If you manage money professionally — or write about it — then using social media has become part of your day job. Think about Carl Icahn tweeting about his decision to buy Apple (AAPL) or of Twitter tweeting to announce its own IPO.
Though it hasn’t completely replaced traditional public relations and advertising (and it never fully will, at least for larger companies), social media has created an earthy, authentic parallel publicity universe for making announcements and for new talent to be heard.
In 2008, blogs were not taken seriously as “news” sites. Hardly anyone had heard of the Big Picture, The Reformed Broker or Zero Hedge. But today — due in no small part to the success of these bloggers and their contemporaries — the line between blogger and mainstream financial journalist is too blurred to distinguish. The edgy, anti-establishment voices have elbowed their way into the establishment by filling an information void that needed to be filled and by sheer force of personality.
And in doing so, they have changed the way we get our news.
Hand in hand with this shift in media voices is Twitter. I have no idea what Twitter’s founders had in mind when they created the service; it’s evolved so much over the past few years, I doubt if they even remember themselves.
For lack of existing vocabulary (Twitter has since spawned a vocabulary all its own), they called it a “microblog.” To me, it looked like a Facebook (FB) status update … but without the rest of Facebook. But today, it has grown to become everything from news aggregator to chat room. In this line of work, the Twitter format is perfect for blasting out an article you wrote or one that you read and wanted to pass on. It’s also a great forum for tossing around trading ideas (StockTwits is even better for this).
And like blogging, tweeting give you a way to shape the discussion. It makes the the news interactive.
All of this brings me to Vestorly. I’ve used Vestorly for years as a way of funneling casual social media contacts into actionable leads. And as of now, the service is now available for free. From its press release upon launching last fall:
“This no cost alternative for content marketing frees financial professionals from having to pay for content distribution services they are currently using for email newsletters, social media publishing services or digital content marketing hubs.
The key functionality that separates Vestorly from other digital content marketing platforms is Vestorly’s ability to gather new prospective clients from the entire Web presence of a professional or firm. Vestorly captures the basic interaction between individuals and wealth management professionals. It then synthesizes user content views into better client service data and user content-sharing into new client referrals. Vestorly’s proprietary algorithms then facilitate the client acquisition process by collecting smart data on individual prospects.”
Vestorly allows financial professionals and firms to schedule automate email newsletters and social media posts, deploy lead-capture technology and harness smart data reporting on individual leads, among other functions.
One of the most challenging aspects of the investment management business is getting your message across to would-be clients. Vestorly gives me a “compliance safe” venue to reach out to clients and prospects, but it is also much more than that.
Bottom line: For me, Vestorly leverages the power of social media and expands my reach by allowing clients and prospects to refer you to their friends and colleagues in a comfortable way that adds value to everyone involved.
Charles Lewis Sizemore, CFA, is the editor of Macro Trend Investor and chief investment officer of the investment firm Sizemore Capital Management. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. Click here to receive his FREE weekly e-letter covering top market insights, trends, and the best stocks and ETFs to profit from today’s best global value plays.