From the August 2014 issue of Research Magazine • Subscribe!

Morgan Stanley OKs Tweets

A year after a Morgan Stanley advisor scored a $70 million client via Linked-In, the wirehouse is letting its advisors share their news and views on Twitter. Advisors will be allowed to post their own tweets after they have been approved by the firm's compliance department. They also can send pre-approved tweets whenever they like.

“Now, we have opened up the advisors’ ability to do self-authored tweets in addition to tweets on our thought leadership content,” said Valentina Chtchedrine, executive director for wealth management digital marketing strategy, in an interview. “Since we launched our social media program in July 2012, they have been able to self-author updates on LinkedIn.”

According to the wirehouse, all custom LinkedIn and Twitter content is subject to moderation and approval. Morgan Stanley uses Socialware for such tasks.

How long will it take for advisors’ tweets to get approved? “It's a fairly quick process,” said Chtchedrine, meaning “several hours, depending on the volume of tweets at the time.”

The firm is eager for reps to tweet about investing and wealth management—but not exclusively. “We educate them and give them a good mix of thought leadership and lifestyle context,” she explained. “We always mention this mix in our discussions with advisors and hope it will continue.”

Of the firm's 16,000 employee advisors, about 6,500 use LinkedIn and 1,300 use Twitter. “Some have not yet taken advantage [of social media], and we are still in growth mode,” Chtchedrine said. The digital-marketing specialist admits that Twitter “is not for every financial advisor.”

Still, the firm knows that as more people use social media, “We see both clients and prospects engaging with advisors [online] and using it as source of information,” she said. “We have seen very good results from those engaging in it effectively so far.”

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