Janowski: How social media is growing in the IBD industry

  • Published: August 01, 2013
  • Runtime: 3:13
Davis Janowski discusses how social media is changing throughout the independent broker-dealer industry, including the various platforms and compliance procedures firms are adopting.
As part of our annual report on social media, I had done a lot of interviews with various people in the independent broker-dealer industry. And that is actually one of the bright spots in terms of growth on the technology side. The many vendors in that area are all buying and there's probably a half dozen for some of the larger independent broker-dealers and/or regional firms. Most recently of interest to many advisers would be the news that Raymond James Financial Services has decided to stop using a big portion of the Actiance's Socialite platform in favor of adopting another social media platform from a company called Hearsay and their platform called Hearsay Social. It appears that a large reason for this is mainly due to the enterprise nature of Hearsay Social and its ability to support a lot of the sales and marketing functions to a deeper level than what Actiance has been able to support in the past. It's also kind of interesting. Historically, much of what transpired in the social media sphere--especially as it goes towards the broker-dealer side of the business, the advisory world--is that early on the single most important mission was to maintain compliance, be able to track what various reps and independent brokers were doing, retain that social media content. It was putting--being put out--put it into an archive to make that searchable in case that we're on audit. That is largely being superseded, and I heard more than one industry official say, you know, once you have the compliance aspect, you know, knocked out, it's kind of like--okay, what--what else can you do for me lately? And it would appear that many of the broker-dealers want more features built in too, allowing their support of sales and marketing initiatives. So not only retaining the archival information related to all the social media content their reps are putting out, but also be able to do pre-review of that content, pass it through multiple hands at a time. In fact, that's a recent feature put out by Actiance. It's the idea that you can have multiple levels of pre-reviews so that you have a head office person sign off on some content and maybe a branch manager and then finally that content can be sent out into the [unk]. So those are some areas that we're starting to see a little bit of competition between the various large vendors on these platforms, and it's yet to be seen whether that's going to influence at all some of the other simpler products that are out there available--say from Smarsh and Erado. They are really more focused on the after of the social media content. In other words, once it's gone out, that it's archived, they can be searched, analytics can be done. So more in terms of pre-review analysis, seeing who actually opens and reads; what may have led to an actual sale or landing a client is becoming of maximum important when it comes to social media in the independent broker-dealer world. So that's just a little bit of what's going on in social media.

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