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 newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

The competitive advantage Australian retailers have over Amazon

With all of the hype around Amazon, many online retailers have been trying to understand how they can compete with the American retail giant.

Joel Milligan

Performance manager, Columbus Agency

How to become the customer experience custodian

The number one objective enterprises give for embarking on a digital transformation is to improve customer experiences with new engagement models, according to IDC’s 2017 global study.

Fear not: It's only a robot

Every time I pass through the automated border controls at the Sydney airport I walk away with a feeling of exasperation on the one hand and relief on the other. Exasperation, because the face recognition technology inevitably always fails to recognise me. Relief, because we seem to be safely years away from the Orwellian reality of states controlling every aspect of our lives; something the media is keenly warning us against each day.

Dan Kalinski

CEO, iProspect Australia and New Zealand

And to add after looking at event pictures plus, observing all AU's visible Blonde Bimbos (think Julie Bishop to this Georgie Gardnerare)...

absolutelyconcerned

In pictures: CMO 50 2017: The who's who of Australian marketing leadership

Read more

CMO 50 2017 announcement mentioning "innovation". I checked date and its November not April so its wasn't an April Fools' Joke. Australia...

absolutelyconcerned

In pictures: CMO 50 2017: The who's who of Australian marketing leadership

Read more

I worked at Momentum when the transformation started way back in 2013 (not 2015 as stated in the article). It was a painfully slow and co...

Jay

How Momentum Energy has transformed its entire business to be customer-led

Read more

Another buzzword thoughtlessly latched onto, without any thought for the implications on the organisations that have to lumber through th...

Tired

Rolling out agile marketing at Deakin

Read more

Useful., also don’t miss out on these 5 features of Adobe Experience Cloud - Visit here > http://www.softcrylic.com/b...

Sunil Joseph

Adobe debuts Advertising Cloud, Experience Cloud

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in