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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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Forrester Wave: Hearsay Social cited as a leader in social risk and compliance solutions

forrester-logoToday we are proud to announce that Forrester Research, an independent technology and market research company, has recognized Hearsay Social as a leader in social risk and compliance solutions, according to a May 2014 report, The Forrester Wave™: Social Risk and Compliance Solutions, Q2 2014.

Out of 10 evaluated vendors, Hearsay Social received the highest scores in risk and compliance enablement, end user experience, and global reach.

In the evaluation, which assessed vendors that enhance social media engagement while mitigating risk and enforcing compliance, Forrester noted:

Hearsay Social offers a superior balance of risk controls and user experience. Hearsay Social is a Leader in this Forrester Wave because the platform provides a highly intuitive user interface with robust functionality to manage and control posts with pre-defined policy templates.

Heavily focused in financial services, Hearsay Social earned one of the top scores in the end user experience category and demonstrated some of the largest customer implementations, including managing social engagement for over 12,000 users for a very large North American insurance and financial services organization.

It is an honor to be acknowledged by Forrester as a leader in social risk and compliance solutions. In order to best help financial services field teams use social business techniques to grow their business, it is imperative for Hearsay Social to help firms address regulatory compliance at scale.

Last year, Forrester also recognized Hearsay Social as a “Strong Performer” among social relationship platforms, citing our “sophisticated content sharing and seeding features,” “clear vision for the value [our] clients are seeking,” and “innovative product road map” in “The Forrester Wave™: Social Relationship Platforms, Q2 2013.”

A year later, we’re still laser-focused on equipping financial services and insurance firms with the social business solution they need to use social media to grow business.

Download a copy of “The Forrester Wave™: Social Risk and Compliance Solutions, Q2 2014” here.