Image: Bloomberg News
Image: Bloomberg News

Wells Fargo Advisors recently launched its social media program with 100 advisors and expects to have 1,000 on board by the end of 2015. The plan next year is for the firm to have 5,000 out of its 15,000-plus advisors using social media tools. Jeff Leonard, the firm's SVP of digital marketing and social media, discusses the anticipated affects and benefits to advisors and their clients. 

What will the transition from a social media pilot to a full program look like?

The industry should see a greater share of voice in social media from Wells Fargo Advisors as more and more advisors join the program.

The content that our advisors will be sharing will span the spectrum of content categories from investment thought leadership to content that is more tied to a client’s personal life.

People should expect to see more authentic, personal contributions to social media from advisors creating their own messaging and content as well. 

What access to social media will your advisors have?

Advisors at Wells Fargo will be able to use LinkedIn and Twitter. They will also be able share content from a preapproved library as well as create their own content. Our advisors are also allowed to use Facebook on a personal level.

Will their personal habits and attitudes toward social media change as well?

Personal habits and attitudes toward social media will definitely change. As advisors become more comfortable with using social media, it will become ingrained in their daily routines and business best practices.

While social media is a powerful tool for business, it is also a potentially harmful one if not used appropriately.

We encourage our advisors to maintain their personal social media profiles (e.g. Facebook), but with an eye toward how they are presenting themselves online. They should assume that their prospects and clients are viewing their online profiles and potentially judging them based on what they see. This should create a sense of caution that permeates the advisor’s online activity whether it’s for business or personal use.

Will you use third-party software developers like Socialware and Hearsay Social, or will the industry start gravitating away from such programs?

We will rely on platforms like Socialware. We believe that these are continuously evolving to meet the demands of the regulated social media space.

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