We’ve rung in the New Year and with the finalizing of 2011 goals and priorities it is worth taking a step back to see how exactly we got here. 2010 brought many exciting events and milestones on the topic of social media in financial services. So sit back and let’s talk a walk down memory lane.
The year got started off with the much-awaited guidance from FINRA regarding the use of social media for regulated reps. Notice 10-06 clarified how financial firms should use social media in a compliant fashion and with this Notice in hand many got off the sidelines and into the game.
Of course, advisors had already started to experience the benefits of social media for their business. In a survey of regulated financial advisors Socialware found:
- 60% were already using social media for their business
- 36% acquired new customers
- 40% were using these sites, while knowingly violating the corporate policy of prohibition
And really, how can you blame them. Social media represents the greatest shift in how we connect, communicate and share. Consider a few of these milestones that social networks hit in 2010:
- Facebook reached 500 million users (only to recently break the 600mm mark)
- Twitter reached the 190 million user mark and 56% of these users rely on Twitter for business purposes
- LinkedIn reached 90 million users (only to surpass this mark by reaching the 100mm user mark in January. The growth is to be expected when you see stats like the one regarding their InMail service. It is 30X more effective than a cold call! I don’t know about you but I’d rather send one InMail vs. making 30 phone calls.
All of this success and activity has caught the regulators eyes. FINRA started completing LinkedIn audits in 2010. In addition, the SEC sent out a sweeps letter regarding social media (look for a blog post soon on this topic).
The good news is that Socialware’s nearly 100 customers can sleep easy at night knowing that they are protected, in full compliance and are on the path to realizing the potential that social media has to offer.
So thanks to everyone for an exciting 2010 – we know this is just the beginning of the great things to come as the financial services sector fully embraces social media.