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Hearsay Social Adds Vanguard & NY Life, Doubles Client Base

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Hearsay Social says it has nearly doubled its customer base in the past 12 months, adding more than 40 clients from large organizations such as Vanguard, New York Life and Pacific Life.

The San Francisco-based company, which gives financial services firms a compliance-friendly platform to work on social media, also says close to 100% of its clients have renewed their annual contracts and that it more than doubled its business in the second quarter of 2014 vs. results in the prior period.

“Being active on social media brings firms and intermediaries back to what the financial services industry has always been about: listening to people, understanding their dreams, and guiding some of their most important and impactful decisions regarding the future,” said Hearsay Social CEO Clara Shih, in a press release on Thursday. “We’re proud to be fueling the return to that vision with the leading and most innovative financial services and insurance firms in the world.”

In August, Hearsay Social rolled out a program to help financial advisors promote their posts via Facebook ads and boost their social media interaction with clients and prospects. It says that some 2 billion people worldwide use social networks and spend about 7 billion hours on these sites each month.

“Financial-services firms are getting more and more comfortable with FINRA, SEC and other guidelines, and they have generally addressed these guidelines with technology policies and training,” explained Gary Liu, vice president of marketing, in an interview late Thursday. “Technology like ours facilitates that development and helps them go beyond such steps to roll out programs that let advisors and others use social media to engage with clients.”

This online engagement is what advisors really value, Liu says, since they want to deepen relationships with clients and extend their reach within local communities, Liu explains. 

Hearsay Social notes that some 92,000 financial professionals in 15 countries use its platform to work via Facebook (FB), LinkedIn (LNKD), Twitter (TWTR) and Google+ (GOOG). To boost its technology, the firm partners with content marketing vendors like Broadridge, as well as with write once read many (WORM) archiving firms, such as Symantec.

“Networking is at the heart of our agents’ business, so we want to empower them to make social business an increasingly core part of their practice,” said Liz McCarthy, senior vice president of agency communications for New York Life, in a press release. “That’s why New York Life partnered with Hearsay Social to help our agents deepen relationships with their clients, increase their productivity, and grow their business.”

The social media platform group says it will be adding to its product lineup soon.

”This is just the beginning,” Shih wrote in a blog early Thursday. “We have some very exciting product announcements to share in the coming months, so stay tuned!”

A key focus going forward will be on continuing to build out and deepen the compliance platform as regulations, social networks and client needs change, according to Liu.

Another Hearsay Social priority, he says, is to enhance the platform to make it as easy to use as possible, so advisors can engage in social media productively and successfully. Also, the company is growing its business overseas, which means adding tools in different languages, such as French and German, to its platform. 

“With our exclusive focus on the financial-services industry, we are committed to helping these firms apply social media at the advisor and agent level,” said Liu. “We see ourselves as the leader in this industry, though of course there are other great tools in the marketplace.”

Check out Hearsay Social Rolls Out Facebook Ad Tool on ThinkAdvisor.


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