Morgan Stanley’s Green Light for Social Media – Bankers or Bots?

On 25th June, Lauren Boyman, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney (MSSB)’s Head of Social Media sent out these two tweets in quick succession:



The “green light” was for Twitter and LinkedIn for MSSB’s 17,000 financial advisors. The “successful pilot” had been a year long, with an initial group of 600 being allowed to use both sites. The “compliant way” was the catch… tweets must be selected from a library of pre-written messages. For example:


Having spent 15 years in the City, 13 of those with Morgan Stanley, I’m fully aware of the challenges. Of course there are compliance and regulatory requirements to manage, but professionals know what they can and cannot say publically, and technology can ensure appropriate records are kept.

There’s also fear – having benefited from Corporate Communications when at Morgan Stanley, I was conscious and apprehensive about there being no front line of defence when I first joined social media. Having found the Twitter account and bio for J. Scott Irwin however, MSSB advisers can rest assured that Big Brother is watching! (Maybe that adds to the fear?!)


But at its heart, all business is about relationships. Relationships are built on conversations, and social media is just another way to talk – old rules, new tools.

How can you build trust, show personality and spontaneity, be social… human, when you’re restricted to talking from a script? Being social on social media requires interaction and engagement. If every tweet is pre-written and pre-approved, how can we be certain there’s actually a person tweeting?

Having a library of content, where it’s easy to find official data and messages, is a great start. Advisors should then be given the freedom to share this information in their own tone of voice. People buy from people.

Throughout my time at Morgan Stanley I felt it a privilege to work with amazingly talented people – exactly the type of individuals who can wow others with their expertise and insights, and can build trust at a time of mistrust in the financial sector.

In the article that Lauren Boyman links to above, there’s mention of a small trial of 20 that have “been given the ability to write their own tweets”. I was pleased to find one such individual, and couldn’t help but smile at her retort to the critics (the link in her tweet is to an article titled “Morgan Stanley: Nothing personal – encouraged to be boring”):


I was even more pleased to see that less than 24 hours after I tried to start a conversation, there was a magical reply:



“… autonomy – within regulatory guidelines” – cheery, smart, nice! And good practice for every aspect of a trusted professional’s working life, not just for their social media use.

I know that change takes time. MSSB’s green light may not be on full beam, but what they’ve done is bold relative to other Wall Street firms. I would love to keep in touch with a firm I spent 13 years with through Twitter – if I can be sure that I’m following bankers, not bots!

How to claim your LinkedIn public profile as your own

imageIf Twitter’s the virtual cocktail party and Facebook’s the virtual house party, LinkedIn’s your virtual shop front. If your ideal client were looking to hire someone with your skills, would your profile encourage them to walk through the door?

Make the most of your LinkedIn profile by providing links to your website, blog and Twitter. If your firm doesn’t have a corporate profile, create one and encourage all staff to link to it.

For the highest possible Google ranking, claim your public profile as your own by customising the URL to – it takes seconds, so no excuses!

From the Profile header, click Edit Profile:


Then click Edit next to your Public Profile (last field below):


Finally click Customize your public profile URL and change your URL to something unique (mine’s LindaCheungUK to match with Twitter):



Seconds well spent Smile

To Google+, or Not To Google+

With Google opening up its Plus social networking service to brands last week, the question we have been considering is whether it’s worth our time actively using the new brand pages.

Let me say before going any further though, you should definitely reserve a page in Google+ for your brand. It only takes a couple of minutes to register your page and you’ll ensure you won’t get hijacked by brand squatters.

Now, onto the question at hand… is it worth time and investment to create and maintain a fully functioning presence?

We can get an insight into the relative popularity of each service by looking at data from the Share buttons that proliferate across the web these days. We can use this as an indicator of the relative importance of each service.

For our study we looked took a sample of news and tech news websites: BBC, CNN, Guardian, New York Times, The Telegraph, Mashable and EConsultancy. Of those, only the The Telegraph, Mashable and EConsultancy have added Google+ sharing to their site.

Next we took the top 5 stories from each site at the time we did the survey and looked at the number of shares on each service:



































So there you have it, according to our admittedly rather unscientific survey, Google+ represents less than 5% of sharing activity on sites that have a Google+ button, and a much smaller percentage of overall sharing activity given that most mainstream sites do not have a Google+ button.

On that basis we have decided not to spend time maintaining a Google+ page (yet).

Have you created a Google+ page? What results are you getting from it?

Discover Where Your Clients Hang Out on Social Media

You want to use social media to market your business… But where and how should you start?

Should you spend your time on Twitter, Facebook or something else? And how do you begin to get followers and fans?

Starting from an email address, what you’d like to know is: Does my contact have a Facebook account? Do they have a Twitter account, LinkedIn account or any other social media site?

Of the major sites, only Facebook lets you search for a user specifically by email address.

Find a Person on Facebook by Email Address

You can search for someone of Facebook at<email>. For example, to find Robert Scoble on Facebook you’d enter


Find People on Twitter and LinkedIn

Neither LinkedIn nor Twitter allow you to search for someone by email address. They both though allow you to import your contacts from various other services and automatically invite them all to join. That’s not necessarily what you want to do though. And what about all the other services out there? Google+, Flickr, YouTube, FourSquare… this list goes on.

If only there was a way to easily discover where your existing clients and contacts hang out on social media…

Social Profile Discovery

When we created CubeSocial’s social profile discovery service we wanted to solve just this problem. CubeSocial lets you to upload a list of email addresses, and then simply sit back while it does the hard work of searching the internet for social profiles and creating a contact cards for all your contacts, just like this one.


What’s more, CubeSocial can locate social profiles on over 100 different services and then summarise where all your contacts are hanging out. This is the summary for our contacts:


When we decided to use social media to connect with our clients we wanted to make sure we were spending our time (and money) in the most effective way. Now we are letting everyone else do that too.

If you haven’t already, give CubeSocial a try. It’s free to sign up. Then let us know what you think via @cubesocial or email.