Day Two – Social Media Lounge at Morningstar Investment Conference

June 20, 2014

If you’ve been following the Twitter hashtag from afar of the Morningstar Investment Conference, you’ll see engagement at a very high level. In fact, the hashtag  had so much volume yesterday it trended on A number of elements contributed to that volume – certainly Bill Gross entering from stage right with sunglasses and an anecdote about the movie Manchurian Candidate got the stream flowing.

In the social media lounge – we spent the day illustrating how to consistently create content – including exploring channels like Google’s Hangouts on Air as well as podcasting to do more than just the written word.


In addition we dove into questions about differentiation. In one discussion with a financial advisor, we explored how to best insure clients see his focus on relevant research (i.e. showing he is not asleep at the wheel on investing trends and economic issues) via his social content publishing. The key here is sharing the efforts and results of his due diligence (with the caveat that he is not recommending products but rather evaluating trends in segments – such as monetary policy in Europe or the increasing volume of PC purchases in the tech sector). Community building also came up – and in our view this means more than social media. Certainly having channels open on Facebook and Twitter as well as other outlets increases your accessibility to your clients and prospective audience.

However, considering other activities has a great impact here. For example, in an interview with Redtail Technology staffer Curtis Ware, he shared how they have dramatically increased client engagement and meaningful feedback by making their web presence more interactive.

In Redtail’s case, they:

  • Established a modern help desk online that accepts messaging from Facebook and Twitter
  • Allows for user sharing of help information
  • Encourage feedback and participation in voting up (or down) future system enhancements.

This translates very well to any financial services business large or small. Perhaps a firm can:

  • Share exclusive subject matter expertise over a social channel – such as a Facebook Page, to raise the engagement and interaction from clients
  • Find ways to capture useful information used in an analog way – presentations, speeches and topics discussed in meetings – and convert them to audio, video and more
  • Invite feedback from clients on how they would like to meet and engage with you – do they want live or virtual meetings (i.e. come to the office or meet via GoTo Meeting or Skype)?

Differentiating means not just trying to “look” different. Focus in on the culture and style you propagate in your everyday life at the office and with your clients – and find ways to demonstrate that in the digital world. That authenticity will show through in your efforts as you build your online presence.

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