How Smarsh helps advisers, broker-dealers adapt to social media compliance

Smarsh Founder and CEO Stephen Marsh discusses the landscape for social media in the financial services sector in a recent interview

Social media -- everybody’s doing it, right? Whether people are using it to keep in touch with friends and family or brands are utilizing it as a communication tool to better engage with their customers, it seems like if you aren’t on some kind of social media platform you are behind the curve. However, depending on the line of work you are in, its possible that social media is either irrelevant for your business or some industries are so traditional that they have yet to adapt to the latest digital tools. 

More traditional verticals like law and finance are beginning to understand that while social media may not make or break their business, it can certainly help to promote their services and interact with clients. In fact, a recent InvestmentNews survey found Smarsh to be a leading provider of social media compliance software for financial advisers. SmartBrief recently sat down with Smarsh Founder and CEO Stephen Marsh and discussed the landscape for social media in the financial services sector.

According to the interview, Marsh noted that LinkedIn is still probably the most commonly used network in the social media space that is relevant for advisers and broker-dealers. Facebook and Twitter are secondary channels, but not as relevant for these kinds of businesses.  

As archiving and compliance are a large component of finance and legal industry demands today, Smarsh offers a variety of tools that allow companies to archive dozens of different social networks to consolidate data and communication. The company also offers enterprise social networks like Salesforce Chatter, Yammer and Jive with full capabilities to archive, supervise and monitor conversations.

One of Smarsh’s key differences is it stores social media content in an archive structure that is purpose-built for social media. The social sharing company’s goal is to preserve the interactive, relational nature of those communications so companies can search the archive for that specific social activity, rather than just a certain keyword.

“When we reproduce the message for the compliance department, they are looking at a rendering of the social media almost exactly as it appeared originally on the social network,” Marsh said. “They see the original post. They see the comments. They see the whole thread of communication. They are not just looking at a one-line excerpt out of context.”

When asked what he thinks the next “big thing” in financial services social media is, Marsh noted that video is growing pretty quickly in both the marketing departments at financial firms and by advisers themselves.

“Video is becoming much more widely used, so we hear from our customers that they need a different technology solution. You can’t really capture YouTube content or video content the same way you capture a Tweet or a Facebook post, so they need a different tool for that,” he added. 

In the next 12-18 months, Marsh sees larger banks and broker-dealers moving away from their on-premise email archiving solutions. For the big banks and broker-dealers, there is going to be a lot of activity for Smarsh and cloud or software-as-a-service providers to help banks move their existing archives away from their old systems.

 

For more articles on financial and legal compliance, check out these related reports on Inside Counsel:

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Federal investigators keep close eyes on Bank of America’s mortgage compliance

Litigation: How to scale back the hazards of regulatory challenges and the litigation that follows

Morgan Stanley could pay $275 million financial crisis settlement to SEC

Contributing Author

Stefanie Mosca

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