Tomorrow’s the big bake-off at that annual company competition thingy. It’s just for fun, but you’ve only been with the organization for a few months and you want to make a stand as the king of the corporate kitchen. You’re up all night testing out different recipes, frosting, and decorations. Would it bother you to find out that some of the top competition that you’ve scouted around the office, your colleagues, are taking a shortcut and buying pre-made desserts from the local pie shop or supermarket on the way to work in the morning?
Whether you realize it or not, a large portion of professionals, especially those in the financial services industry, are doing the same thing on social media – only with content and not food. Do you follow your local bank or real-estate agent on Twitter? Are you a fan of your attorney, accountant, or financial adviser on Facebook? Chances are what they are saying is off-the-shelf, just like that deceitfully delicious banana nut bread from the end of the aisle that your tenacious colleague picked up. Why is this? Three primary reasons:
- Financial service professionals are not marketers or writers.
- They don’t have the time to browse the Web for the most interesting developments or craft their own engaging post on an ongoing basis. They’re supposed to be out selling.
- Regulation. FINRA, the SEC, and other regulatory bodies oftentimes require social media content to undergo a review by the firm’s compliance unit prior to posting. Stock content means it’s already blessed by legal and ready to be posted as is.
There are scores of companies, many of which have cropped up in the last couple of years, whose sole function is to craft and curate relevant and meaningful social media content for their clients. Not to mention the vast in-house resources firms have dedicated towards writing timely posts for their representatives.
Does it matter that what your trusted adviser is posting has simply been copied & pasted from a content repository or pushed out from corporate? Does it really matter? As long as the message is interesting and educational, do we really care where it came from? What do you think? I bought my mom a card for Mother’s Day, I didn’t write the poem inside. I don’t think she’ll mind (but then again, the back does say, “Hallmark”).