February 26, 2014

Wedbush Switches to Hearsay Social Platform

The broker-dealer, which has about 400 advisors, has been active in the social media space for more than two years

Financial advisors and other employees of Wedbush Securities are now using Hearsay Social’s platform for their social media activities. This switch comes about two years after Wedbush’s roughly 400 reps first began communicating with clients, prospects and business partners via social media on their mobile and other devices.

“The Hearsay Social platform is very advantageous in terms of archiving, moderation and marketing functions. Its moderation process is more streamlined," said  said Natalie Taylor-Grasso, vice president and head of Marketing for Wedbush Securities, in an interview with ThinkAdvisor. "This means our approval process is seamless, and our advisors can go public earlier [with their communications] than they could with other systems."

The new technology "takes us several steps further with its enhanced marketing functions, including a pre-approved content library and Social Signals tool. Leveraging technology is an important part of our social media program and having the right provider is paramount," Taylor-Grasso explained.

"Most advisors have come to realize that social media is here to stay. They may not be 100% proficient, but they know they will have to be for the success of their business," she noted. "Some advisors go on [social media] every single morning as a news source, which is great, and they can get industry information, too, while doing outreach and engagement activities. Others turn some of this work over or leverage the Hearsay Social technology to automate activity."

The Wedbush executive and other industry experts are set to speak at SIFMA’s Social Media Seminar on Thursday in San Francisco. (Wedbush previously partnered with SocialWare for its social media platform needs.)

For its part, Hearsay Social executives emphasize how the platform can help advisors.

“First, we believe other solutions have brakes but not an accelerator,” said Gary Liu, vice president of marketing for Hearsay Social, in an interview. The brakes are compliance functions for handling social media, and the accelerator is the “voice” for advisors to share content.

In the case of Hearsay Social, the voice includes a library of preapproved content that advisors can share with their networks “with the click of a button” in real time or at a prescheduled time for a special marketing campaign, for instance, Liu explained.

(Clara Shih, the CEO of Hearsay social, is a regular blogger for ThinkAdvisor.)

In addition, Hearsay’s platform include Social Signals, which brings together information on the “life events” of contacts — birthdays, promotionsn and so on — onto one dashboard. This allows advisors to “target the right person at the right time with the right message, Liu says.

“These timely, relevant data points are very important for advisors,” he added, “especially around money in motion, which is tied to life events, of course.”

Finally, Liu notes, “We have close relationships in Silicon Valley, and so we are very connected to what the networks [Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+] are doing to innovate. We partner well with other tech, digital and social media providers, and that makes our platform more nimble.”

And like Taylor-Grasso, Liu points out how vital social media is for today’s advisors.

“Three-fourths of the adult population have a social media account, including clients of financial advisors," he says, "so social media needs to be a standard part of their sales tool kit.” 

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Check out Hearsay Social CEO Clara Shih's recent blog posts on ThinkAdvisor:

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