Rosemary Denney in MarketCurrents: Why Wealthy Families Need a Social Media Policy

Ever since the development of social media, its usage has posed serious threats for high-net-worth families. For example, an Instagram post on a vacation with the GPS tag can put a wealthy family member at risk of being kidnapped for ransom. Or, a hacker can gain access to an heiress’s email account and send fraudulent invoices to her family office for nearly a million dollars merely because her password was her dog’s name – a dog she plastered on her social media accounts.

In order to uncover a possible solution to this pertinent issue, MarketCurrents spoke with Wealth Matters Consulting CEO Rosemary Denney. In the article, Denney recommends that both wealthy families and the firms that manage their wealth create a robust social media strategy in order to combat security threats.

Specifically, in regard to wealth management social media policies, Denney states, “These policies ensure that everyone at the firm possesses a clear understanding of how their social media activity must work in connection to the business.”

When developing wealth management social media policies for firms handling the data and affairs of wealthy families, Denney advices firms to truly consider the long-term implications of their policy, review every endpoint device, utilize premium tools that go beyond the built-in privacy protections of online platforms, and regularly test their digital infrastructure for any weaknesses.

Denney also describes how the best social media policies leave no room for ambiguity. Instead, they should enable wealthy families and their wealth management firms to experience all of the benefits this digital resource has to offer – from maintaining personal and professional relationships to building an effective brand – all without compromising their security.

Read the entire MarketCurrents article here.

Wealth Management Social Media Policies: 5 Essential Guidelines

Despite the concrete evidence that social media can serve as a powerful marketing tool to increase brand recognition and build relationships with prospects, many firms avoid social media because they fear their online activity could pose a compliance risk. While there are certainly regulatory restrictions to be aware of, it is absolutely possible to use social media within those regulatory boundaries. The key is establishing a social media policy.

Having a social media policy in place allows a firm to leverage the power of digital marketing and expand the reach of their brand among their target audiences while being compliant, accurate, and consistent across the firm’s footprint.

When it comes to creating a wealth management social media policy, there is absolutely no room for ambiguity. The policy must ensure that everyone at the firm understands how their social media activity connects to the business. To eliminate any confusion, the policy must include specifics about who can post, what to post, and when.

We recommend that advisors consider the following guidelines when creating a social media policy for their firm:

1. Research Potential Pitfalls

It is critical for your wealth management firm to be aware of the many social media-related compliance rules. While rules regarding the nature of the content are often the first to come to mind, make sure your policies also include guidelines for setting up social profiles and communicating within a social media platform. Two important components to familiarize yourself with are defining testimonials and avoiding specific investment advice.

2. Determine Your Spokespeople

Decide who among your firm is allowed to speak on behalf of the firm and post on the official company page. Make sure those who are allowed to represent the firm publicly – whether on digital platforms or traditional public platforms – represent your firm knowledgeably, accurately, and professionally.

3. Create a Review Process

Before any content is posted on behalf of the firm, it should be thoroughly reviewed and approved by management and compliance to ensure that the post is compliant with state and federal regulations, as well as the company’s brand and content guidelines. Clearly define your process of review so that everyone understands the workflow and nobody posts something that they come to regret.

4. Make Policies Personal

While regulators are typically concerned only with communications related to conducting business, that doesn’t mean that personal posts are without risk – in this case risk to your brand and reputation. Search engines, screenshots, archives, and cached files have created a digital world where every piece of content lives forever. It is crucial that everyone at your firm acts as if all of their updates and comments will be posted on the front page of a newspaper – even if their profiles are private. Consider including this simple rule among your policies: if it is not suitable for everyone to see, do not click the publish button.

5. Create Record-Keeping Practices

The record-keeping rules for business communications apply to social media as well. Decide how to handle record-keeping and spell it out in your social media policies to ensure each post is accounted for.

These guidelines can help you get started in creating an effective wealth management social media policy. Embracing a robust and specific social media policy can alleviate compliance-related concerns while allowing you to strengthen your brand and professional reputation across all digital channels. Contact our experienced social media team to learn more.

6 Wealth Management Marketing Resolutions for a Successful New Year

With a new year comes new opportunities for success. However, if your firm is hoping to achieve great success throughout 2019 and beyond, we recommend that you make some wealth management marketing resolutions. Whether your focus is on retaining your current clients or obtaining new ones, starting the year off with clear marketing objectives can help you accomplish your goals.

Here are six wealth management marketing objectives to make sure that you hit the ground running this new year.

Resolution #1: Understand Yourself

While this may sound rudimentary, being able to simply define what differentiates your firm from the competition is often no easy task - and this is largely due to many wealth managers not taking the time to properly brand themselves. This year, establish a clear and authentic brand that shows your firm’s values and illustrates why clients should work with you. Once your brand is established, it is time to clearly and consistently communicate it across all of your marketing channels.

Resolution #2: Understand Your Clients

Having a target audience is an essential part of getting and keeping clients. However, simply targeting high net worth clients is not enough. We recommend that you get to know each current and potential client you wish to serve as an individual in a personal and engaging manner. What are their demographics? Do they own a business? Are they struggling to preserve generational wealth? Do they live a flamboyant lifestyle or one that is more understated? These are some of the questions to consider asking yourself in order to develop long-lasting and successful relationships.

Resolution #3: Build a Comprehensive Website

In today’s digital world, your website often acts as the face of your firm, so it is essential that you build a professional and comprehensive website. Do this by making sure that the background, colors, fonts, and images match your firm’s brand and are visually appealing. Also, take the time to clearly and effectively communicate your mission statement, services, values, and provide a forum for news and thought leadership. By building a comprehensive website, you are able to boost your credibility with prospects and industry colleagues.

Resolution #4: Produce Engaging Content

With so much content produced and put in front of people all day every day, the necessity to produce engaging content that will interest clients and prospects is more important than ever before. Not only does engaging content get people to take notice, but it can also be used to boost brand awareness, strengthen loyalty, and build client relationships. Reap these benefits by ramping up your content efforts and go from simply producing content to producing effective content that connects and builds trust with your audience throughout the entire client journey.

Resolution #5: Build a Social Media Presence

Similar to content, social media is proving to be an important channel in wealth management marketing. While Snapchat and Instagram may not provide any value to your firm, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are all great platforms that can maximize your content and establish you as a thought leader in the financial industry. Get started by creating profiles that match your brand on all three channels and posting engaging content consistently. Just remember: despite the real-time interaction that occurs on social media, it is still crucial to follow all regulatory compliance guidelines.

Resolution #6: Utilize the Power of Events

One of the most effective ways financial advisors can network and initiate face-to-face conversations with potential prospects is to host events. While having your firm host its own event is ideal, attending and speaking at other relevant industry events can also be beneficial to your business and further establish you as a thought leader in your field. Regardless if it is your firm’s event or you are a featured speaker at someone else’s, always take the time to create a plan with well-defined goals and strategies to ensure you make the most out of each opportunity.

Interested in Learning More About Wealth Management Marketing?

Now that you have identified your objectives, it is time to achieve them. For more information about accomplishing your marketing objectives, or just to learn more about wealth management marketing in general, please do not hesitate to contact us. Our team of marketing, branding, public relations, and communications specialists has what it takes to provide you with the support you need the way you need it.

Communication 101: What We Learned From Brexit

Last month the United Kingdom voted to break away from the European Union, resulting in dramatic swings in the global markets. Investors on both sides of the pond experienced anxiety, and the financial media only made matters worse by playing on those fears. The market recovered shortly thereafter but many investors were left wondering, “What next? Should I do anything? What does this mean for me?”

In times of uncertainty, communication is critical. It can calm fears, help avoid brash decisions, strengthen relationships, and create opportunities to demonstrate thought leadership and expertise. Communications has evolved beyond the bland, boring investment letters of the past. Investors today expect to read content that is engaging, relevant, interesting, and in a language that they can understand. Thankfully, there are several modes of communication for an advisor – all of which should be used in tandem in a thoughtful, proactive way. Email and social media should be used along with Old Faithful (the telephone) to reach clients and allay their fears. These cover the bases in terms of demographics and together reach a broad spectrum of audiences.

Email. A timely and informative email from advisor to client can be calming and reassuring. Rather than simply regurgitate market data, these should go further to answer a few basic questions that client families often ask: “How does this affect me? What does this mean for my wealth in the long term? Should I do anything? Is this a good time to buy?” This is both helpful and often very much appreciated. Email marketing is not just for sales, but can be a non-intrusive, private way to quickly update clients. 

Social media. Why do advisors flinch at the mere mention of the word Twitter? Since the UK’s EU referendum, 13,310 simultaneous hashtags regarding Brexit have been utilized on a global scale. What better way to jump into the conversation and communicate with people who use social media to get their news, including millennials, reporters and even many investors. In addition, social media is a great way to establish your brand among your peers and centers of influence. Social media has functioned as a fundamental voice in the post-Brexit conversation and will continue to serve as a channel to convey the latest information about current global events. Shouldn’t you be a part of the conversation?

A conversation. The personal touch should never be overlooked! Picking up the phone and letting clients know that they are a distinct and principal concern during times of crisis is comforting. The more information a client has, the less likely they are to make a rash decision that may lead to financial losses.  

Big news will happen and market volatility is a reality investors will face. Leverage these opportunities to strengthen relationships and help clients feel good about your advisory relationship.

How to Build Buzz with Social Media

A recent online article published by Banking Strategies Magazine focuses on retail banking, but the sentiment is just as applicable for wealth management firms: you must create a solid foundation of content that appeals to your clients. Doing so will demonstrate that your firm is an industry expert and thought leader, and will serve to deepen the relationship you have with your clients. Not every piece of content you post needs to be highly buzzworthy to garner results. It just needs to be relevant, valuable, targeted, entertaining and consistent. Over time, your clients will feel more engaged, more loyal, and more apt to refer prospects to your firm.

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