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Unveiling a new dashboard and compliance enhancements to help you grow business on social media

Over the past several years, we’ve closely collaborated with the largest financial services companies in the world, honing in on the tools and strategies that best help advisors grow business through social media. We then took this knowledge and developed a best practices methodology that focuses on the essentials to being successful on social:

  1. Get found
  2. Grow your network
  3. Research and act on social signals
  4. Build credibility through thought leadership.

Today’s new social business dashboard from Hearsay Social directly incorporates this methodology through its interface and features. Key enhancements developed in the past year include:

  • Advanced compliance capabilities: Dedicated to serving financial services organizations, which are regulated by FINRA and the SEC, we’ve streamlined compliance and supervision–not only to help compliance teams but also to help advisors. Today we’re launching a seamless LinkedIn profile review and publishing experience through the Hearsay Social interface. Over the past year, Hearsay Social has doubled the information it collects for archiving from social networks, streamlined the user interface for supervision, and improved integration with industry-leading archiving tools, all to enable significantly more efficient compliance capabilities.
  • Advanced Social Signals: Through Hearsay Social’s unique Social Signals offering, which uses natural language processing to alert users to important life events of people in their networks, users can now track alerts and follow up on an individual level. This allows agents and advisors to effectively manage lists of current and prospective clients and respond to social signals at scale.
  • Enterprise-level integration: Hearsay Social has released new enterprise APIs, making it even easier for global businesses to integrate the Hearsay Social platform into their business-critical enterprise and compliance systems. This enables further customization with system-level integration for global companies and streamlines the deployment process, helping agents and advisors to start using social media more quickly.

Of course, we won’t stop there. Every day we work closely with the social networks, the regulatory bodies, and you–our customers–to continually improve upon Hearsay Social, the leading social business platform for the financial services industry.
Read the full press release here and learn more:

Enhancing the social business experience for financial advisors at Wedbush Securities

Hearsay+Wedbush
Last week we proudly announced our partnership with Wedbush Securities, one of the nation’s leading financial services providers. Through this new partnership, financial representatives across Wedbush will be able to engage on social media efficiently and compliantly using the Hearsay Social platform.
Wedbush is no stranger to social media. The company first launched its social media program in early 2012, and this month was named one of the top 10 “most influential brokerages in social media,” according to a survey conducted by WealthManagement.com and REP. Partnering with Hearsay Social allows Wedbush to streamline its firm-wide social media program so everyone from corporate marketing to compliance to the field can contribute to the company’s social business success.
In the field, Wedbush financial advisors, research analysts, investment bankers, and equity traders can now easily publish and schedule content to their social media pages while also tracking social signals, such as when someone in their network has a baby, gets married, purchases a home, or gets a new job. From the same platform, corporate marketing and compliance teams can monitor and support colleagues to make sure their social media engagements drive business.
Natalie Taylor-Grasso, Vice President and Head of Marketing at Wedbush, had this to say about the new partnership:

“Social media is a critical component of our communications strategy. We attribute our success to encouraging Colleagues to share their ‘unique voice’ in social dialogues, while supporting them with the tools and information they need to effectively engage. Hearsay Social’s technology provides our team with a compliant solution that offers a more streamlined and productive user experience. I am thrilled about this partnership and look forward to leveraging the platform as we continue to expand our digital footprint.”

We’re excited to work with Wedbush to help them grow business on social media! To learn more about today’s announcement and how we help financial advisors, see these resources:
Wedbush Switches to Hearsay Social Platform

Wedbush Enhances Firm-wide Social Media Platform, Increases Engagement through Hearsay Social

Proud to partner with LinkedIn to help our customers be compliant and grow business on social media

Sales: Then and Now

We’ve come a long way from when rolodexes and telephones were the best tools for selling. Today, leading salespeople use social networks to research, connect, and engage with customers and prospects, supercharging their selling efforts.
In this chart, taken from our ebook The Social Era Demands Social Selling, we show exactly how sales has changed.

Continue reading about the power of social sales in “The Social Era Demands Social Selling,” available for download here.

5 essential tools for the social salesperson

Through our work with successful social salespeople, we have had the opportunity to see exactly how these individuals attract leads and convert prospects to clients. Beyond posting regularly, taking action on social signals, and perfecting their own engagement strategy, this group also leverages the social media tools that are readily available to them in order to make the most out of their social media efforts.
But how do they know which tools to use? It seems that everywhere you look these days there is another new free social media measurement tool on the market. Skip these for now. Instead, we are going to show you how you can take advantage of the tools you already have in your social media tool kit.

  1. Who’s Viewed Your Profile (LinkedIn)
    At first glance, seeing who has looked at you online can feel a bit odd. But given LinkedIn’s professional focus and privacy options, this should be a go-to resource for social salespeople. The list is a boon since it captures a record of the people who, for one reason or another, were compelled to gather more information about you. Perhaps they were interested in an article you shared on LinkedIn or perhaps a friend recommended your services to them. Either way, it’s a prime way to identify people who may be potential leads or even upsell targets.How to use this tool: To begin, the only way to see who has viewed your profile is to allow other people to see when you have viewed them. To do this, go to Settings and then click “Select what others see when you’ve viewed their profile”.  Set this option to “Your name and headline” – the first option. Navigate back to your profile, and find the “Who’s Viewed Your Profile” link on the right side of the page. Next, consider connecting with the viewers you know, but who are not yet a connection. Finally, do a little research on the individuals you do not know.  Leverage LinkedIn’s “TeamLink” feature to see which connections you share with these new people and determine who can make an introduction.
  2. Social Signals (Hearsay Social)
    A key aspect to social selling is taking advantage of opportunities to reach out to your clients and prospects. But the question remains: how do you identify these opportunities? One of the best, and easiest, ways to uncover these prime conversation starters is our very own Social Signals. With Social Signals, you can avoid the hassle of searching for your connections’ important updates one by one, across multiple social media sites. Rather, you will receive a curated list of these important life events, including birthdays, job changes, relocations, relationship changes, and more, in one centralized feed.

    How to use this tool: Once you log in to Hearsay Social, simply click on the Signals tab.  Use the filters (Birthday, Family & Relationship, Job, Location and Uncategorized) to find relevant updates about your connections.  Now, get the conversation going!
    (Please note: not all organizations have access to Social Signals.  If you are interested in receiving Social Signals, please reach out to Hearsay Social Support.)
  3. Reach 2.0 (Facebook)
    If you read our earlier post 5 stats you should track to be successful on social media, you know that reach is a fundamental metric that all social salespeople should be using.  Advanced social salespeople probably want to understand even more about their reach in order to optimize their content strategy and get the most out of any paid promotions.  Consider these reach building blocks:
    Organic reach: The number of unique people who saw your content in their News Feed, in the ticker or on your page.
    Viral reach: The number of unique people who saw a story about your page published by a friend.
    Paid reach: The number of unique people who saw your ad or Sponsored Story.

    How to use this tool: First, access this tool by going to your Facebook business page’s Insights section and clicking on “Reach.” Scroll down to find the section “How You Reached People (Reach and Frequency)”. Next, spend some time reviewing the components of your reach and how they varied across the time period shown on the chart. Connect periods with high reach – whether organic, viral or paid – to the content that drove these peaks. Pay attention to how your paid promotions are faring so that you can optimize your social marketing spend. Over time, you will be able to better predict which of your posts will go viral and how to reach more of your audience with content that matters to them.
  4. Demographics of your Likers (Facebook)
    One of the questions social salespeople often ask themselves is “Who am I reaching with my content?” Some will also ask, “Am I reaching the right audience with my content?”  To answer these questions, take a look at your Facebook Insights.How to use this tool: To find this information, navigate to your Facebook business page’s Insights section and click on “Likes”. Here you will find a summary of their demographics including their gender, age group, country, city, and language.  Once you’ve digested this information, take a minute to answer these questions:
    Are you surprised by the breakout of your Likers?
    Are they older than you expected? Younger?
    Are you reaching people across the country?
    With this information, you can continue to refine the content you share with your audience. If you want to reach an older demographic, for example, consider sharing information about how to spend your retirement instead of how to build a nest egg. If you want reach people who speak another language, include a translation or two in your content to see if you can target these people directly.
  5. Social Sales
    At the end of the day, when you are using social media as a social salesperson, what matters is simple: SALES. But how do you track this information? How do you know at the end of the quarter what percentage of your sales came from social media? The answer is simple: it is up to you! Better than anyone else, you know how you landed each one of your sales. The key is to track information, no matter how you do it.How to use this tool: Again, it is up to you to decide how to measure your social media sales success. Here are a few ideas that we have gathered from our expert social salespeople:
    Maintain your own social sales tracking worksheet that you update regularly (timing will depend on your typical sales volume).
    Leverage your company’s CRM tool if it offers a way to classify a sale’s source as social media.  (If this is not available, consider asking your head of sales to make “social media” an option!)
    Poll your customers to learn how they found you.
    Collaborate with other employees to build a social sales measurement chart so that you can see how you are faring compared to your peers.
    Managers can consider offering a bonus to the salesperson who lands the largest number of social sales per quarter/year.

To learn more about how salespeople leverage social media to grow business, watch the below video highlighting some top performers at Farmers Insurance:

How can you use social media to drive sales? Social business experts weigh in at FT Digital Media Conference in London

Hearsay Social is proud to have participated in the Financial Times Digital Media Conference, the flagship annual event that brings leading individuals together to discuss technological disruption of new and established media. Speakers included Sir Martin Sorrell, Group Chief Executive of WPP; Marion King, President of MasterCard Worldwide, UK & Ireland Division; and Clara Shih, CEO and Founder of Hearsay Social.

“This event is very focused on what the FT does best,” explains Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson, Media Editor, Financial Times, “exploring the business models that will determine success in different markets around the world, from the perspective of both senior leaders of global media groups and today’s most promising digital entrepreneurs.”

Joining Clara on the “Business of Social” panel were Richard Waters, West Coast Managing Editor of the Financial Times; Christian Hernandez Gallardo, Director of UK and Pan-Euro at Facebook; Gilles Storme, VP of Advertising Sales, EMEA at King.com; and Richard Moross, CEO & Founder of Moo.com.

From left to right: Richard Waters, West Coast Managing Editor of the Financial Times; Hearsay Social CEO and Founder Clara Shih; Richard Moross, CEO & Founder of Moo.com; Gilles Storme, VP of Advertising Sales, EMEA at King.com; and Christian Hernandez Gallardo, Director of UK and Pan-Euro at Facebook.

“One of the highest signals that you will likely want to have a mortgage or car loan is a life change,” said Christian. “If you got engaged or are expecting, I guarantee you’re going to have a lot of expenses coming up. You will probably need some advice from a helpful financial advisor. Those social signals feed into an econometric model, and then we help them go back and actually talk to the customer at the right time.”

In an age where mistrust of corporations has never been higher, many companies are seeing success by using social media to promote their employees as ambassadors of the corporate brand.

“The traditional big media world is much more affected by individuals,”  said Clara. “There is a blurring of lines across paid, earned and owned media. The same piece of content coming from a person versus a corporate brand performs better from an EdgeRank perspective and also ties back to individual curation. Consumers want to hear from human beings, oftentimes a friend or trusted advisor.”

More significantly, companies that effectively empower their employees on social media can activate an additional channel to connect with customers.

“Media is not just about paid, owned, and earned; there is also employed media. Your brand ambassadors can be extremely effective authentic channels for connecting with your customers and prospects,” Clara explained.

Watch a recording of the conversation on FT Live.

How to use LinkedIn to drive leads

In the past, we’ve spent time talking about the value of social marketing, how to engage your audience, and how to track ROI on those efforts. In 2013, social selling will prove just as essential.

What is social selling?

Social selling is all about extending what you do as a salesperson on a daily basis into the social media world. That means building a community, making connections, sharing valuable and relevant content, and doing all this in a way that demonstrates you as the thought leader in your space. Social selling isn’t shouting “call me for a quote” on LinkedIn. Instead, through your interesting articles and thoughtful InMail messages, your audience will naturally go to you for advice and their business.

Here are four easy steps to boost your social selling efforts on LinkedIn:

1. Build your community

You’ve heard this many times before, of course, but make sure you have the following fields filled out on your LinkedIn profile:

  • Summary: Create a rich summary of your background. Don’t just tell your audience what you did, tell them why you did it. People will be interested in your career path and the lessons you learned along the way.

  • Photo: Upload a recent professional headshot. Don’t use stock images or vacation photos. This photo should represent what you look like when you arrive in a sales meeting.

  • Background: Fill out your educational and professional background as well as many fields as you can.

The next step is to find your audience. Search for groups by your industry, alumni groups, and for your own company page. Don’t just passively join, join the conversation. Respond to threads, answer questions, and emerge as the group thought leader. If there aren’t any active topics in the group, start one yourself.

LinkedIn makes it really easy for you to find new connections as well; they provide recommendations in the right column of “People You May Know.” If you know them, connect! It can’t hurt to have too many connections in LinkediIn. The more people in your LinkedIn professional network, the more people that will see your status updates and have the opportunity to engage with you and your business.

2. Listen for social signals

Maybe you’re tired of seeing a thousand kitten and baby pictures posted to social networks. Some of these seemingly pointless postings, however, indicate significant life events that you should be aware of as a business owner. What’s important to your connections could be important to your business.

If you see life events such as a job change, city change, promotion, new baby, new home, or marriage, these are important events in your connections’ lives that require significant financial decisions. For example, your connection could be wanting to create a will now that the baby is born or maybe they need to join investments after they get married. These are the kinds of social signals you should be monitoring.

Tip: To engage about a life change, simply reach out and say, “Hi Mike, congratulations on the promotion! I’m so glad that all of your hard work has paid off at Company X. Just wanted to say hello and congrats!” This isn’t a sales pitch, it’s a reminder pitch. Maybe you’re a financial advisor, but Mike already knows that, so your job is simply to remind him that you’re still there and care about him and his career.

3. Be a trusted source

Why do car salespeople have a bad reputation? It’s because they are known for being pushy with their sales pitch. You don’t have to be that person to be successful. In fact, don’t be that person on social media! Nobody wants to hear “call me for a quote”. Why should they call you for a quote versus the other thousands of insurance agents in the United States?

Show your contacts why they should call you by being a thought leader:

  • Be the resource:  Share valuable, relevant content with your audience.

  • Offer help: Look for connections’ questions  on LinkedIn and answer them. Follow up to make sure they got what they needed.

  • Practice critical thinking: Have you ever posted an article without reading the entire thing? That’s not a good habit. Read the article and, instead of posting a summary or the title of the article, share what you think about the article. Do you agree? Do you respectfully disagree? It’s okay to share your opinion as long as you’re not offending others and explain why you’ve to come to your conclusion. Your followers will appreciate your leadership and authenticity.

Tip: Next time you’re on LinkedIn, post an article along with your thoughts about it. By sharing this information, your connections will value your opinion and come to you for advice. Remember, it’s not about actually selling products via social media, it’s also about being the resource that people trust.

4. Maintain relationships with your customers


Remember rolodexes? If you wanted to call a contact, you used to flip through your rolodex and pick up the phone. Why not do this with LinkedIn?
If you’re looking for a way to retain customers or just keep in touch with your current connections, try my “Russian Rolodex” tip. Once a week, I visit my Connections page on LinkedIn (my virtual rolodex) and move my cursor down the list with my eyes closed. After a random amount of time, I click on a name and open my eyes to see the person I’m going to reconnect with today. I either give them a call to say hello or simply send them a message via LinkedIn.
If you choose someone you haven’t spoken to in a very long time, click on their profile and try to learn about recent changes in their life. Did they get a new job? Are they in the same city? When I follow up with them, I just comment that I was thinking about them, looked through their profile, and saw that they had just moved jobs. “How are you enjoying Firm Y now?” It’s a great way to randomly reconnect with people to retain those relationships and keep you top of mind.

Webinar: Getting from Social Marketing to a Social Sales Force

How do you go beyond traditional brand marketing to actually generating leads, referrals, and upsell on social media?
Join us on Thursday, March 21 for a great webinar we’ve planned, Getting from Social Marketing to a Social Sales Force, with Altimeter Group partner and analyst Jeremiah Owyang, director of social media for Farmers Insurance Ryon Harms, and Hearsay Social CEO Clara Shih.

Every day, a billion people share the most important moments of their lives on social media, from new jobs to newborns — and everything in between. Your own social networks are full of these “social signals” and your competitors are acting on this information in real time. So how do you go beyond basic corporate pages and enable your agent force to sell more?
Join our webinar and learn how to:

  • Activate your entire company on social media
  • Train and onboard a geographically dispersed agent force
  • Amplify and measure brand reach across your people
  • Systematically address governance and regulatory issues

Register now and reserve your seat!