11.03.2011
By Terry Flanagan

Raymond James Ramps Up Social Media

Firm deploys technology to ensure compliance with Finra guidelines.

Financial advisors have been chomping at the bit to harness social media, but have been hamstrung by regulatory issues. However, that’s starting to change as technology is developed to address the compliance aspects of social media.

Raymond James’s use of Socialite enables it to engage effectively through social media.

“Prior to choosing Actiance’s Socialite, Raymond James’ advisers were limited to using LinkedIn as a rolodex and could only have preapproved, static profiles,” Sarah Carter, vice president of marketing at Actiance, told Markets Media.

Raymond James made a public commitment earlier this year to provide additional marketing and communications support for our advisors who wish to connect with existing clients and prospects via social networking sites.

It’s partnership with Actiance has enabled us to keep that promise while ensuring regulatory compliance, said Mike White, marketing director at Raymond James.

In addition to incorporating the technology and archiving platform, with Actiance, Raymond James  has developed guidelines, training sessions and marketing and communications support to help advisors leverage social media in their client engagement and new prospecting activities, White said.

“Socialite now enables Raymond James’ advisers to leverage Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook,  to actively message out to their network of connections and get the greatest business value from each social network,” Carter said.

Socialite also helps elevate Raymond James over most other wealth management firms who are currently venturing into social media but are restricting what advisers can do.

“Socialite is not only enabling Raymond James to allow advisers to use preapproved and prewritten tweets and posts, it will also allow them to see which posts are most popular and which have been “liked,””forwarded” or “retweeted” by clients.

“Socialite also enables advisers to write their own custom posts and tweets, which will be filtered and checked for language, content and the meeting of regulatory requirements before going live,” said Carter.

The wealth-management industry has been slow in allowing advisers to use social media because of the uncertainty around restrictive regulations primarily from FINRA, but also from the SEC, IIROC and the FSA.

“Firms have struggled to apply 1.0 definitions to activities occurring in our 2.0 world, and in the social media world where change is rapid and constant, this has influenced a cautious approach for firms,” said Carter.

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