Financial services firm figures out how to do social safely

Macquarie Private Wealth gets brokers up and running on LinkedIn and Twitter, with compliance officers looking over their shoulders

The freewheeling flow of information on public social media sites may cause many people in conservative, highly regulated industries such as financial services to shudder. But one Canadian firm has taken the plunge, believing its employees can use social tools in a safe and ultimately profitable way.

The benefits of using social media outweigh the regulatory overhead, said Silu Modi, vice president of digital marketing at Macquarie Private Wealth, during a session this week at the E2 conference in Boston. Benefits include the ability for Macquarie's specialised brokers "to demonstrate they really know their industry" and achieve "thought leadership" through blog posts and Twitter messages, Modi said.

In other words, brokers that develop strong social personas can help raise Macquarie's profile and bring in more business. To that end, Modi noted, 25 per cent of LinkedIn users hold senior management titles or above and 41 per cent earn six-figure salaries, he said. "If you're a private wealth firm, that's exactly what you're looking for."

But Macquarie faced some challenges in developing its social strategy. "The regulators put a nice little box around what you can do before you start a social media program," he said. For one thing, all social media activity must be captured and maintained for years, and even user profile information has get the sign-off from the compliance department, he said.

While users can still work with LinkedIn and Twitter like they'd normally do, the experience isn't quite the same as that found off the job.

Posts that brokers want to make to sites are captured and held for approval by Macquarie's compliance team, Modi said. When the social program was launched in December 2011, it typically took several hours for a post to be approved. Now that delay is down to between 15 and 45 minutes, but "can still take hours if compliance is busy," he said.

Out of thousands of social messages posted so far, however, only four have been rejected by compliance, according to Modi. In addition, the activity so far has brought in a significant amount of new business, he said.

Macquarie started out with a small pilot program and is now looking to get more of its brokers involved with social media.

But there aren't any automatic invites, he said. Candidates for the program need a clean compliance record, must write all of their own posts, and "have a solid set of information you want to convey," he said. "If you're a general advisor, it's not going to work."

Modi also issued a caution that could apply to any corporate social media effort.

"It's not going to fix what ails you," he said. "If you don't have a good marketing program ... this is not going to help at all. This is just a tool. And it's a lot of work."

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

Join the CMO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Supporting Association

Blog Posts

Disruption Down Under – What’s Amazon’s real competitive advantage?

Savvy shoppers wait in anticipation, while Australian retailers are gearing up for the onslaught. Amazon’s arrival is imminent.

Change across the board: Why boards need to digitally evolve

Traditionally the non-executive board of a company acts in an advisory capacity - attending monthly board meetings to offer overarching advice and guidance typically focusing on:

Jodie Sangster

CEO, ADMA

The most desirable customers you’ve overlooked

“What will really move the needle?” This is a question that keeps leaders awake at night. And at the intersection of some of their top priorities – finding pockets of growth, redefining the customer experience, and making an emotional impact – lies a latent market: Their diverse customers.

Really inspiring !

Goldenboy Media

Jaywing sets sights on Australian growth with digital and data-driven agency model

Read more

Being aware of regulations or guidlines is just the start. As our CEO Emma Lo Russo stated exactly two weeks ago at an event we supported...

Alan Smith

​Are the Wild West days of influencer collaboration over?

Read more

Rebranding is always nice solution to get better organisation. Businessman may apply certain special services (for example, https://www.l...

David Hill

CMO interview: Spearheading the global rebranding of OFX

Read more

Thank you so much for sharing this article.Top Digital Marketing company in Bangalore

Way To DM

Predictions: 17 digital marketing trends for 2017

Read more

Thanks for the great article Jodie, agree many boards and senior execs are operating in outdated modes, just as we need some reverse soci...

sharyn

Change across the board: Why boards need to digitally evolve - Data-driven marketing - CMO Australia

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in