#SocialWallStreet: The Challenges for Financial Services on Social Media

Back in June, my colleague Treg and I attended #SocialWallStreet, an “unconference,” or group discussion, hosted by the Public Relations Society of America’s New York chapter (PRSA-NY). The “unconference” focused on regulations governing Wall Street’s use of social media and the challenges that we, as communication professionals, face when developing social strategies for financial services clients.

Moderated by David Rosen, PRSA-NY board member and SVP of Digital at Edelman, and featuring Joyce Sullivan, VP of Social Business at Socialware, and Tom Chernaik, founder and CEO of CMP.LY, the discussion gave a detailed overview of the current social media landscape for financial services companies. Specifically, we examined the risk-reward balance for many of these companies in regards to being active on social media platforms. In other words, is the return worth the investment? Or is it better to remain radio silent due to the threat of noncompliant communications or a fiasco such as J.P. Morgan’s #askjpm Twitter chat?

What we decided through our conversation is this: ignoring social media and its inherent risk won’t make it go away. Social media fundamentally changed how we give and receive information. While this doesn’t mean that financial services firms should cannonball into the deep end, it does mean that they should be, at the very least, prudently dipping their toes into the water.

Using a voting system, the 50 discussion participants identified the top six challenges financial services clients’ feet wet with social media.

  1. How do we make the business case?
  2. How do we persuade management it’s not just for teens?
  3. How do we get them to see that it’s more than just Twitter?
  4. How do we do real-time response?
  5. What if our channels are hacked?
  6. How do we create compliant content?

These questions, along with additional commentary from David, Joyce and Tom, can also be viewed in PRSA-NY’s video resulting from the event. What are your initial solutions to these questions? What other issues do you face in regards to encouraging financial services clients to participate in social media?

Photo Credit: Teri Tynes, Flickr.

Connect with Megan:

Phone:  212.840.1661
Email: Megan@blissintegrated.com
Twitter: @MeganTuckPR