A social media presence isn’t just nice for a wealth management firm to have, it is now vital to the business, Clara Shih, founder and CEO of Hearsay Social, a social media marketing software maker, told the audience at SIFMA’s Private Client Conference last week in New York City.

“The world has gone social and mobile,” Shih said. Ninety-eight percent of U.S. Internet users belong to a social network, with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn being the most important social networks for advisers, she said.

These tools help advisers to stay in touch with clients and keep their business top of mind. Ultimately, online signals can lead to offline conversations and a striking social media presence is as important as being listed in the Yellow Pages used to be, Shih said.

But social media is more than a marketing tool. It allows advisers to see the life events of clients that trigger financial decisions, such as getting married, having a baby or buying a home. (read more…)

Recognizing that this post is going out on a social media blog and will be promoted on a newsletter mainly for social media practitioners and is being written by a guy who runs a social/content agency, you’ll have to pardon the heretical if not potentially self-destructive nature of the headline above. But, really truly folks, now is the time to ask this question.

After about six years of social centricity I, like many long-time students of this peculiar art form, am champing at the bit to move social out of its self-perpetuated isolation into the broader operational fabric of business strategy. To this end, here are five solid reasons why its time to drink the “social business” Kool-Aid and stop thinking about social as a separate department or discipline within an organization.

1. Isolating social forces inane metrics.

Trying to calculate the discrete return on investment of organic social activity is a fool’s errand, since there are way too many factors influencing any given purchase decision. (read more…)

We all know social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are some of the best marketing tools for a business. But what happens when tweets go wrong?

Even though you want tweets to look effortless, each one of them should be well thought-out. You want to look at a Twitter campaign from every possible angle and get the opinions of others before it goes live.

The following companies may have had the best of intentions, but their tweets will forever be known as some of the most epic social media fails.

1. AT&T uses a tragedy to sell phones

On the anniversary of 9/11, AT&T tweeted a photo of one their smartphones in front of the New York skyline, with lights representing the World Trade Center. The caption read, “Never Forget.” Americans’ have not forgotten the tragedy and they certainly do not appreciate a company exploiting that tragic event by utilizing product placement in a tweet meant to commemorate 9/11. (read more…)

We know two things about millennials: They will soon have record-breaking purchasing power, and they spend tons of time with content created by their peers, otherwise known as UGC (user-generated content).

What we didn’t know was how much time they spend with UGC and how they feel about it. That is, until now.

In January, Ipsos MediaCT, Crowdtap and the Social Media Advertising Consortium partnered to survey 839 millennial (18 to 36 years old) men and women. The study explored millennials’ media consumption habits, how they perceive information from various sources and how these same media sources impact purchasing decisions.

Here are 5 key data points that might surprise you:

1) They spend mind-blowing amounts of time with media. In aggregate, millennials spend roughly 18 hours (not mutually exclusive) with different types of media per day. This often includes viewing multiple devices at once. If this surprises you, you’re not alone, but their media adds up when they’re simultaneously checking their phones, letting their computer screen glow, listening to radio and glancing up at the TV. (read more…)

If you’re like 92 percent of people on Twitter, you don’t follow the handles of the places where your friends and family work. It’s a statistic that meant a lot to AT&T’s Senior Manager of Emerging Communications, Lee Diaz. That’s why they rolled out their internal content hub, the Social Circle, for employees to begin sharing more from AT&T in their social networks.

In his presentation at SocialMedia.org‘s BlogWell conference in Dallas, Lee explains why they encouraged over 80,000 employees to become advocates in social media. Here are three key takeaways:

  • Your employees are already social. Lee says to earn buy-in from some leadership to getting employees involved, they had to help management see how much their employees already did in social media.
  • Disclosure is key. One of the main components of AT&T’s social advocate program was a simple hashtag, #ATTemployee. This let their employees share content from AT&T while being transparent and staying legal.
  • (read more…)