Hootsuite recently launched a social media solution designed to help financial advisors use social media more efficiently while staying in compliance.
Hootsuite Advisor allows financial firms to use social media accounts to communicate with clients while “compliance can run silently in the background,” according to Amy McIlwain, global industry principal for financial services at Hootsuite.
“We’ve got thousands of agents and advisors that already use our product in the independent space,” McIlwain told ThinkAdvisor on Wednesday, “but there hasn’t been a real solution at the enterprise level.”
Hootsuite Advisor is designed to “enable social media compliantly for advisors,” McIlwain said.
Canaccord Genuity, a wealth management firm based in Canada, announced on Sept. 29 that it selected Hootsuite’s new offering for its advisors to use with their professional social media accounts.
“We’ve long seen online engagement as a tremendous opportunity,” Stuart Raftus, Canaccord’s president, said in a statement. “The challenge has been how to be responsive in real-time, while remaining compliant.”
The ability to post and respond on social media in real time is the big differentiator for Hootsuite Advisor, according to McIlwain. “Before, advisors felt like they were in social media jail with the compliance technology and the limitations around that,” she said. Hootsuite’s new offering is “breaking the chains of the old-school technology and allowing them think ‘social first’ and actually have these conversations.”
Firms can customize Hootsuite Advisor to meet their own compliance needs, McIlwain said.
“Some enterprises are more comfortable with social and they’re looking to do everything in a post-review model,” McIlwain said. “Some still want that up-front technology.”
She said the platform has “invested a lot of time and energy developing our API and publishing ecosystem.”
Hootsuite is also finalizing a social sales curriculum for financial services professionals, “not just discussing the compliance challenges and what not to say, but empowering them with tools, language and scenarios they can relate to in their everyday business and apply social media tactics as a short-cut to drive revenue and engage with clients and prospects.”
McIlwain said Hootsuite Advisor also helps firms bring together various social media users within the company to be more efficient in their communications.
“If you look at social media back in the day,” she said, “one department might do a Facebook account. Someone else would do Twitter, then LinkedIn.” Communications suffered, with increased risk to brand reputation and compliance.
The same thing is happening now with the different kinds of technology a firm uses to communicate with clients and prospects.
“A company might buy one solution for the advisors, one for corporate marketing, one for advocacy. There are three different pieces of social media publishing technology, none of which are talking [to each other]. You can’t share analytics, you can’t easily share content,” McIlwain noted. Hootsuite Advisor “sits at the root of [a firm’s] communication infrastructure and tie together all these pieces.”
The new solution partners with a firm’s other providers, too, like Marketo or Salesforce, McIlwain said. “I look at it like Lego blocks,” she said, where firms are able to “customize and build out whatever their unique case is.”
(Amy McIlwain is a former contributor to ThinkAdvisor, and will contribute to the ThinkAdvisor TechCenter as a social media blogger.)
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