Wall Street is starting to embrace Twitter. At the #140 conference in New York City, financial executives talked about how barriers are coming down, and the payoffs are becoming more clear.
Lori Feldman is the director of Branded and Social Media Marketing at Citi Global Transaction Services.
They started tweeting to institutional clients in late 2009.
“It was a great experiment, but it was a great experiment that paid off in that within the first week of our tweeting, that’s @citigts, we increased traffic to our website five-fold. Twenty percent of our tweets were re-tweeted.”
Retail investors will soon start to see more tweeting from Wall Street as well. Morgan Stanley gave the go ahead for its army of more than 17,000 brokers to start using Twitter to communicate with clients, distributing research and content, and will roll out the program in the coming months.
Wall Street has been wary of social media, in large part because of the heavily regulated nature of the business. Last year the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), established rules for social media use, but Wall Street has been slow to let brokers participate.
Joanna Belbey is the co-founder of the BGK Group and advises companies on social media policy and compliance:
“This industry is highly regulated and there’s existing rules around supervision, suitability, advertising, communications and bookkeeping where the firms need to take a really careful look at social media and each of the features and figure out how to comply with all the rules and regulations that apply to each one.”
The Twitter challenge: leverage the power of social media in an industry where you have to play by rules, even when those rules just keep changing.
Bottom line: Wall Street is treading carefully as it starts to embrace social media like Twitter.