Michael Kitces #FinTech

As RJ signs on with Hearsay, Actiance rolls out multi-level review features

Social media marketing, sales, archiving and compliance continue to be hot areas of tech development

Jul 19, 2013 @ 1:33 pm

By Davis Janowski

As social media has quickly become a cornerstone of low-cost customer outreach and marketing efforts, vendors selling tools for managing and meeting compliance requirements have had to adapt to the intricacies of this new way of doing business.

Raymond James Financial Inc. announced yesterday it had partnered with enterprise social media management and compliance technology provider Hearsay Social to support its advisers in their use of social media. The ability of the platform to work with mobile devices and non-work computers was an additional benefit that helped lead to the decision to partner with Hearsay, according to Raymond James chief marketing officer Mike White.

Raymond James is migrating away from another platform provided by Actiance Inc., a competitor with significant overlap with Hearsay's offerings. Raymond James announced a similar-sounding partnership with that firm just two years ago.

“First and foremost we have to stay compliant and that was our initial target two years ago,” said Mr. White in an interview. "Once you have accomplished that need it is sort of a box you can check, but you then have to start considering what else a platform can do for you. The [social media] space is changing very fast and all the networks are making changes and evolving quickly too.”

And a big part of the decision to engage with Hearsay had to do with a broader trend with big data, namely that firms like Raymond James had to begin to better monitor their clients' lives.

“All our clients have tablets and are using social media tools on them and the pattern of adoption in years past was far slower," he said. "Now you see grandparents adopting the social networks within a year of their children and grandchildren.”

The Social Signals set of features within Hearsay's platform should provide greater flexibility to advisers in terms of monitoring life changes among their clients, according to Mr. White.

A small pilot program has gone on for several months to evaluate the new platform. Stay tuned for an upcoming social media special report that will go into more depth on some of the new features on several of the platforms in the August 26 issue.

Actiance rolls out multi-level review features

Timing being what it is, Actiance Inc. Wednesday announced availability of multi-level review and approval capabilities within its Socialite platform.

The social media management and compliance system is used by several large broker-dealers and registered investment adviser firms around the country (including Raymond James as noted above; the firm will continue to use Actiance's separate unified messaging platform).

The new features make it easier for reviewers of adviser posts, whether at corporate headquarters or in a branch or a home office, to monitor the increasingly complex flow of messages crossing the social networks.

Simply put, these new features, at no additional cost to those already using the application, allow for review of content and equip those in a supervisory role to append the content with internal notes. The content can also be approved or rejected.

Such review can also take place using e-mail and still be managed and retained within the Socialite platform's archive.

Related stories:

Actiance introduces latest version of Vantage

At Raymond James, social media is valuable communication tool

SEC talks social media, and cloud computing security gets clarity

15 transformational events: Firms finally jump into social media

RegEd's new platform should draw more IBD business

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