By Cyril Tuohy
Looking to strengthen advisors’ social media network to generate prospects, retain customers and sell more, the Retirement Solutions Division of Pacific Life has announced the launch of a pilot program using technology from Hearsay Social.
The initiative would expand Pacific Life’s social media program currently made up of company wholesalers who share information with financial advisors using the professional social medial site LinkedIn.
Christine Tucker, vice president of marketing for Retirement Solutions Division, said in a news release that more advisors are using social medial to “communicate with clients, connect with prospects, and grow their practices.”
“The trend is undeniable,” she said.
Retail clients and investors were the first to adopt social media, followed by financial advisors and now wholesalers, who are looking to engage with advisors over social media networks, said Hearsay Social chief executive officer Clara Shih.
“We now live in the LinkedIn and Twitter era, where social business is no longer optional but necessary,” Shih said in a news release.
Northwestern Mutual has already licensed Hearsay Social for social media compliance and content distribution to brokers and advisors, according to insurance consultancy Novarica.
In a report published earlier this year, Novarica said that “enabling marketing via social media tools” was among the top technology priorities for individual life insurers.
Thrivent Financial is also using Hearsay Social’s technology platform.
“The demand is there for social,” said Kyle Marie Woods, marketing strategies for Thrivent, in a Web video interview posted on Hearsay’s website. “I think they realize the potential that’s there and they know if they are not there, their competitor is going to be there.”
Hearsay has helped Thrivent “automate and supervise” the communications among advisors, Woods also said.
Surveys show advisors are coming around the social media but adoption is slow. In a survey released earlier this year, Curian Capital found that 56 percent of advisors do not use social media within their practices.
In addition, only 6 percent of respondents ranked social media as one of their top-three sources of new leads, according to the Curian Advisors Survey: 2013 Outlook for Advisor Priorities. The survey polled a total of 2,088 advisors with 186 companies.
Tucker, however, said that early results of Pacific Life’s pilot have been “extremely encouraging.”
Cyril Tuohy is a writer based in Pennsylvania. He has covered the financial services industry for more than 15 years. Cyril may be reached at [email protected].
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