Four years ago Heron Financial Group barely had a social media presence, operating just a LinkedIn profile.
Today the New York-based registered investment advisor firm can be found on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Adding an expansive social media presence to its marketing program has seen the firm significant growth from where it was two years ago.
“Everybody wants to know what is the ROE on social media … and the answer is it’s impossible to tell, other than looking at the overall revenue numbers,” said David Edwards, founder and president of Heron Financial. “Before we did this kind of stuff, we were growing in the single digits and now we’re growing in the 40 percent range.”
Part of its social media expanse included expanding its existing relationship with Smarsh Archiving Platform, who was already archiving Heron Financial’s emails. Through this platform, all content is captured, preserved and readily available for search, review and production in the platform, making Heron’s supervision procedures more efficient.
Smarsh recently released a case study showing how it has helped Heron Financial meet the Securities and Exchange Commission’s recordkeeping and supervision requirements so the advisory firm could effectively use social media for their marketing efforts.
As Stephen Marsh, CEO of Smarsh, said in a statement, “Heron Financial demonstrates that financial services firms can use social media to help grow a business without adding a burden to the compliance department.”
Platforms like Smarsh allow firms, Marsh added, “to use social media the way it wants and on the devices it prefers, while meeting its recordkeeping and supervision requirements.”
As the chief compliance officer for Heron Financial, Edwards wanted a way to limit the time spent supervising its high volume of social media content to no more than an hour each week.
“When you’re an RIA, as we are, you’re obliged to keep track of everything that you publish,” he said. “In the good ol’ days, it was just a magazine insert [and] it was pretty easy. You just threw it in a folder. Now, we’re posting stuff daily and we’re sure as hell not going to print that off, you know?”
Smarsh archives all the social media content and provides a tool that makes all that data easily searchable.