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Webinar: Using Facebook Promoted Posts to Boost Your Financial Marketing Efforts

Ever wonder what leading financial services organizations are doing to increase their social business ROI?
We’re excited to share a replay of our webinar How to Boost Your Financial Marketing Efforts Using Facebook Promoted Posts, featuring Facebook’s US Industry Lead, Brad Auerbach, and Thrivent Financial’s marketing experts, Kyle Marie Woods and Quinn Gorski.
In this one-hour webinar, you’ll hear how Thrivent has successfully enabled their field representations to drive social business success as they share:

  • How to use Facebook Promoted Posts to increase engagement and amplify reach
  • Thrivent Financial’s Social Marketing Programs and how they use Facebook Promoted Posts
  • What types of content to promote to engage Facebook audience
  • How to measure effectiveness of promoted posts

Listen to the replay at your convenience and learn how you can successfully use Promoted Posts to build your local brand, amplify your reach, and increase engagement with customers and prospects on social media.
To learn more about how Thrivent finds success on social media, please read this analyst case study entitled How to achieve social media ROI in financial services.

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Celebrating the Intersection of Technology and Financial Services At Social Business Innovation Summit 2015

Summit-Blog-GraphicOn Wednesday, June 3, Hearsay Social will bring together key thought leaders in financial services and Silicon Valley technology for its third annual Social Business Innovation Summit (#SBIS15).
Following the huge success of last year’s Social Business Innovation Summit (watch the video), Hearsay Social has once again developed an exciting program that will drive conversation and action around the digital transformation that is taking place within the financial services industry. Executives and thought leaders representing multiple functions, including the C-suite, sales, marketing and compliance, from some of the world’s top financial services firms will convene in downtown San Francisco to connect with CEOs of disruptive technology companies, and learn how they are innovating and redefining established markets.
The Summit will include a combination of TED-style keynotes, fireside chats and many opportunities for attendees to network and share ideas with their peers from around the world.
Speakers Email-01
Clara Shih (@clarashih), CEO and founder of Hearsay Social, will begin the dialogue by sharing her perspectives on why today’s advisor risk becoming obsolete. She’ll discuss why and how advisors and their financial services leaders must quickly adapt to best reach and serve clients.
Attendees also will hear from Dan Preston (@danpres), CEO of Metromile, a technology company that has completely changed the relationship between consumers and car insurance, as well as Dave Girouard (@davegirouard), CEO and founder of Upstart, the leader in marketplace lending that is fulfilling a need overlooked by traditional banks. Elad Gil (@eladgil), CEO and founder of Color Genomics, will share his insights on technology’s impact on human lifespans and, in turn, the wealth management and insurance industries.
From within the industry, Summit attendees will hear from Tash Elwyn (@tashelwynRJ), president of Raymond James & Associates, about the transformative role that social media and technology plays in wealth management. Knut Olson (@knutolson), senior vice president of mission advancement at Thrivent Financial, will discuss what Thrivent is doing to innovate and modernize its advisor force in order to stay connected with clients to grow business and deepen relationships.
Be sure to follow #SBIS15 and @hearsaysocial on June 3 for live Summit coverage and to follow the conversation, and check back for a round-up of key learnings and takeaways.
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Congratulations to the 2014 LIMRA LOMA Silver Bowl for Social Media award winners!

It’s hard to believe a whole month has passed since we joined customers, partners, and friends at the 2014 LIMRA LOMA Social Media Conference for Financial Services in Boston. 
Before more time passes, we want to take a moment to congratulate the handful of financial firms recognized in the Social Media Silver Bowl Awards, an annual contest recognizing innovation and business success across firms’ and agents’ use of social media campaigns and programs.


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”
  • Transamerica — “Best Use of Other Social Network”
  • Sun Life Financial Asia — “Best Use of Facebook”
  • Popular Bank (Puerto Rico) — “Best Use of Social Media for Social Good”
  • Guardian Life Insurance — “Best Use of LinkedIn”
  • Prudential — “Best Use of YouTube”
  • Thrivent Financial Agent Natalie Kratzer — “Best Use of Social Media by an Agent/Advisor.”

Find out how each of these firms won their awards on the LIMRA website and learn more about social business for financial services below:

Amplify reach and grow business on Facebook with Hearsay Social for Facebook promoted posts

Today Hearsay Social is proud to announce the launch of Hearsay Social for Facebook promoted posts, allowing advisors and agents to amplify their reach, increase engagement, and grow business on Facebook.
With over 1.3 billion people using Facebook monthly, it’s more crucial than ever for financial professionals to be leveraging the social network to share content, stay top of mind, and connect with prospective and current clients.


Hearsay Social for Facebook promoted posts allows relationship managers to take content they’ve published and broaden their distribution through Facebook ads, amplifying their visibility and increasing engagement. According to financial professionals, like Michelle Monson, Financial Consultant with Thrivent Financial, the new feature will be crucial to helping them grow business:

“I am excited about advertising on Facebook. I’ve had a business page since 2013 but wasn’t very active until Thrivent’s Field Social Media Team invited me to test Hearsay Social’s new ad functionality. It’s a great way to tell prospects and current clients that I’m on Facebook and to like my page to get helpful financial tips. I’ll be reaching people I never would have met otherwise.”

We’ve designed this new feature to make it easy for agents and advisors to launch, monitor, and optimize their advertising activity on Facebook. And for users that want to learn more about the value of ads and overall best practices, our Customer Success program now includes training on Facebook promoted posts.
Finally, as with the rest of the Hearsay Social platform, today’s newly announced feature integrates directly with our platform’s compliance functionality, allowing firms to continue archiving activity and addressing any advertising regulatory requirements.
Kyle Marie Woods, Marketing Manager at Thrivent Financial, commented on the news:

“We are thrilled to partner with Hearsay Social on this new ad integration and are impressed with the feature’s ease of use. We are excited about the opportunity it provides our representatives to build their local brand on social and expand their reach.”

We’re proud to unveil Hearsay Social for Facebook promoted posts, enabling us to help tens of thousands of advisors and agents to increase engagement and expand business through social media. If you’d like to learn more, check out coverage on InvestmentNews and ThinkAdvisor or stop by the Hearsay Social booth at the LIMRA Social Media Conference this week!

Sales has changed more in the past 10 years than it did in the previous 100: Recap from LIMRA Distribution 2014

Recently we were honored to be in Florida for LIMRA’s annual distribution conference, where our CEO Clara Shih shared the stage with Mark Hug (Executive Vice President Product and Marketing, Individual Life Insurance Prudential), Patrick T. Leary (MBA, Assistant Vice President, Distribution Research, LIMRA), business experts Daniel Pink and Ryan Estis, and many other industry leaders.

For those who weren’t able to make it, here are some of the best takeaways from the event, where we discussed the future of distribution in financial services.

The New Age of Marketing and Sales

Kicking off the conference, Mark Hug framed his presentation around key challenges the industry faces today. You may be familiar with the industry challenges as listed below, but what made Mr. Hug’s presentation especially insightful was how he tied the challenges to the opportunities facing the industry.

Key Challenges

  • The Economy: The pressures of low interest rates are especially affecting the life insurance industry. Although the U.S. is projected for a full economic recovery by 2015, the recovery of the life insurance industry is lagging.

  • Regulations: “The industry has never been more regulated,” said Mark. He described the growing regulatory pressure, especially as new technologies emerge and make information more accessible.

  • Distribution: Distribution volume is at a low point, and by some measures, there are 25% less producers than there were 10 years ago. Life insurance distributors are also greying at a faster rate that their financial services counterparts. Today, the average age of a life insurance advisor is in the upper-50s compared to a financial advisor who is in their lower-50s.

Mark described how some organizations are experimenting with “alternative” distribution channels, such as websites or big-box chains. But “we are not going to make progress through experimentation,” he argued, encouraging LIMRA members to move faster to keep up. “We can’t experiment anymore, we need to disrupt.”

Specifically, through technology and big data, he sees key opportunities for the life insurance industry to innovate and adapt in the areas of marketing, distribution and customer experience. Some producers have adopted social media as a means of building relationships with clients, but he also encourages other digital channels of communication such as chat or video conferencing.

Mark pulled out his iPhone and used Siri to search for a life insurance advisor to make a point: it is just not that easy to find a life insurance agent online. He went on to explain how important it is for advisors to be findable on the Internet, using the legal industry as key example. Social media profiles and pages boost search results, making social media a key tool for producers to make themselves more findable.

Another area of opportunity that Mark highlighted was big data and analytics. He encouraged LIMRA attendees to start leveraging the information they already have to better serve their customers and prospects.

“Leverage predictive analytics, learn about your customers and understand how they are going to change in advance,” he said.

In his parting message, he focused on customer experience. At Prudential, they are spending more time on customer experience than ever before. Mark urged his peers that if they are not already investing heavily in their customers’ experiences, then they should be. And the investment can’t be done in isolation by a single team. Distribution and marketing should work as partners, understanding your customer and potential segmented consumer better.

“If you do this,” he said, “you’ll be right along with us next year.”

To Sell Is Human: The New ABCs of Moving Others

The second main stage presentation was led by Daniel Pink, bestselling author of “To Sell is Human.” Daniel started out his presentation with a bold assertion that the disintermediation predicted as a result of digital distribution hasn’t happened. He supported this assertion with U.S. employment numbers showing that the number of salespeople in the workforce hasn’t declined.  The percentage of American workers that are in sales has stayed constant at about 11% from 2000 to 2014, according to Daniel.

Sharing some data his team researched, Daniel described the negative connotation most Americans have with “sales.” The team asked approximately 7,000 adult full-time workers, “When you think of ‘Sales’ or ‘Selling,’ what’s the first word that comes to mind?” Results were overwhelmingly negative: 20 of the top 25 adjectives they recorded were negative, including words such as “pushy” and “smarmy.”

We are no longer in a “buyer beware” world: with all of the information available online, the warning is “seller beware.” Not only can buyers now do extensive research on a product before making a purchase, they can also research the salespeople. Daniel highlighted three key qualities of salespeople in this new era: attunement, buoyancy and clarity.

Daniel also debunked a popular myth that people with an extrovert personality are the best sales reps. In their study they found that “ambiverts,” people who are neither exclusively extroverted nor introverted, are actually the most productive salespeople.

Daniel’s key message: selling has changed more in the past 10 years than it did in the previous 100. Salespeople today need to recognize these changes and return to customer-centricity.

Social Media and the Future of Agency Distribution

On day two of the event, we were proud to take the stage with business leaders from Pacific Life, Thrivent Financial, and New York Life to discuss how social media affects the future of agency distribution.

Hearsay Social CEO Clara Shih (@clarashih) was joined by Greg Bailey (VP, Marketing, Pacific Life Insurance Company, @gregbaileyco), Knut A. Olson (CLU, FIC, Chief Distribution Officer, Thrivent Financial), and Maurice B. Springer (CLF, CVP Manage Development, New York Life Insurance Company).

Building off of Mark’s and Daniel’s presentations described above, Clara discussed how multiple factorsshifting customer demographics and buyer expectations, an aging advisor population and the unprecedented pace of technological changeare challenging the effectiveness of traditional distribution models. She argued that innovations in social, digital and mobile technologies for the advisors can help solve many of the problems discussed at the conference.

To support her arguments, Clara passed the microphone to distribution leaders from Pacific Life, Thrivent Financial, and New York Life in the audience so they could share their social business success stories. Selling is transforming, but that doesn’t mean it’s dying. The most adaptable firms will embrace new technologies as way to help, not hinder, their field forces.

Learn more:

The rise of the customer and social business in financial services: Recap from LinkedIn FinanceConnect
Social Media Is Key to Humanizing Financial Services: SIFMA Seminar
Enhancing the social business experience for financial advisors at Wedbush Securities

Looking forward to the LIMRA Distribution Conference for Financial Services

LIMRA has selected Hearsay Social as its Elite Strategic Partner and endorsed social media solution for LIMRA members to learn about and be successful on social media.

Once again, we’re proud to be in Florida for LIMRA’s annual Distribution Conference, where our CEO Clara Shih will be sharing the stage with Mark Hug (EVP, Product and Marketing, Individual Life Insurance, Prudential), Patrick T. Leary (MBA, Assistant Vice President, Distribution Research, LIMRA), business experts Daniel Pink and Ryan Estis, and many other industry leaders.

On Friday, Clara will be joined by business leaders from Pacific Life, Thrivent Financial, and New York Life to discuss how social media affects the future of agency distribution. Most executives recognize that the financial industry is in flux, so we are likewise seeing a challenge to the traditional distribution models. Driving agent success through social business will be essential to compete in today’s market. (See full session details below.)

Tonight and for the rest of the week, conference attendees will also hear executives from Prudential, Sun Life, and Thrivent Financial discuss how to adapt field reps to the new age of marketing and sales. It’s sure to be a very informative week!


Social Media and the Future of Agency Distribution

WHEN: 9:30 am on Friday, February 21

WHO: Clara Shih (CEO of Hearsay Social and Board Director, Starbucks Corporation) will be joined by Greg Bailey (VP, Marketing, Pacific Life Insurance Company), Knut A. Olson (CLU, FIC, Chief Distribution Officer, Thrivent Financial), and Maurice B. Springer (CLF, CVP Manage Development, New York Life Insurance Company).

WHAT: The financial industry is in the midst of seismic change. Shifting customer demographics and buyer expectations, paired with an aging advisor population and the unprecedented pace of technological change, are challenging the effectiveness of traditional distribution models.  The solution, however, isn’t to bet everything on direct channels.  Rather, the agency distribution leaders of today and tomorrow must empower their field organizations with the latest social media, digital, and mobile technologies to stay relevant, stay competitive, and appeal to younger generations of advisors and customers alike.  Silicon Valley innovation leader Clara Shih will share her insights on how social business is transforming how agents sell. Distribution leaders from two leading firms will join Ms. Shih to discuss how they are driving these programs at their respective organizations and the key role that field management must play to ensure the success of Agent Social Business initiatives.

See you there, or check back on our blog to see live notes and tweets from the event at #distconf!

Also, read our updates from the 2013 LIMRA Distribution Conference.

How Hearsay Social has positively impacted Thrivent Financial's business

As a Fortune 500 financial services organization, Thrivent Financial manages approximately $90 billion in assets for nearly 2.5 million customers. And today they are one of the most innovative financial firms using social media for business.
In the below video, we sat down with Compliance and Sales leaders at Thrivent to hear about how social media has impacted their organization. First, we hear about the program’s business drivers from Knut Olson (SVP, Financial Network, Thrivent Financial), who notes that one cohort (versus a control group) experienced a 22% increase in customer acquisition mostly driven by social media.
Additionally, we hear from Paul Johnston (VP and Deputy General Counsel, Thrivent Financial) on overcoming the early compliance hurdles of social media. Check it out:

Social media bridges sales, marketing, and compliance: Recap from #FTF_SMAC

This post was co-authored by Yasmin Zarabi (Sr. Director of Legal, Hearsay Social) and Stephen Selby (Assistant Vice President, Social Media, LIMRA).

We’re still excited to have met so many curious people and led a session at last week’s Social Media and Compliance in Financial Services (#FTF_SMAC), an event hosted in New York by the Financial Technologies Forum (FTF).

Event attendees included leading financial firms (including New York Life Insurance, MetLife, and Prudential Financial), social media innovators (including LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google), and influential third-party organizations and government (including the SEC and LIMRA).

In short, the conference was brimming with social media thought leaders from the financial services and social media industries.

We were delighted to lead a session, “Overview of Social Media Regulation in the Finance and Insurance Industries,” with two of the industry’s leading practitioners of social sales and marketing: Sueanne Comerford (Social Media Director, MetLife) and Kyle Marie Woods (Marketing Strategist, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans).

Here are a few of our key takeaways:

Social media creates an opportunity to combine marketing and compliance goals.

It’s commonly accepted among marketers that the holy grail is to send the right message to the right person at the right time. If you think about it, that’s not really at odds with the compliance team’s mission. In fact, as it relates to suitability, compliance teams are dedicated to empower marketing to do that safely and efficiently. In today’s highly connected, transparent world, technology that manages, monitors and enables this business process to align compliance and marketing is much more easily attainable.

The best sales relationships do one thing: sell people the right product.

Similar to the point above, it is ultimately the job of a salesperson to find the right product that fits their particular customer’s needs. If you sell the right product to the right people, then you will have happy repeat customers. Adding in the compliance perspective, selling the right thing to the right people should be equivalent to meeting your suitability obligations.

Social media bridges sales, marketing, and compliance. 

Here’s the big conclusion, drawing from both points above: One of the great, unintended consequences of social media is that it brings together formerly siloed areas of an organization, including sales, marketing, and compliance. When these groups work together, business results and productivity get unlocked. Take Thrivent, for example. The Fortune 500 financial firm realized early on that a compliance strategy based on screenshots would never be scalable. By implementing a social platform instead, the company experienced a 75% reduction in its effort to get pre-approved content to the field.

As a result of this implementation, Compliance is happy because they’re doing less work to keep track of everything. Marketing is happy because they’re controlling the message going out to the field. And Sales is happy because they don’t feel hampered or restricted by either Compliance or Marketing. The field can focus on what they do best: reaching customers and closing deals.

All in all, we found FTF’s event to be a huge success, and we look forward to the next!

Hearsay Social customer success story: Thrivent Financial

Thrivent thumbWhen Thrivent Financial first got started on social media, the project was incredibly manual and time-consuming. Hours and hours spent snapping screenshots for compliance review left their social supervisory media team feeling drained and inefficient.
Realizing they needed a way to automate social media supervision for all their financial representatives, Thrivent started searching for social media management software that would not only ensure compliance coverage, but that would also be a valuable marketing tool for the entire organization. With a waitlist of field representatives asking for the green light to get on social, Thrivent wanted to do right by them.
After carrying out an exhaustive discovery, RFP, and proof of concept selection process, Thrivent selected Hearsay Social for both the sophistication of our technology as well as our team’s social media savvy.  Their vigorous selection process analyzed our ability to serve the needs across several different departments, from field representatives, to creative services, to principal reviewers, to recruiters.  Each of these teams weighed in throughout the process, ultimately deciding on the whole that Hearsay Social was the best choice.
Now, Hearsay Social has become Thrivent’s “one stop shop” for their social media program.  It has reduced content delivery time to field representatives by 75% and streamlined compliance supervision time (no more painful screenshots!).  Today, hundreds of financial representatives at Thrivent use Hearsay Social to power their social media pages with engaging daily content and complete compliance peace of mind. In the next year, more than a thousand representatives will come on board.
Hearsay Social is proud of and grateful for our partnership with Thrivent Financial.  Building a viable and successful social media program, within the bounds of the financial services industry, is no small task. Together, Thrivent Financial and Hearsay Social have put one in place that sets new industry standards, and we couldn’t be more excited to share this customer interview with Thrivent Financial explaining how we did it:

To learn more about how Thrivent finds success on social media, please read this analyst case study entitled How to achieve social media ROI in financial services.

Proud to be the insurance industry standard for social sales, marketing, and compliance success

People often ask me why Hearsay Social started with the insurance industry and have so many insurance companies as customers. The reason is very simple: relationship-based sellers such as insurance agents are the most natural “social networkers” in the planet. They have been helping educate clients, investing in long-term relationships, and growing their businesses through word-of-mouth referrals long before social, mobile, and digital technologies existed.
Since our inception, Hearsay Social has been proud to power leading insurance companies’ efforts on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. With invaluable input from marquee customers such as Farmers Insurance, Northwestern Mutual, and Thrivent Financial, we’ve equipped tens of thousands of insurance agents, marketers, and compliance professionals with social media software that increases leads, referrals, and revenue, all while helping them achieve full regulatory compliance.
Today, I’m happy to announce several new customers in the financial services and insurance space: Allstate, AXA Equitable, COUNTRY Financial, and Primerica.

We are so excited to see even further validation across tens of thousands of additional agents that Hearsay Social is indeed the solution of choice for the industry when it comes to social sales, marketing, and compliance.
Over the summer, the International Data Corporation (IDC) labeled insurance an early adopter of social media in a report titled “2012 U.S. Social Media Trends by Vertical.” Compared against any other industry or vertical, insurance is a stand-out model for forward-thinking social media usage.
As part of today’s customer announcements, I am also excited and honored to welcome my dear friend and mentor, Mr. Lee M. Gammill, Jr. to the Hearsay Social Advisory Board.

An illustrious figure in the insurance and financial services industry, Mr. Gammill served a 40-year tenure at New York Life Insurance Company, where he held various executive positions and was Vice Chairman of the Board until 1997. Incredibly, he was the first member of the Board who began his career as an agent in all of the Company’s 150-year history.
In addition to helping lead New York Life, Mr. Gammill has also served as Chairman of the Board of LIMRA (Life Insurance Marketing and Research Association), now part of LL Global, Inc., as well as Chairman of the Board of the Life Underwriter’s Training Council. Recognizing his achievements and leadership in the industry, in 2004 Mr. Gammill was awarded the highest honor bestowed by the American College, The Huebner Gold Medal. He served on the College Board of Directors and currently serves as Director Emeritus of the American College Foundation Board of Directors.
On behalf of the entire Hearsay Social family, we extend a warm welcome to Mr. Gammill and our new partners.