Social Media gaining traction in Wealth Management Advisory space

financial advisors and social mediaThere are a lot of areas impacting Wealth and Asset Management firms – roboadvisors, disruptive technologies, social media, regulations, etc. One important area which is gaining significant traction is Social Media Engagement i.e. engagement of senior leaders and financial advisors on social media platforms. CEOs of financial firms often underestimate the flow of information and influence of social media, and they perceive it to be more for youth. Not anymore. Simply put: Social media is now too big to ignore.

Investors usage of social media for investing has increased …

End-clients are becoming tech savvy, are using social media a lot more for research on products, firms, read reviews before investing. Many existing clients are demanding that financial advisors leverage social media platforms to connect with them for faster, efficient, real-time collaboration and communication – more digital interaction.

Many of US consumers with investment accounts have profiles on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter.

Nearly two in three of mass affluent consumers take action after using social media to discover and consider financial products and services (Source: The DigitalFA, 2014)

Two-thirds of millionaires surveyed said they would like to use electronic media with their advisors (Source: The DigitalFA, 2014)

82% of clients trust a brands when its senior leaders are on social media (Source: GoSocial)

Financial Advisors are engaging on social media and seeing the impact

Advisory space is not just transactional business, but it’s relationship business and web/social media is evolving in their favor.  If the prospective clients are on Twitter, financial advisors need to be there.

Accenture Finds Social Media Helps Financial Advisors Retain Clients and Increase AUM

  • 60% have daily contact with clients through social media
  • 77% affirm that social media helps with client retention
  • 74% agree that social media helps them increase assets under management
  • 73% say it has led to an overall increase in client interactions
  • 40% indicate they have gotten new clients through Facebook
  • 25% have developed new clients through LinkedIn
  • 21% have earned new clients through Twitter

Cogent finds Wealthy investors use Social Media for Investing

  • About 34% of affluent investors specifically use social media such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and company blogs for personal finance and actual investing
  • About 36% said social-media research has caused them to reach out to their advisers to ask questions

Financial Firms must go where customers are — in essence, have a robust “Social Media Strategy”

Engaging on Social media helps firms increase brand awareness, generate leads, and increase traffic to their website. For Financial advisors, it improves client retention, it helps them gain referrals, find prospects and increase their professional network. It does make a difference!

Morgan Stanley pioneered the use of LinkedIn, when in 2012 it permitted advisors firm-wide to join the service. Now, many of MS’s approximately 17,000 advisors are on both LinkedIn and Twitter. What is the payoff? $70 million account.

Advisors should strive to include social media in their business models.

Social Media Strategy should include at least some of the following:

  1. Providing useful Insights, Thought Leadership materials over blogs
  2. Sharing of videos/interviews, podcasts, events, conference materials
  3. Product launches on social media
  4. Share product news, industry trends, and related information
  5. Monitor and correct any mis-information about the firm
  6. Customer Service (look at Charles Schwab dedicated customer service Twitter a/c)
  7. Drive trust, transparency, and reputation. Build relationship first, build will automatically come.

Drum roll please …..2016 Social Media Leader is …

…. Putnam Investments & it’s CEO, Rob Reynolds. Putnam Investments was named the first-ever recipient of the Social Media Leader of the Year Award at the 23rd Annual Mutual Fund Industry Awards ceremony.

With a corporate presence on TwitterLinkedIn,FacebookYouTubeInstagram, Google+ and blogs like Advisor Tech Tips and Financial Advisor, Putnam presents a balanced and humanized portrait of its brand to advisors and investors.


Financial Firms should encourage its senior leaders and advisors to engage more on social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube among other channels. Additionally, regulatory and compliance departments should encourage advisors to get the firms message across social media rather than restricting with strict polices and guidelines. If financial firms don’t take leads, they will soon lag behind RIAs and independent advisors who have broader latitude.

The billions of new consumers on the market right now have never lived without social media. They are a social-first generation and will expect to find financial firms on these platforms as a default and not because firms are a cutting edge brand. Are you catering to Gen X and Gen Y and other groups?

Financial Firms/Advisors better start engaging clients now on social media vs. worrying about competition.


Gen X vs. Gen Y vs. Gen Z

What generation are you? In the age of Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and other social media platforms, it’s important to understand these user segments.

gen x-y-z




Next boom: F-Commerce?

Just today, I stumbled upon this new jargon F Commerce. Upon researching more, I found out that F Commerce is basically selling via Facebook (Facebook e-commerce). I knew a few companies were advertising on Facebook but wasn’t aware that these companies are also trying to sell products via social media platform – and executing the strategy successfully.

Ad Age has an excellent article on F-Commerce with detailed statistics. Mind boggling indeed!

An equally great article analyzing this stats, by Social Commerce below –

  • The jury is still out on whether social media can drive sales – but one thing is clear: Sales are starting to happen in social media – specifically, with Facebook.
  • Adding e-commerce functionality to Facebook will help marketers prove how closely social media can be tied to sales, and will also help Facebook’s primary revenue strategy, advertising, by enabling advertisers to monetize campaigns directly with e-commerce sales.
  • P&G sold out of the 1,000 packs of diapers it was offering via Facebook within one hour. P&G used Ohio-based digital agency Resource Interactive‘s Off the Wall e-commerce technology, already used by retailer The Limited.
  • Jones Apparel Group has been trialling Facebook stores for it’s Nine West and Rachel Roy brands. Nine West has launched a Flash-based Facebook sales app powered by Fluid software, offering exclusive products and 15% discounts to Facebookers. In February, the Facebook store for Rachel Roy store sold out of a limited quantity of jewelry within six hours.
  • Avon’s trendier, Lauren Conrad-endorsed teen cosmetics brand, Mark is enabling peer-to-peer network marketing sales on Facebook, powered by Alvenda, the f-commerce developers behind the 1-800-Flowers Facebook store.
  • Facebook has partnered with online-payment platform PayPal to allow marketers to test e-commerce apps and turn 400-million-member social-networking site into giant, global shopping mall.
  • Third-party developer payment recently used PayPal’s API to build an app anyone can use to set up a retail store on a Facebook page.
  • Whilst Facebook does not take commission on e-commerce sales on Facebook pages, it will now collect 30% on purchases of virtual goods (the virtual goods market is estimated to be worth $5 billion) made with Facebook Credits, that can be purchased via PayPal.
  • In addition to selling virtual goods, Facebook is now selling digital and real gifts in its Gift Shop; music from Apple’s “lala” brand, flowers, candy, cakes and tickets from “Real Gifts” – that can be purchased with Facebook Credits

Setting up a shop on facebook for companies like Gap, American Eagle, Levi’s, John’s Apparel, P&G and others, have certainly paid off. It is estimated that $30 billion will be generated in social commerce by 2015.

Companies that are selling stuff on Facebook include –

If you are interested in setting up a free Facebook shopping application, check out VendorShop.

With Facebook leading the charge, would we see G-Commerce (by google), T-Commerce (by Twitter) next? Irrespective, Social Media is taking over. Interesting times ahead.

iPad Use Case for Parents

Although, iPad has numerous uses in business and tech world, trying to find ways to use it with children could be challenging. Few articles/apps on how iPad could be used by Parents are listed below:

  1. Bed Time stories
  2. Educational app for Kids [E.g. Learning Time, School House, Little ears]
  3. Drawing and Coloring for Kids [E.g. Crayola ColorStudio HD]
  4. Brian Teasers and games
  5. Martha Speaks Dog Party [created by PBS kids to improve vocabulary]
  6. Interactive Alphabet [Learn the alphabet with bright and colorful interactive flash cards]
  7. Math and Science apps

As you can tell, iPad is equally an educational tool as it is an entertainment one. A new study finds that educational iPad apps can increase a child’s vocabulary acquisition by as much as 31 percent within two weeks. The potential of the iPad to transform the education market, esp. from kindergarten to grade-10, is boundless. Apple has started to push the iPad as an education tool. Checkout Apple’s take on Education here.

Parents – any further ideas/thoughts on how best to use iPad with kids?

Social Media Mining?

CIO Dashboard article on “Social Media Monitoring and Analysis” highlights the importance of social media on companies, and one where CIO and CMO‘s have to pay close attention to.

Some excerpts –

“The explosion of uncontrolled communication and the proliferation of channels represent a whole new ballgame. We CMOs have to pay attention to everything everyone else is saying about our brands, not just what we’re saying about it in our ads, direct mail and PR. What keeps us up at night is an increasing lack of control of both the content and distribution of influential messages about the brands we manage.”

Most companies are still in their infancy using data mining tools for deeper data analysis. On top of that, now they have to worry about social media. But I think companies, especially consumer oriented companies like Dell, HP, P&G, Nestle, McDonald etc would immensely benefit from customer’s rants and raves across Facebook, Twitter, forums etc. Companies “should” monitor and use the feedback received in Social media to better their products. Properly used feedback could help companies optimize business process flows thereby being effective and efficient.

Additionally, sooner or later, I think this will also hit everyone considering we all are part of social media experience.

Where is the Consumer Entertainment Technology headed?

If you are a Engadget site visitor like me, you’ll be amazed at that number of devices that mobile vendors like Motorola, HTC, Samsung, and others are churning out these days. All of these vendors must have had Apple 101 lesson because their devices are so much more user-friendly and consumer oriented now, compared to last year. Apple is still the UI king, in my opinion although HTC and Motorola are catching up.

Vendors churning out these devices, broadly classify them in one of several buckets:

  • Laptops – 12 to 19in
  • Netbook – 9 to 13 in
  • Tablets like iPad – 7 to 9in
  • Mobile Smart Phones – 3 to 4.5in

  • Few things abt these category of devices:
    1) Currently, each device in these category have a specific purpose i.e. in general, I would you smart phone for applications like Facebook, twitter, GPS, checking emails, etc, things that would take me just a few mins. If I feel that I need to be on internet for over 20 mins or so, I switch to my laptops.
    2) There is a void for screen size between 4 to 7in. I am left to wonder what kind/type of devices will fill this void?
    3) With the advent of tablets, netbooks will soon be history. Desktops are almost history, I see vendors like best buy scaling back on selling desktops cause’ of lesser revenue
    4) Companies like Dell, HP, Toshiba who are predominantly in desktop, laptop, netbook business should be worried!
    5) Apple, Samsung, definitely HTC, Sony and other making tablets and fancy smart phones are the ones to watch for (maybe, stock up the shares!)

    What are Consumers’ need?
    1) One Universal device: I see myself using my iPhone more than using laptop at home. Sometimes I switch to HDTV to watch YouTube videos – you see, 3 devices already! Can’t I just have one universal device which can scale up or down.
    2) Work with Content providers to provide rich content on demand, on this device
    3) Keep the price point reasonable
    4) Lightweight i.e. easy to carry anywhere
    5) Should also be a gaming device, if possible
    6) Should be kid-friendly. My 4-year-old should be able to use this device at ease
    7) Include mobile technologies like LTE, 3G, 4G, EV-DO; Core notebook add-ons like HDMI 1.4 port, USB, DVD drive, fingerprint etc; Sharing technologies like UPnP, DLNA etc – with an option for consumer to enable or disable per his/her needs.

    I am certain that there’s a vendor out there working on a universal device serving all the purposes like making calls, texting, facebook-ing, and being able to switch to small screen or big screen at convenience.

    Mobile Vendors and Content Providers – are you listening?

    When will Netflix drive out media companies out of business?

    Recently, we got a Sony Blu-Ray disc player. Off course, first thing we did was to signup for Netflix. I wasn’t a avid movie watcher but after getting Netflix I began to discover a lot of good movies. Some documentaries are indeed wonderful!

    Before we got Netflix, we used to spend $3 per rental for Indian movies most of the times prints were worthless, but we had no other choice. After we got Netflix, we stopped getting Indian movie rentals. Why? Because even movies released 2 months ago is on Netflix, that too for streaming. This tells me that Netflix must be striking deals to get Bollywood (Indian version of Hollywood) movies to their den at the earliest. And this is just a beginning.

    If Netflix were to strike such deals with media companies to get content like CNN, FOX, ESPN etc., then imagine what would happen:
    – just one device with TV (reduce the clutter and cables)
    – no cable (cable companies are suckers!)
    – no advertising (I hope)
    – skyrocketing Netflix shares
    with lots of money in your pocket!

    Netflix has already sent Blockbuster, Hollywood videos out of business.  Cable and media companies should be really scared!

    Is Netflix the next Google in making? What do you think?