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Financial services + social media

Financial services + social media

We take a look at how some financial institutions are achieving success through social media.

Hootsuite hosted an online session last week called Investing in Social: Wealth Management in the Social Era #finserve with Ben Cathers @bencathers from Hootsuite and Courtney Fischbach from global investment company @LeggMason.

The highlights included the challenges unique to financial services, a couple key social media stats for all businesses and a few more specific to wealth management, as well as an approach for social media activity.

5 top challenges for social business in finance

  1. Results: Linking social activity to business objectives
  • This has been a challenge that some firms have been able to overcome. ETF social content, for example, is something that has been rising for one of Hootsuite’s clients. They get 30-40 per cent more clicks than normal on this content and this has translated into a direct increase in ETF business.
  • Security: Compliance for pre-approval of outbound social marketing
    • For example, U.S. regulator (FINRA) requires pre-approval of content and considers any social posts advertising. Most financial services organizations post on social media 10-20 times more than they advertise. This creates a challenge unique to the industry.
  • Data: Taking social data and turning it into actionable data
    • How is your data shaping your five-year plan? Or is it?
  • Education: Regulated framework demands customized expertise and guidance
    • It is important to have subject matter experts on social media. They have to be well-versed in both the technical knowledge of the products but also understand how to communicate on social media, so that it’s not just about a hard sell.
  • Collaboration: Lack of alignment of online strategies across all departments
    • It’s important to not operate in silos. Departments must work together with integrated programs.

    Still with those challenges, the case for social media has never been greater.Businesses increasingly need social media

    • ¼ of all businesses will lose market position if they don’t adopt a social business (Gartner)
    • 20 per cent of businesses see more revenue and 60 per cent higher profit growth by adopting social media (McKinsey)

    Wealth management firms also have a great opportunity with social media

    • Nearly 70 per cent of affluent investors have reallocated investments based on info discovered on social media
    • 34 per cent of affluent investors are using social media for personal finance and investing
    • 40 per cent of financial advisors say that they have acquired new clients through Facebook, 25 per cent through LinkedIn and 21 per cent through Twitter
    • 41 per cent of high net worth individuals under age 40 cite social media as important for information, 36 per cent for engaging with wealth managers, and 34 per cent for executing transactions

    With that, it’s critical to allocate more resources into social media. Social media require 5 and 10 year plans, including budgeting for the human resources, education and the financial resources to bring it all together.

    That means that the following four areas need to be integrated into plans and acted upon.

    4 steps to social media success

    1. Social ROI: determinewhat will be measured to uncover insights from aggregated social data to determine how that is having an impact on your bottom line
    2. Internal collaboration: improve efficiency and collaboration across teams, departments and geographies
    3. Security and compliance: mitigate risk from internal and external threats by planning for them
    4. Monitor and engage: filter through the noise using custom streams and targeted searches through a social media monitoring tool (like Hootsuite) to offer regular reports and to become more responsive to the environment

    Additional resources

    Hootsuite University is offered as part of the Certificate in Digital Strategy & Communications Management at the University of Toronto where Diane Bégin teaches.