Welcome to the "New Media" Revolution!

New Media on Ulitzer

Subscribe to New Media on Ulitzer: eMailAlertsEmail Alerts newslettersWeekly Newsletters
Get New Media on Ulitzer: homepageHomepage mobileMobile rssRSS facebookFacebook twitterTwitter linkedinLinkedIn


New Media Authors: Suresh Sambandam

Related Topics: Web 2.0 Magazine, Twitter on Ulitzer, New Media on Ulitzer, Facebook on Ulitzer, Social CRM, Wealth Management

Wealth Management: Article

Thinking Beyond LinkedIn

The social media world is about the appropriate application, including face-to-dace meetings

While LinkedIn offers an attractive gateway to the world of social media, many financial professionals we have been speaking with downplay the importance of other social media tools like Twitter. That sentiment was forcefully expressed recently in John Ridley's Visible Man column, which decries Twitter as a stomach-churning indulgence for navel gazers.

Is John right? Are Twitter and its fellow social media apps best suited for distracting easily bored, attention deficit fad followers? That thought was on the minds of many at the Russell Reynolds Distribution Roundtable focused on Social Media tools as a way to expand distribution for asset & wealth management firms in New York recently. The other side of the story was well-represented as well: That every game-changing communications improvement arrived first as a fad. Those over 20 may remember the early cellular phones in their lunch box-size vinyl bags; when it wasn't unusual to wonder: "Isn't that guy just showing off? Does he really need to have a phone with him all the time?"

Every communications improvement finally wasn't really about the app after all, it was about the content, about what the message was trying to achieve.

  • It's about the characters stupid A cross between blogging and instant messaging, Twitter currently has 5 million users and is growing at a rate of 7500 a day. Each "tweet" is short and sweet, 140 characters. What can you do in 140 characters? Use the word count/character count feature in Microsoft Word, and find out. Remember; work backward from the URL you wish to hyperlink to. That italicized text is 140 words long right there.
  • An application is not a vendor Asset and wealth management firms considering adopting social media applications to enhance customer relationships and loyalty should do so by utilizing a combination of social media applications, not just a specific application. For most this will be a difficult concept to grasp because as managers, most of us are usually being asked to choose one vendor over another.
  • The power of social media lies in their combination. There is no single application that is right for everything all of the time.
  • Face-to-face (F2F) is part of the social media tool kit too F2F is at the heart of every successful media program. Even with communications preferences changing and online engagement tools becoming commonplace, F2F selling still has a place in the solution suite. "Social" means "passed in pleasant companionship with one's friends or associates" - that's F2F in action.
  • You are your own thought leader Social media also represents the democratization of information, transforming people from content readers into publishers. Through identifying and publicizing your expertise - or thought leadership - you begin to set the standards of engagement for your network to generate exposure, opportunity and sales.

Some enterprising CEOs are taking to the promise of social media in a big way. Take a look at this message from Vanguard CEO Bill McNabb on the firm's financial stability. Posted on their web site in April, to date 96 visitors have commented. Simultaneous to the posting of the message on the Vanguard website, they very well could have sent a tweet, allowing recipients to forward, or "retweet", the message to friends thus enhancing the number of receipients.

Sprint and many other companies and their managers could take a page from this experience that my good friend Scott McKain, speaker and author of the just published best selling business book, "Collapse of Distinction", had recently with Sprint. He twittered a complaint to Sprint about excessive advertising covering up a loss of customers and received this series of 140 character tweets from Stephanie Vinge of Sprint PR:

  • Thx 4 the feedback. You'll find we're doing far more than just running cool ads& our customer serv metrics continue 2 improve
  • And, as U can see, we have been watching, listening and helping our customers consistently via twitter, etc. Tweet me anytime
  • Did U know: Sprint has the most dependable 3G network and is now rolling out Sprint 4G. DM me anytime for Sprint info
  • Did U know: Sprint 3G is faster in more places than AT&T

Scott was impressed at her persistent follow-through and responded this way:

  • Grateful for...and impressed by...your kind responses. Challenge is (obviously), how do you re-interest former customers like me?
  • Don't mean that sarcastically or disrespectfully! It's that we think it's tougher to re-engage former customers than acquire new.

Stephanie responded:

  • I get it. not taken that way. I agree. I have been an angry, unsatisfied customer myself (of select companies) but we know what we need to do!
  • Oh, what I'm doing is nothing compared to our company progress. Thanks and give us another chance - you'll be glad!

And, he's considering it.

The takeaway is this: When someone voices a concern about your organization, you strengthen your hand by responding just like Stephanie did: Immediately, openly, and sincerely. And she made an attempt to reconnect with a former customer. Who knows? You might get that dissatisfied client back.

Would it be worthwhile for you and your firm in terms of AUM and revenue if you could respond immediately, personally and sincerely to your customers? Would it be worthwhile for you and your firm to stay connected with current customers reconnect with former customers and stay in front of potential customers?

The promise of social media and Web 2.0 is to answer those questions in the affirmative.

More Stories By D. Bruce Johnston

D. Bruce Johnston, President | COO, CaptureTrackConvert is regarded as a high-energy, results-driven Financial Services Distribution Executive. His 30+-year career has been distinguished by an impressive record of accomplishments, contributions and winner of the Institutional Investor Fund Marketer of the Year award. CaptureTrackConvert (CTC) provides easy to use, powerful enterprise level marketing automation software to fast growing SMBs. CTC is dedicated to helping SMBs maximize their marketing resources, improve the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns and generating more sales ready prospects thus dramatically improving sales and the bottom-line.