Inside The iShares Social Media Strategy

Update: After being marked private for a few weeks, an edited version (representing about one-third of what was presented) of the video mentioned below is now public.

Here’s a rare treat for you. Yesterday, LinkedIn Marketing Solutions released a series of videos from its FinanceConnect:13 conference held in New York last week. Included among them was the presentation by iShares’ Eileen Loustau, Global Head of Social Media Marketing. It’s a 55-minute inside-asset-management-social media talk from one of the industry’s leaders in social media, responsible for both the iShares and the BlackRock social presence.

You’ll hear how iShares defines its target audience as sophisticated investors—“we’ve decided to allow the competition to go ahead and talk to people who know nothing,” Loustau says at 11:27.

At the same time, listen to how iShares has rethought what Loustau calls investment communicators' previously deferential relationship with financial advisors. “We were shocked…financial advisors just want you to tell them what to do,” she says. Her explanation of that perspective starts at 6:09.

Loustau acknowledges that her team of 10 and the broader “content machine” is blessed by the availability of three dedicated Compliance resources, at least one of whom she insists work right next to her. Blog post review takes less than two hours and tweets about 5 minutes, she says at 53:28. (Is it just my imagination or can I hear the collective sighs of everyone else out there with a less dreamy Compliance relationship?)

And then there’s the money part. Loustau can make the case that iShares social media participation is worth as much as $18 million in earned media, a number that has climbed steadily since the launch of its @iSharesETFs Twitter account, blog and other work in late 2010. Listen starting at 45:15.

Thanks to Loustau for sharing her team’s reasoned approach and to LinkedIn for both streaming the conference live and then posting this video and others from the conference.