What is Social Media? Can you define it? Social media is the virtual hub for real life conversation, and social networks grant users access to those channels.
Social Media = Real Life Communications
Social Networks = Access
What you do with that access is up to you. In the case of a financial advisor, the firm they represent controls and limits that worldwide access. So what does that mean for a financial advisor?
Social networks are simply a more efficient means to communication. Social media doesn’t replace the old modes of communication; it’s a vital asset to them. It’s the last tool that needs to be added to the tool belt for an advisor to truly be a craftsman, if their firms would only let them…
With this limitation, financial advisors are in the social media marketing stone age. Most advisors at large financial institutions are limited in the way they can communicate with their clients. Yes they can pick up the phone and call, but the chance someone will answer on the other end and have time for a chat is marginal at best; they can send an email, but then you’re waiting for a reply – if it comes; they can mail a letter, but there’s a good chance it’ll get thrown out as unsolicited marketing material. Now if only they could use social media to market and communicate to their clients the way clients now want to be communicated with.
Financial firms use the FINRA and SEC regulation as the biggest objection for not letting their representative advisors communicate with clients and prospects. How can we actively monitor and archive all of their conversations?
Thanks to technology, there are many companies that do this effectively. Some companies like Actiance already monitor their email system; it’s no different than blasting out emails to prospects, or having a one to one conversation with a prospect on social media. Financial firms can remain compliant yet socially viable with systems like Radian6, Hearsay Social, Socialware, Arkovi, Linkedfa, Smarsh, Backupify; the list goes on and on.
So the real reason isn’t regulation, it’s brand reputation concerns, time training requirements along with education and understanding gaps. But trusted and reputable financial giants have hired financial advisors to represent them, so they need to train them and trust them to grow the business to everyone’s benefit and satisfaction, including the clients.