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!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Latest Videos

Conversations over a cuppa with CMO: ABC's Leisa Bacon

In this episode of Conversations over a Cuppa with CMO, ABC's director of audiences, Leisa Bacon, shares how she's navigated the COVID-19 crisis, the milestones and adaptability it's ushered in, and what sustained lessons there are for marketers as we start to recover.

More Videos

Very insightful. Executive leaders can let middle managers decide on the best course of action for the business and once these plans are ...

Abi TCA

CMOs: Let middle managers lead radical innovation

Read more

One failing brand tying up with another failing brand!

Realist

Binge and The Iconic launch Inactivewear clothing line

Read more

I am 56 years old and was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease after four years of decreasing mobility to the point of having family dress ...

Nancy Tunick

The personal digital approach that's helping Vision RT ride out the crisis

Read more

I am 57 and diagnosed in June 2009. I had a very long list of symptoms, some of which were. Keeping right arm close to my side while walk...

Nancy Tunick

Gartner survey: CMO spending hit by COVID-19

Read more

Audible did such a great job on their marketing and at the same time, there are no false promises. The support, quality, variety all good...

Vitaliy Lano

Audible's brand plan to build the value of audiobooks

Read more

Blog Posts

MYOD Dataset: Building a DAM

In my first article in this MYOD [Make Your Organisation Data-Driven] series, I articulated a one-line approach to successfully injecting data into your organisation’s DNA: Using a Dataset -> Skillset -> Mindset framework. This will take your people and processes on a journey to data actualisation.

Kshira Saagar

Group director of data science, Global Fashion Group

Business quiet? Now is the time to review your owned assets

For businesses and advertiser categories currently experiencing a slowdown in consumer activity, now is the optimal time to get started on projects that have been of high importance, but low urgency.

Olia Krivtchoun

CX discipline leader, Spark Foundry

Bottoms up: Lockdown lessons for an inverted marketing world

The effects of the coronavirus slammed the brakes on retail sales in pubs, clubs and restaurants. Fever-Tree’s Australia GM Andy Gaunt explains what they have learnt from some tricky months of trading

Andy Gaunt

General manager, Fever-Tree Australia and New Zealand

Sign in