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Compliance for the Financial Services Industry in 2016 [WEBINAR REPLAY]

Thanks to all that attended our #HScompliance presentation on social media compliance for the financial services industry. Please find the webinar replay below as we share the latest compliance research and best practices collected from our client and member firms, and what financial services firms need to be aware of in 2016.
In this 45-minute webinar, moderated by Victor Gaxiola, Sr. Customer Advocacy Manager at Hearsay Social, you’ll hear from Yasmin Zarabi, Hearsay Social’s VP of Legal and Compliance, and Stephen Selby, CRCP, Assistant VP of Social Media Strategy, Audit & Regulatory Relations at LIMRA as they discuss:

  • The current state of digital technologies in financial services
  • FINRA retrospective rule review
  • The DOL’s pending fiduciary rule and its potential impact to social media
  • Compliance-enabled text messaging programs for advisors

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Listen to the webinar replay, or view the slide presentation, to learn how financial services firms are shifting to an omnichannel customer experience and a culture of compliance. Continue the conversation at #HScompliance
To learn more about Hearsay Social, visit www.hearsaysocial.com
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Recapping The Financial Services Forum and Hearsay Social's Social Media and Compliance Event in London

The following post was written by Ellie Kirk of The Financial Services Forum and Anita Moorthy, Head of EMEA Marketing at Hearsay Social. 
The first part of 2015 saw The Financial Services Forum and Hearsay Social collaborate on a project to help educate the financial services industry on social media and compliance best practices. UK event_1
Following a series of interactive breakfast meetings, an industry working group was formed that included senior marketing and compliance decision makers across the UK financial services industry. Later, a social media and compliance best practices guide was presented to the FCA for comment. This culminated in a Social Media and Compliance event on September 24, hosted very aptly at Facebook’s London office where speakers from the FCA, Killik and Co, Shawbrook Bank, Hearsay Social, and others were in attendance.
Below are highlights and key takeaways from the event. Names of individuals were omitted, as the conference was held under the Chatham House Rules.
The Social Media and Compliance half-day event revealed some interesting data: affluent millennials — the most prominent generation at present — are up to five times more likely to seek financial advice via social media than any other generation. This is news that may frighten some financial services providers, whom we acknowledged are known to be late adopters of new technologies. This set the scene for the rest of the day: with more consumers seeking advice on social media, it’s critical that your company is present on social media or risk being left behind.
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This is, in part, why Hearsay Social and The Financial Services Forum teamed up to create a Social Media and Compliance reference document for compliance in financial services, which is in line with the FCA requirements for social media. The team behind the reference document are also creators of the LinkedIn Social Media and Compliance for UK Financial Services Companies, a private group where financial professionals can continue the discussion around compliance and keep an open dialogue amongst peers.
It was clear during the session that not only does it make perfect business sense for financial services companies to adopt social media policies that can be rolled out company-wide, it will become inevitable. With strong audience participation, everybody agreed that financial services companies should embrace social media (as long as they remain compliant)! UK event-image 3
Moreover, the benefits of social media in financial services companies should not be overlooked. From giving a place for start-ups to reach their target audience, to allowing large financial industry players to reach a wider audience, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn can — and should — be used responsibly to help the industry keep the customer at the heart of their businesses.
From the presentations, we learned that the key to using social media successfully is to use it to communicate with customers, not sell to them. Social media allows companies to define their voice, tone, and way of doing things. It’s their chance to position themselves as a friendly and approachable business; not a hard-selling, faceless machine.
Furthermore, while compliance may be daunting for some, it’s important for marketing and compliance teams to work together to drive social media forward in business, including by providing training and mentoring to best educate these teams on new digital technologies. While the framework should be compliant with regulations in the UK, social media as a tool to give a human face to a business should not be ignored. Therefore, it’s more critical than ever that financial services companies don’t get left behind!
To continue the conversation online, join the LinkedIn group for Social Media and Compliance for UK Financial Serv Companies.
To learn more about implementing a compliant social media program in your financial organization, download the Social Media and Compliance Reference Guide.
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Social Media Compliance: Yes, You Can Be Both Social and Compliant

schwab imageAdvisor use of social media is on the rise – and not just for connecting with friends and family. Today’s social, mobile, and web technologies are changing they way we live and work, including the way people give and receive financial advice.
Recent studies show that more than 40% of high-net-worth individuals cite social media as important for accessing information on financial products or services. This creates opportunities for advisors to engage clients and prospects and deepen relationships using social media – and this can all be done while staying compliant.
As part of ongoing compliance updates for independent advisors, Yasmin Zarabi has provided key compliance considerations for social media in a recent report published on Schwab’s Insights Hub.
Here’s a brief outline on what you can find in the compliance update:
Be where your clients and prospects are

  • Investment advisor use of social media for business purposes is increasing
  • Relevant and personal content shows who the advisor is, helps build strong, trustworthy relationships, and ultimately drives business

To reap the full benefits of social media, it’s important to plan and account for compliance, legal, and branding issues

  • Implement a clear and concise written policy
  • Provide supervision procedures based on the firms overall risk-based principles
  • Have in place a fully compliant technology solution for content retention and retrieval

Avoid endorsements and recommendations about your skills
Advisors should avoid retweeting any tweet from either a securities research analyst or a client who is providing a testimonial about the advisor’s performance or a product or service of its firm.

  • Disable endorsement feature
  • Don’t accept recommendations
  • Add note to profile saying you do not accept endorsements or recommendations
  • Third-party content you push out or link to may be considered your own content

Not all social media “likes” are created equal
Whether a “like” or “favorite” is OK under the SEC guidance depends on context. For example, a like from a third party may simply indicate that a visitor enjoyed an article that was shared, whereas a like that an advisor solicits as an indication of a client’s experience with the firm may be construed as a testimonial—the latter does not comply with the rules.
Links to third party sites
According to the SEC guidance, advisors should not link to commentary on third-party social media sites unless they can show all three of the following:

  • That the advisor has no ability to affect which public commentary is included or how the commentary is presented on the independent social media site
  • That the commentator’s ability to comment is not restricted
  • That all comments, both good and bad, can be viewed publicly

Read the full Compliance Considerations for Social Media piece here.
Looking for more information on compliance and regulatory issues? Visit our Resources page.
Disclaimer: The material available in this article is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. We make no guarantees on the accuracy of information provided herein.
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#HSonAir Podcast: On the Road Again

ontheroadIn episode 34 we discuss the themes of my recent road trip that included panel participation at the Mutual Fund Marketing and Sales Summit in Boston, a visit to Zappos.com in Las Vegas, and the SIFMA Compliance and Legal Society Annual Seminar in Phoenix.   We also provide an update on the whereabouts of our old friend @RonnyKerr as he continues on his #RonnyWalk across America
For more details on the Mary Jo White comments at the SIFMA event, check out this piece by ThinkAdvisor and this one by Investment News (may require registration). To download The Advisor of the Future Executive Report- Click Here
Be part of the conversation on Twitter with @VictorGaxiola and @EliZelig using hashtag #HSonAir. You can also ask a question, make a suggestion or comment via e-mail at OnAir@HearsayCorp.com or LIKE our NEW page on Facebook.

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UK's FCA Sets New Rules on Social Media Use

shutterstock_79159834The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the UK’s regulatory body, recognizes the importance of managing social media in the financial services industry, and has recently published its guidance on using social media for financial promotions. In the UK alone, 58% of financial advisors say they use social media to actively engage with their clients and prospects, compared to 75% of financial advisors in the US sector. According to a social media survey by PAM Insight last year, compliance and regulatory concerns still present one of the biggest barriers to social media adoption among UK advisors. Yet, only a quarter of UK-based financial firms have introduced formal policies setting out social media best practices.
In the new guidance issued on March 13, 2015, the FCA outlines ways in which businesses can use social media for financial promotions in a way that is “clear, fair and not misleading.” The FCA’s acknowledgement that social media can be a significant value to firms in the way people communicate is a testament to the robust financial markets in the UK, the innovative nature of the companies and people, and the active participation by industry regulators.
Here are some important take-aways from the guidance:
1) ‘Click through approach’ and standalone compliance: Consumers’ tweets are standalone promotions and must comply separately with FCA rules, as well as being “clear, fair and not misleading.” This is also the case when tweets are used to link through to a website, known as the ‘click-through approach.’ Firms can apply this rule by having adequate systems in place such that every communication is monitored and supervised. For example, legal disclaimers can be given for each statement that is a financial promotion. These rules apply to all members of the financial firm that communicate “in the course of the business” and not just advisors or agents.
2) Distinguishing between personal and business use: Whether a social media post is compliant or not depends on the content that is being use for professional use, e.g. “in the course of business,” as opposed to personal use. Here are some practical tips for ensuring these requirements are met:

  1. Distinguish between the firm’s own social media sites, and sites for individual officers or employees at the firm. For the firm’s own sites, there should be a clearly defined policy about who is permitted to post material, and with what level of review (before or after the postings).
  2. Some firms only have firm-level social media sites, and prohibit individuals at the firm from making business-related postings on their own social media sites, although this approach is becoming less common.
  3. Firms should clearly distinguish between allowing for their advisors to use business-related sites for work versus their personal sites. For personal, non-business-related sites, advisors typically bar the individual from discussing business on those sites.
  4. Firms should monitor and retain content only on the individual’s business-related sites.

3) Responsibility when sharing or forwarding communications: Unlike other channels, “Retweets,” “likes,” and “shares” can take on a different meaning than the original communication on social media. The FCA declared that if a consumer shares or forwards content via sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, the firm is only responsible for the original communication. In this case, businesses should pre-review or post-monitor the appropriateness of any content. If, on the other hand, the firm is sharing a post that did not originate from the firm AND if the comment endorses the firm or their advisors’ posts that have regulated financial product or service, then sharing or forwarding by the firm will constitute a promotion by the firm. In this case, the firm is responsible for the retweet. The only exception to this rule is where the content is related to “customer service” which is an area that does not fall within the jurisdiction of the FCA.
4) Sign-off for digital communications: The FCA maintains, as it did in its earlier release, that firms have an “adequate system” in place to sign off on all digital media communications which it considers as best practice for managing business risk. Therefore it is important to think through the resource implications of social media. If a firm anticipates having multiple individuals with business-related social media activity, then the firm should make sure that it has adequate supervisory systems and compliance resources to monitor that activity. Firms should also think through crisis scenarios – have a plan in advance for how it would respond in social media in the event of an unexpected negative event/story.
5) Record keeping: To protect a company from legal, regulatory and reputational risk, a key requirement should be that the firm has the ability to retain and retrieve its social media communications, including both content from the advisor or agents, and the responses to that content. While the FCA does not provide specifics on length of time records should be retained, generally it is good practice (as is the case in US) to have a three to five-year retention period for communications with clients and potential clients. Third party technology solutions, such as Hearsay Social, allow firms to archive social media content, and to escalate content to supervisors or compliance for review. Further, with cybersecurity being in the forefront of financial services concerns, it is important to include social media in the firm’s information security program.
The key takeaway for businesses from this recent guidance is that the FCA is committed to providing clear and practical recommendations on how this new channel can be used in businesses to promote products and services in a way that is “clear, fair and not misleading.” However, there remain some challenges, the first of which is how these regulations can keep pace with evolving technology to ensure that guidelines continue to be practical and flexible for businesses. As firms scale and roll out their social media programs to their advisors and begin adhering to these guidelines through training, process, and social media compliant technology, the FCA may periodically revisit these new guidelines to adapt to this changing landscape.
To assist with this challenge and in the interest of creating an on-going dialogue within the industry and with the regulators, Hearsay Social is partnering with the Financial Services Forum to create an industry working group. The working group will provide continual ideas, practical tips and best practices for implementing social media channels in a compliant manner. If you are interested in contributing to how social media should be regulated, in UK or in continental Europe, we are interested in hearing from you. Please contact us at EUcompliance@hearsaysocial.com
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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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Improving efficiency and protection with new social media compliance enhancements

As head of legal and compliance at Hearsay Social, it is important to me that we continually provide cutting-edge improvements to the Hearsay Social platform to make the jobs of our compliance and supervision users easier.
Today we announced new enhancements to our compliance capabilities, and I want to share some of the key focus areas for these enhancements.

Streamlining the review and publishing process for static content

Request-Changes-to-Profile-Teal_NEW (1)FINRA sees social media profiles as “static” content and categorizes this content as “advertisements,” meaning profiles require pre-approval by a firm’s principal before they are published. Because we know this review process is a heavily used area of the Hearsay Social platform, we’ve created a new streamlined social profile review, approval, and publishing solution to make it even easier and more efficient for financial professionals to publish compliant profiles.
Many of our customers in highly regulated industries are already using this new profile solution, and I’m happy to report we’ve received extremely positive feedback. With one of the first implementations of the new LinkedIn API, Hearsay Social can now automatically publish approved profile content directly to the network. For supervision professionals, this new functionality ensures public profiles match what they have approved, minimizing risk for the organization and easing compliance for profiles. Plus, it saves advisors and agents the time and headache of having to update their profile manually after new content has been approved.

More pre-approval functionality for dynamic content

We heard from some of our customers that they wanted a better way to pre-approve dynamic social activity from advisors and agents. With recent enhancements, Hearsay Social now lets supervisors pre-approve social engagements such as Likes or comments before they go live on the social networks.

Archive support for photos

An effective social business program is not just text-based. In order to help our customers take advantage of all types of social content, we now provide the ability for firms to archive photos posted by agents and advisors through the platform. This ensures they’re capturing this type of activity in their records, even if it is deleted or removed from the social network at a later date.

Increasing context for improved efficiency

In addition to delivering a new static profile solution, we have added more note and attachment fields so supervision users can share comments or context with each other or advisors during the supervision process. These new fields are also pushed to the archive systems so that complete context is available upon record review. In addition, Hearsay Social now provides enhanced searching and sorting to supervision users so that they can be even more efficient when reviewing or auditing social business activities of agents and advisors.
We hope these enhancements will make our customers’ jobs easier and their social business programs more effective and compliant. Please feel free to reach out to me directly if you’d like more information about the new solutions above or other functionality of the Hearsay Social platform.
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#HSonAir Employee Spotlight Series: Interview with Yasmin Zarabi of Hearsay Social

YZ_L-copy-squareIn episode 11 of Hearsay Social On the Air we continue the employee spotlight series by introducing our in-house legal and compliance specialist Yasmin Zarabi (@yasminzarabi).
After hearing a bit about Yasmin’s background, we discuss the current state of social media in financial services and our participation at FINRA’s Advertising Regulation Conference in Washington, D.C. last month.  Join the conversation with @VictorGaxiola and @RonnyKerr on Twitter using hashtag #HSonAir.
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Teaming up with ZL Technologies to continue offering successful and compliant social media initiatives

ZL Vertical Logo Big ZLToday we’re proud to announce that we’ve partnered with ZL Technologies, a leader in enterprise-class information governance, to enable our joint customers to roll out successful and compliant social media initiatives.
This strategic partnership pairs Hearsay Social with ZL’s Unified Archive® (ZL UA), making it easy to manage corporate social media activity for legal, compliance, storage, and records lifecycle needs. The result is a seamless experience where enterprise social media activity across multiple social networks can be granularly screened and preserved for compliance.
Kon Leong, CEO of ZL Technologies, commented on today’s news:

“Social media is no longer a novelty: it is an essential business tool with its own ROI and metrics. But in regulated sectors, compliance requirements and real-time social interaction have traditionally been seen as contradictory. We’re excited that our partnership with Hearsay Social opens new doors for clients to leverage the full breadth of social engagement while still exceeding stringent regulatory demands for information governance.”

Earlier this year, we expanded our partnership program with global leaders in security and compliance. We’re happy to now be working with ZL Technologies to better serve our joint customers in the financial services industry.
We’re committed to helping firms address regulatory compliance at scale while leveraging their existing investments in technology and compliance.
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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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