Hearsay Social hosted its annual Innovation Summit in San Francisco, with talks by Shelley O’Connor, co-head of wealth management for Morgan Stanley (MS), and other industry leaders.
The event, which includes a debate over the role of robo-advisors in the advisory space, also features speakers from PayPal (Bill Ready, senior vice president), FutureAdvisor (CEO Bo Lu) and Tiburon Strategic Advisors (Managing Partner Chip Roame).
Ahead of the summit, Hearsay Social CEO and founder Clara Shih released a book titled “The Social Business Imperative: Adapting Your Business Model to the Always-Connected Customer.”
In the book, Shih argues that leaders must grasp the “tectonic changes arising from today’s social, always-connected customer, embrace digital at all levels of their organizations and re-architect business practices and models accordingly.”
She brings up several examples within the financial-services space. For instance, executives at Raymond James (RJF) have “found a way to operationalize social media from vision to practice.”
This means that rather than having a separate social media department, the company embraces it from top to bottom. At Raymond James, the firm’s three company presidents are active on Twitter and two-thirds of its advisors are active on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, she says.
In other words, social media isn’t a siloed or marginalized activity — it is a standard (and well-accepted) way of engaging clients, employees and other stakeholders.
Our sister site, ThinkAdvisor, asked Shih to break down the importance of social media in the advisory field.
ThinkAdvisor: What do you think the new DOL fiduciary rules mean for advisors and what they do on social media?
Shih: Under the new fiduciary rules, advisors will need to — now more than ever before — truly know and understand their customers in order to provide trusted, highly tailored advice.
They need to know what’s going on in their lives and when something happens that may warrant an assessment of their financial situation — not just at yearly checkups, but all the time. And social media is the best way to stay on top of these life events and stay top of mind.
Why else should advisors embrace social media to the extent that you advocate?
It’s crucial for advisors to understand the new buyers’ journey and change from simply being a transactional salesperson to a trusted advisor, or what I call a social sales professional. Simply put, the days of cold-calling are over.