1
Social Media Publishing for
Investment Professionals
May 2014
2
Introduction
Financial communication is an area of continuous technological transformation.
Throughout history, banks, p...
3
Why Publish?
Trust, Loyalty, and Returns
Client relationships in the financial service industry depend on high levels of...
4
Trust, Loyalty, and Returns
Secondly, social media can teach you about your current
and prospective client base. By payi...
5
In the next few decades we will witness the greatest transfer of wealth in history as many
younger investors grow their ...
6
In addition to these decision-making behaviors, younger generations are spending a
considerable amount of time consuming...
7
Social media gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your
expertise in an interactive and informal setting. Along with ...
8
1. Plan Ahead
Clearly state your goals before beginning. Are you looking for enhanced visibility to attract
prospects or...
9
2. Reach out to current clients
Consider following your clients on Twitter and connecting with them on LinkedIn. Dependi...
10
Be consistent: Make sure you communicate
an underlying message across all of your
social profiles. Your content and pro...
11
4.	 Stay compliant and guard against
regulation risks
As you work in the finance industry, chances are you are familiar...
12
5.	 Analyze engagement, track your
progress, and adjust accordingly
Perhaps the most important step of this process is ...
13
Thank you!
For more information on how you can leverage social media to attract new business
and engage with current cl...
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Social Media Publishing for Investment Professionals

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The following is an excellent Whitepaper from @Finmaven

Financial communication is an area of continuous technological transformation. Throughout history, banks, public companies, financial firms, and exchanges have evolved to incorporate new tools for information sharing. With the advent of social media we are witnessing the latest iteration of communication methods and it is transforming the way we do business yet again.

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Social Media Publishing for Investment Professionals

  1. 1. 1 Social Media Publishing for Investment Professionals May 2014
  2. 2. 2 Introduction Financial communication is an area of continuous technological transformation. Throughout history, banks, public companies, financial firms, and exchanges have evolved to incorporate new tools for information sharing. With the advent of social media we are witnessing the latest iteration of communication methods and it is transforming the way we do business yet again. Many members of the investing community are rapidly embracing social media. After all, strategic financial research is made easier and more efficient with platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and StockTwits. By tuning into these networks investors, analysts, and investment advisors have access to a massive collection of opinions, profiles, and reactions that can be used to inform portfolio allocations. Those who recognize the importance of social media are using these networks to identify content that resonates with the public and to stay on top of potential market- moving information. Although the social media use case for research is an important one, it is just one piece of the puzzle. Retail-facing investors, advisors, and research analysts must also consider participating in outbound online communication if they want to effectively market themselves as industry experts or thought leaders.
  3. 3. 3 Why Publish? Trust, Loyalty, and Returns Client relationships in the financial service industry depend on high levels of trust. After all, entrusting someone with your financial future is a risky proposition. Interestingly however, findings from recent studies show that banks and financial services are the two least trusted industries globally lagging behind media, energy, and telecommunications1 . Clearly, some modifications to traditional practices need to be made in order to mend the industry’s precarious reputation and to profit as a professional working within it. The first step in this process is to acknowledge that trust is not only enhanced by frequent high returns but also through interpersonal communication and relationship maintenance. For client-facing investment professionals, this is where social media is making its impact. “Nothing is as profitable as the economics of trust. Nothing has more influence than a reputation of trust” - Stephen Covey 1 Edelman Trust Barometer | 2013 Annual Global Survey
  4. 4. 4 Trust, Loyalty, and Returns Secondly, social media can teach you about your current and prospective client base. By paying attention to the behavior of users within these networks, you can communicate your value with greater specificity and better target your efforts. Knowing a bit about your prospects means you can approach them on a more personal level and offer insight that is likely to interest them. Instead of seeming intrusive, you can position yourself as a trustworthy and credible source of investment insight. “Advisors are in the relationship business and the web is evolving in their favor” - Joe Rueckert Interacting on social media, if done correctly, can enhance trust and facilitate relationship maintenance- and it does so on a very large scale. Your voice is amplified through these channels with the potential to reach a massive audience of both current and potential clients. By continuously publishing interesting and valuable content, you can create a series of positive experiences for your followers ultimately leading to greater engagement and loyalty. In this way, social media allows you to nurture current relationships and build new ones efficiently and cost-effectively. Perhaps one of the most interesting aspects of social networks is their ability to host a powerful and sophisticated referral system. According to research by Forrester, three quarters of new client acquisition in the financial services industry stems from referrals. Once you have established a digital presence you can leverage the crowd curation and referencing capabilities of social media to source new clients and to grow your business. Finally, your social media profile can serve to humanize your firm. In the area of investing, where clients’ emotions are so closely tied to their decisions, this is particularly important. Through strategic social participation, your company becomes more approachable and transparent thus facilitating communication. Warmly connecting with your clients sets up a foundation for future positive interactions that will lead to enhanced trust, long-term loyalty, and referrals.
  5. 5. 5 In the next few decades we will witness the greatest transfer of wealth in history as many younger investors grow their portfolios with inheritances from older generations1 . This transfer of assets from baby boomers to the generation that follows has some important consequences for investment professionals. Recent studies into the investment behavior of heirs found that, as few as two percent of them remain clients of their parents’ advisor after the money has changed hands2 . Results like these should inspire advisors and portfolio managers to find new ways of maintaining younger clients while targeting new business. To do so, one must understand that the decisions of the GenX and GenY are often affected by a different set of factors compared to those of their boomer parents. Younger generations learned a number of hard lessons during the dotcom bubble and great recession. In light of these economic struggles a general sense of distrust towards banks and other financial service providers has plagued the industry. This, along with technological advancements, such as social media, has led to a different set of expectations in relationships between financial service professionals and their younger clients. Younger consumers and investors value transparency and immediacy of information and are likely to distrust companies that don’t offer both. Social media has facilitated these exchanges by offering a means to publically review products, companies, and services. Additionally, younger generations have grown up with information at their fingertips making them resourceful and relatively impatient when it comes to research. Instead of relying on individual recommendations, younger individuals recognize the value in numbers and often turn to socially curated ratings found on social media sites prior to making financial decisions. 1 April Rudin | 2013 CFA Institute Wealth Management Confrenece | Source: blogs.cfainstitute.org 2 Accenture 2013 | The “Greater” Wealth Transfer: Capitalizing on the Intergenerational Shift in Wealth Why now? The financial decisions of future generations
  6. 6. 6 In addition to these decision-making behaviors, younger generations are spending a considerable amount of time consuming information on social media with 84% of 18 to 29 year olds on Facebook and 31% on Twitter1 . Their social and professional networks are largely represented online and this trend is increasing with time. Remember however, that it is not just the members of next generations dominating social networks. Although the percentage of active social media users is smaller among older cohorts,55-64yearoldsarethefastestgrowingdemographicrepresentedinthesenetworks. Studies have found that the number of social media users within this cohort has grown by 79% since 2012. Dissect these findings further and you see that as income and education levels increase so does social media usage2 . This suggests that an advisors or portfolio manager’s target audience is even more likely to be found in these online communities. A study by Cogent Research uncovered evidence to support this. They analyzed social media usage for high net worth investors and discovered that for those with at least 100K in investable assets, close to ninety percent were active on these channels. If you are not present in social media, you are not in front of these potential clients and you are losing out to those who are. The face-to-face connections and referral systems that many investment managers and advisors relied on to carry their businesses forward in years past are insufficient in today’s digital age. This is not to say that these offline interactions have lost their value, but that social media is becoming an essential part of the complete business process. Advisors and investment managers who are not represented in these networks are in competition with the growing community of financial experts who are. This includes 71% of advisors who are currently using these networks for business purposes3 . These social savvy professionals are already reaching a massive audience of investors and when younger generations begin searching for investing guidance, these finance experts will be established and ready to receive their business. 1,2 Pew Research, 2013 | Pew Research Internet Project 3 LinkedIn Marketing Solutions and FTI Consulting, 2012 | Financial Advisors’ Use of Social Media Moves from Early Adoption to Mainstream
  7. 7. 7 Social media gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your expertise in an interactive and informal setting. Along with your knowledge, you are also able to showcase your personality in order to attract new business and engage with your existing clients. Ultimately, work towards positioning yourself as a thought- leader in your industry. Being a reputable and timely source of information will drive new business opportunities, client retention, and referrals. For guidance on how to get started with your social strategy, refer to the following list of best practices: Five Best Practices
  8. 8. 8 1. Plan Ahead Clearly state your goals before beginning. Are you looking for enhanced visibility to attract prospects or do you want to nurture the relationships you have with current clients? A Thought Leader can be a company, orga- nization, or individual who is perceived to be an expert or a “go-to” source for information about a specific topic. Such individuals or or- ganizations aren’t afraid to break the mold and communicate strong, sticky, and empiri- cally supported ideas. They not only influence the opinions and emotions of their audience members but they also motivate their follow- ers to act. This requires a great deal of trust from a large number of people. Once your goals are made explicit, spend some time reviewing the profiles and efforts of successful thought-leaders in your industry or those with similar professional goals. Use these individuals as inspiration in your planning process. Identify creative marketing methods and research how the public responded to them. Examine changes in followers, likes, interactions, comments on blogs, and Google page ranks. Don’t simply copy their actions - you should be clear on your personal brand or what differentiates you from the competition. Be realistic about the amount of time you will be able to dedicate to this initiative and identify the best use of your time. If incorporating a social media strategy seems too time consuming, consider cutting back on other marketing or networking activities that have shown little promise. It is probably a good idea to consider a social media management tool to help you streamline both the monitoring and publishing processes. If you are employed at a company or work as a member of a larger team, make sure to either integrate your approach into an existing communications policy or strategy and to clear it past a compliance professional if necessary.
  9. 9. 9 2. Reach out to current clients Consider following your clients on Twitter and connecting with them on LinkedIn. Depending on your relationship, reach out to your clients by sharing educational content, providing news updates, sending them a link to your blog, or engaging in friendly conversation. Consider emailing links to blog content and be sure to include social sharing buttons in all of your outbound messaging. The people who know you personally are more likely to engage with you on these channels. Provide these individuals with entertaining or educational content that they will feel compelled to share with others.
  10. 10. 10 Be consistent: Make sure you communicate an underlying message across all of your social profiles. Your content and profile pictures may differ depending on the network but your expertise and value should resonate through each. By sending mixed messages you risk losing your audience’s attention and trust. Be approachable: This is especially important if you are attempting to appeal to younger demographics who have a tendency to distrust the typical profile of an investment broker1 . Be professional: Being approachable shouldn’t come at the expense of your professional image. Avoid slang or posting multiple comments concerning your personal life unless it is relevant to the work you do. Be knowledgeable: Share only top quality content and set high standards for the material you create. Showcase your knowledge through multiple mediums including blogs, videos, presentations, webinars, and articles. Find guest blogging opportunities and consider contributing to blogging platforms such as Seeking Alpha. Be in the know: Be notified of market moving information as it happens by setting up an alerting system. React to this information quickly by publishing an opinion or summary of the event. Solidify loyalty by communicating to your audience that you are the go-to source for news on current affairs related to their area of interest. Be creative: Find new ways of reaching out to your target audience. Be mindful that there are many people like you out there and you are competing for a limited amount of attention. Make your content stand out from the rest by exploring alternative methods of communicating your message. Be strategic: Don’t blindly publish content without considering the individual network’s audience or your timing. Similarly, don’t indiscriminately gather followers or likes through paid services. Your target group of users can see who else has followed and liked your accounts. Seeing paid or fake followers will lead to distrust and can damage your reputation. 1 April Rudin | 2013 CFA Institute Wealth Management Confrenece | Source: blogs.cfainstitute.org 3. Build a personal brand through content marketing
  11. 11. 11 4. Stay compliant and guard against regulation risks As you work in the finance industry, chances are you are familiar with the risks involved in publishing content through social media. Steer clear of trouble by familiarizing yourself with the rules and regulations that apply to you and/or your company. Consider the following suggestions for safe measure: • Set up an approval process with an expert or your company’s compliance officer to ensure that outgoing content is properly vetted before being posted • Include disclaimer messaging in your social media profiles or linked content. Many Twitter users include a brief message in their biography but Facebook and LinkedIn users can include a message directly in their posts. Alternatively, some social media tools offer the option to include a disclaimer banner that appears in the browser when a reader clicks on a link you’ve shared • Avoid publishing content containing trigger words that may be picked up by regulators. Set up an alert each time a draft message includes one of these words so that the message can be reviewed and changed if necessary
  12. 12. 12 5. Analyze engagement, track your progress, and adjust accordingly Perhaps the most important step of this process is to continuously track your progress. Invest in a social media analytics tool and base your future actions on the analytics you receive from past efforts. The right tool will provide you with information on the number and location of the people viewing the content you share, their demographic breakdown, and the time they spend looking at your material. Find out who is engaging with your content either by reading, watching, favoriting, liking, sharing, re-tweeting, and replying to it. Get to know your audience better by identifying who among them have the greatest level of online influence. Interact with these individuals and share original content relevant to their interests in order to increase your exposure. Set up Google alerts to notify you whenever your name or brand is mentioned online and track visits to your website or blog using Google Analytics. Pay attention to the amount of time your audience is spending on your site and their behavior before and during each visit. Instead of distributing a PDF file for something like a news release, publish articles or documents using a host system that can offer you feedback on readership. Gain insight on how frequently the article you shared is being read and which areas of the piece are getting the most attention. Use this insight to guide your future efforts and consider reposting content that has been successful in the past.
  13. 13. 13 Thank you! For more information on how you can leverage social media to attract new business and engage with current clients please contact us at sales@finmaven.com. We would be happy to discuss your publishing needs and how you can benefit from this exciting medium. www.finmaven.com Finmaven is the next evolution of social intelligence for finance professionals. Publishing interesting and timely content to multiple networks and analyzing the success of your social media efforts is made easy with Finmaven. The social media suite combines three key tools in a single product - Monitoring, Analytics, and Publishing. Institutional investors, Investor Relations, C-level management, and financial news professionals use Finmaven today for: - Live social listening as it relates to individual securities as well as industries - Smarter social media publishing and engagement measurement - Investor and consumer sentiment monitoring About Finmaven

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