Morgan Stanley is attempting to steal a march on its rivals in a burgeoning investment banking social media war.
According to The New York Times’ DealBook blog, Morgan Stanley will give about 17,000 of its Morgan Stanley Smith Barney financial advisers partial access to popular social media sites Twitter and LinkedIn.
The move, which follows trials with about 600 employees, is based on a belief that financial advisers can use social media to be more effective in their jobs.
The NYT quotes Morgan Stanley’s head of social media, Lauren Boyman, as saying that Twitter and LinkedIn have helped its financial advisers pick up more business over the past year than they would have without using the websites.
“The big takeaway is that it works,” Boyman said, adding that financial advisers will draw from a body of canned posts to help ensure the investment bank complies fully with securities rules.
“It’s a lot harder to approve 140 characters than one might think it would be,” Boyman said. “Pretty much every tweet has a link to a report or an article or a website, and all that has to get read and approved.”
The NYT story – which also notes that Goldman Sachs is planning to hire a social media community manager – comes shortly after Business Insider labelled Morgan Stanley’s Twitter stream a “Wall Street game changer”.
The nub of Business Insider’s argument is that Morgan Stanley has broken with its chief rivals to cover market moving events – such as last week’s US Federal Open Market Committee statement – in real time on Twitter, rather than just using the micro-blogging service to spruik products and services.
“It’s the LIVE economic and financial commentary that makes it extremely valuable to the investors and traders who hunger for it,” Business Insider’s Sam Ro writes. “Contrast this to Goldman Sach’s Twitter account which had anything but commentary to offer during the Fed’s crucial FOMC announcement.”
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