TD Ameritrade: Evolution of social @TDAmeritrade — Live from Member Meeting 35

Coverage of this session by Kristen Platt of Connect with her on LinkedIn here.

4:30 —'s Kurt Vanderah introduces TD Ameritrade's Director of Social Media and Online Communities, Sunayna Tuteja.

4:31 — Sunayna: I want to talk about the evolution of social at TD Ameritrade. It's this ongoing journey of test and learn here. How do we go from leading in to leading edge in the social world?

4:33 — Sunayna talks about proliferating social into the fabric of our client experience. We want to create personalized interactions that:

  • deepen engagement
  • drive business results
  • deliver a competitive advantage

4:34 — Our evolution in social media from the last few years: Start with basic 3 P's (what platforms, policies, and programs do we want?) > listen and engage > content community > sales marketing > investing experience.

4:35 — Sunayna: We have a team of 17 people online responding 16 hours a day, 7 days a week.

4:37 — Sunayna: With social we often say, go where your clients are. But our clients are not generally on social, so we had to bring it to them.

4:38 — Sunayna says Twitter is becoming a destination of choice for Investors/ traders to discover, share, and validate potential ideas. It’s a 140-character news cycle, with news often breaking on Twitter before traditional networks.

4:39 — Sunayna: $Cashtag and #hashtags offer real-time, uncensored, and authentic conversations about a company, its brands, and products. 90% of consumers state that their purchase decisions are influenced by peer recommendations and crowd-sourcing. Believe it or not, traders and investors like to show off too (in social)!

4:40 — While traditional sources of research like analyst reports are fundamental, clients are leveraging new sources of snackable, engaging content including social to research investments. We really challenged ourselves to “skate where the puck is going.”

4:41 — All of this manifested into the launch of what we call #SocialSignals. It allows investors to trade with public opinion on their side by bringing the conversation to social media. This gives them the confidence to invest based on what their peers are saying.

4:42 — Sunayna shares some #SocialSignals features with a very high-level view of the platform. We wanted to create an experience that very closely imitated Twitter. A couple key components:

  • Content that is: current, curated, and contextualized. It's constantly refreshed and filters all the noise without censoring the conversation.
  • Relevant, aggregated mentions of the company, its brands, products, and $Cashtags
  • Eyes wide open: Transparency about the benefits & pitfalls of social media
  • Engagement with the tweets just like a Twitter experience.
  • Eyes wide open: Transparency about the benefits & pitfalls of social media.
  • Creates AHA! moments of discovery and conversations. Discover connections between products and brands.

4:46 — Sunayna: Social within the trading platform creates immersive experiences that Clients value, appreciate, and remember.

4:48 — So how do you go from idea to execution? Here's how we made it happen:

  • Think BIG, start small, scale fast
  • Social is a a TEAM sport
  • Stand on the side of the Client
  • Embrace perpetual beta
  • Innovate to create value


Q: Were you supported in this from the beginning? It's a small step, but definitely a big one for the company.

A: Sunayna: We got a lot of support to build a strong foundation, and the success stories also helped prove its worth and put us in a great position to implement this program.

Q: How did you get legal buy-in for this program?

A: Sunayna: Legal and compliance are my BFFs. What worked for getting approval for us was going to them with a well-thought-out, advanced idea. We anticipated their questions and the risks they would be worried about, and so we proved to them that we “get it,” and that we've thought about how to mitigate those risks.

Q: How have you worked with your cross-channel teams?

A: Sunayna: A lot of tenacity (haha). TD Ameritrade is an organization based on relationships. I got to know a lot of people within the organization when I first started, so that also really helped. Also, make sure you are shouting from the rooftop, and make sure your leadership is aware of all the little wins social media is bringing the company. Take every chance you can to demonstrate how social is positively affecting the business. You need to have a strong anchor about why you're doing social.

Q: What listening tool do you use to populate your social stream?

A: Sunayna: We have a partnership with LikeFolio, and they helped us bring this idea to life by building a proprietary algorithm. We also worked with Twitter.