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Rating:Stumped by Social Media? Vanguard Offers Tips Not Rated 3.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Stumped by Social Media? Vanguard Offers Tips

Reported by InvestmentWires Staff, 

The buzz around social media has exploded since Finra issued its guidance on the subject in January. Tuesday morning, Amy Dobra, principal at Vanguard, shared the firm's social media guiding principles during a session at the ICI Mutual Funds and Investment Management Conference in Phoenix.

Vanguard is two years into its social media efforts. Nearly a year ago, it launched a Facebook page and at last count, it has more than 8,000 fans on the popular social networking site.

Dobra noted that there hasn't been relevant case studies in the financial services space, and that's partly because it wasn't until January that Finra came out with the guidelines.

She also pointed to social media success stories, such as Chick-Fil-A and Dell. "Those are emotionally charged brands," she noted. Financial services firms, on the other hand, don't seem to have the same level of emotional connection with customers.

This being the case, Dobra told attendees to have the right expectations. Noting that Chick-Fil-A has more than 1 million Facebook fans, she said: "Is that what we expect for our brand? I don't think so, because we're not giving away free chicken sandwiches."

She also showed a YouTube clip from Blendtec, which has attracted 5 million hits.

"I don't think our industry is nearly as cute and funny," Dobra quipped.

She shared with the audience Vanguard's guiding principles when it comes to social media:

  • Have a plan
  • Stay true to your brand
  • Make a commitment: it's another channel, not a project
  • Get prepared to cede some control to the community
  • Match your approach to people's expectations
  • Be open, transparent and authentic
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate
  • Make it ok to "fail" 

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