very differently, and they will need to co-exist.” — Eileen McDonnell, Penn Mutual
Although Eileen admits that not everyone will be open to change, the next decade will show us new producers, as well as established ones co-existing to serve the market.
Set the vision, empower the team, and keep moving forward – solid advice from Eileen McDonnell on keeping up w/the times #SBIS14
On the advisor panel, Karen Kehr shared how she uses Facebook and LinkedIn to build brand awareness and connect with the multi-generational clients she serves. Through social media, she is able to connect on a personal basis with clients, getting to know their kids and grandkids, which makes the transition to new relationships and business easy.
Chris had a similar experience: recognizing that the financial services business is about high trust relationships, he understood that the ability to relate and share in similar circles makes it easier to grow a book of business based on commonality. Long gone are the days of using the phone to connect with new prospects and expect any kind of exchange, especially when people are avoiding their phones or not using them at all.
“The old models of calling people worked in the 1950s. The 40-calls-a-day model is now broken. There is a lot of power in social, lots of information, and we need to keep it personal.” — Chris Andrews, Northwestern Mutual
Social doesn’t just help grow new business, but it also helps retain existing business. People will continue to work with advisors they trust and can relate to, and social makes it easier for people to understand who you are on a personal and professional level. It reduces the intimidation that one may feel working with a financial professional and makes clients feel comfortable and connected.
The dial-and-smile mentality is broken and no longer addresses how clients are making buying decisions. Karen concluded: “If you don’t have a presence, you don’t count.”
Joe Fernandez (CEO and founder of Klout, @JoeFernandez), whose software measures social influence and explores how people buy products and services, expanded on this idea during his presentation.
People today don’t pay attention to ads or billboards like they used to, and consumers are using information from peers to differentiate and select products. We listen to our friends, not brands.
“84% of millennial say user-generated content influences what they buy.” — Joe Fernandez, Klout
The leverage and reach provided by social media has increased the power consumers have over brands to influence the perception of products and services. In the post-advertising world, we only care what our friends say, and the power shifts back to consumers. If you don’t recognize the power of the people, you are missing an opportunity.
As an example of one platform that empowers both individuals and brands, Ralf VonSosen (Head of Marketing for Sales Solutions from LinkedIn, @rvonsosen) shared how LinkedIn is helping professionals connect with current and prospective clients, making them more productive and successful.
In total, LinkedIn has over 300 million global members representing 300,000 jobs and billions of updates on a daily basis. They have built their platform to focus on three main areas:
Identity: The resume is not as important as it once was when you can now use a digital resume that brings to life your professional background and the ability to create an online brand.
Networks: LinkedIn continues to expand the growth of the network and talent pool available on a global basis.
Knowledge: LinkedIn is quickly expanding as the definitive professional publishing platform, as evidenced by its acquisition of SlideShare, the growth of Groups and Pulse, and the expansion of its Influencer program.
At a high level, LinkedIn continues to define the role it plays in providing value to its members and continues to develop the platform to serve as an Economic Graph–a digital representation of the economy by connecting talent with opportunity at a massive scale and creating a capital of talent.
“The vision is to digitize this and then leverage this capital to where it can be more productive.” — Ralf VonSosen, LinkedIn
For users, this can only increase the value that LinkedIn provides its members, whether they are looking for job, a connection or new talent.
Resist naysayers and embrace disruption
Tapping into its Silicon Valley network, Hearsay Social was proud to present a unique panel of entrepreneurs–Bill Ready (CEO, Braintree, @williamready), Aaron Vermut (CEO, Prosper, @vermooti), and Bo Lu (CEO and founder, FutureAdvisor, @bolu)–who joined the Summit to share their views on entrepreneurship, technology trends in financial services, and how to succeed in the digital era. The panel was moderated by Amir Efrati (Senior Reporter, The Information, @amir).
Although each business is focused on a unique value proposition, they each share a common theme: disruption.
Whether it’s addressing the underserved masses with financial advisory services, micro-lending opportunities or new payment options, each company is challenging existing business models with ones that are meant to improve efficiencies and client experiences.
This is not unlike what social media is doing in financial services. It would be easy for advisors and firms to ignore the benefits of social media and hide behind the excuse of regulatory or compliance concerns. As the panel of entrepreneurs pointed out, however, the changing consumer base is wired differently, and technology is making it easier to disrupt existing systems that have yet to evolve, echoing some of the same sentiments shared by Joe Fernandez of Klout and Chris Andrews from Northwestern Mutual.
John Taft (CEO of RBC Wealth Management — US) provided a different perspective on the disruptive challenge these new companies are creating. Like Eileen before him, John recognizes that the next generation investor’s mindset is different and that more established brick and mortar businesses need to adapt to serve this new consumer. But it won’t happen overnight. And not all consumers are the same.
Financial services continues to be a high trust, high touch business that demands a personal relationship. The average age of clients is in the mid-50s and their advisors are about the same. Businesses have been built around the trust that advisors gain through personal connections established at local golf clubs, associations and common interest groups. RBC Wealth Management – US, although progressive in its approach to social, is not looking to address the unseen client market. That being said, they are looking to explore the effect that digital technology is having on wealth management.
People want to support businesses whose principles align with their own. — John Taft of @RBC#SBIS14
John challenged the notion that younger generations don’t like or use the phone because it’s really a matter of where you are in your life cycle. Life gets more complicated as you age, as do your needs. Professional advice is a premium and, the more complicated your life gets, the greater the need to have someone help you navigate through the tough decisions.
To this end, technology is both part of the problem and the solution. Although consumers today have access to more information and are perhaps more confident to make decisions on their own, it’s still a relationship business. Social media provides the avenue for shared values and ideas that ultimately make it easier for people to select the financial professional who is right for them.
Bryan Schreier (General Partner at Sequoia Capital, @schreier) agrees with John that Generation Y is unlikely to abandon their phones once their lives get more complicated.
Sequoia Capital spends a lot of time listening to college-aged consumers. What they’ve discovered is that this generation has a “lean back” mentality and prefers to see things in their social streams. They are very willing to share — by taking photos, using Snapchat and sharing online. However, they also expect the brands and services to come to them–an important lesson in the high touch and high trust environment of financial services.
Today, in the age of information, strong relationship management matters, and those that embrace technology to scale both new opportunities and maintain existing relationships will have success. There is a premium in offering personal attention and nothing beats face-to-face; in fact, that’s why we hosted the Innovation Summit in San Francisco, not online via a Web connection.
We’d like to thank all of our clients, partners, speakers and panel members for joining us in San Francisco. And thank you to all of those who joined us on Twitter using hashtag #SBIS14, as well as the Hearsay Social team who made it happen.
Thank you to everyone who attended our session at SXSW earlier this week! We had a full room of around 70 people participating in our “Core Conversation,” dissecting the ins and outs of successful social business.
The session was led by two experts when it comes to using social media to grow business: Jason Suen (Director of Global Customer Success, Hearsay Social, @JasonSuen) and Patrizio Spagnoletto (Head of Digital, Farmers Insurance, @patospago)
Here were some key takeaways:
1. Social media’s greatest impact is relationship building and retention. By allowing company representatives (like advisors and agents in financial services) to keep in touch with many more current and prospective clients at a time, social media enables more efficient relationship building than ever before.
2. Social media needs to be considered as part of an omnichannel strategy. Customers can and will use whatever channel works best to reach a business to buy a product or to reach customer support, so you need to embrace that.
3. Social media allows you to be top of mind with people that you otherwise wouldn’t get exposure to regularly. By having a regular presence on social networks and sharing great, relevant content, you establish yourself as a trusted source for your product or service. In this way, you stay top of mind with people who normally might not have engaged with you regularly.
Because the session was a Core Conversation, Jason and Pato encouraged questions and comments from the diverse audience, which included salespeople and marketers in financial services and other verticals. A few attended simply to learn more about the power of social business.
Wrapping up the session, Jason walked through the four steps to social business success, which was well-received by the audience:
1. Get found: Clients want to communicate with you via social media. Be there to provide the level of service they’re seeking.
2. Grow your network: Tell your clients you’re on social media. Start sharing content relevant to your business and build up your connections.
3. Research and act on social signals: Listen for important life events, like buying a new home or having a baby, that contacts in your network share on social media. This is information you can use at your next meeting to offer that person the right services or products.
4. Build credibility: Don’t fall silent on social media. Regularly update your networks with the best, most relevant articles and trends that your audience will find helpful, and establish yourself as a leader in your business and on social media.
When it comes to content you are about to publish, ask yourself, 'Would I read it?'¨ #myHearsay#sxsw#sxswi
Today we’re excited to announce that from March 16-19 we’ll be in Nashville for GAMA’s annual Leadership and Management Program (LAMP), which brings together more than 2,500 field leaders and industry executives representing more than 50 insurance companies from around the world.
GAMA has organized what’s sure to be a superb event, featuring top practitioner speakers including GAMA 2013-14 president Howard J. Elias (Guardian Life), Harry P. Hoopis (Northwestern Mutual), Peter S. Novak (MassMutual), Gregory R. Smith (Farm Bureau Insurance) and more.
Additionally, we’re proud to say we’ll be kicking off the event with a keynote from our CEO Clara Shih on Monday morning. In addition to Clara’s keynote, we will be hosting a workshop on day two of GAMA LAMP with distribution leaders from major financial firms participating. Also, take advantage of the chance to meet one-on-one with a key Hearsay Social executive onsite to explore how social business applies to your specific situation. Sign up here.
Here’s some more information about our sessions at GAMA LAMP:
How Social Media and Big Data are Transforming Distribution
Over one billion people today look to Facebook and Twitter for news and recommendations. At the same time, people are broadcasting life events every day across the social networks. How can advisors today tap into these opportunities to engage with their current and prospective clients?
In this very special keynote kicking off GAMA LAMP on Monday at 9:15 AM, Hearsay Social CEO Clara Shih (@ClaraShih) will share how insurers can leverage big data insights from social media to bring digital channel efficiencies to advisor forces and transform distribution.
The Dawn of the Super-Human Advisor
On Tuesday, March 18 at 3 PM, Jason Suen (Global Director of Customer Success, Hearsay Social, @JasonSuen) will be leading a panel with distribution leaders from major financial firms to discuss their experiences with social business. Panelists will share both qualitative insights and concrete actions every leader should be taking to get from “likes” to generating business on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other popular social networks. Participants in this workshop will walk away with a blueprint for leading their organization to success in the social media era.
See you at Clara’s keynote on Monday morning, Jason’s workshop on Tuesday afternoon, booth #435 (where you can enter a daily drawing for a chance to win a set of Beats by Dr. Dre Headphones) and online at #LAMP14 all throughout the event!
Learn more about social media and financial services: