Video Game Industry Veteran Brings Media Skills to Financial Advisory Shop

Joe Stallings went from producing top video games like The Sims and Tiger Woods PGA Tour to marketing chief for financial advisory firm Balentine. We asked him about the need for community engagement, best social media strategies and who, exactly, is on Twitter.

A former producer with video game design shop Electronic Arts, Joe Stallings worked on hits like The Sims and Tiger Woods PGA Tour. So when he joined Atlanta-based financial advisory firm Balentine as partner and communications director in January 2010, it’s no surprise he ensured the firm was making use of every digital channel to communicate with clients and prospects. We asked him how he’s using his entertainment background to propel the firm into a social media world.

“If you look at companies that produce products, like Electronic Arts, you'll see a lot more engagement with the community on platforms like Facebook. They’ll write, ‘Here's a new gaming platform, tell us what you think.’ Or ‘Tell us which character in this new game you like the most.’ Whereas on Twitter it’s more direct message, like ‘Servers are going to be down. Heads up.’ Messages are much more succinct.”

“So when I got to Balentine, I said we had to look at social media in silos. You have to look at the strengths and weakness of each platform, from Tumbler to Twitter to Facebook. For example, we are finding most high net worth investors don't use Twitter. The people who use Twitter are more financial types. So we only comment on market strategies and movements on Twitter.”

“Facebook is more social. So would never post on the markets going down on Facebook. We would put images of our employees, or an employee’s new baby.”

“When I first came here, I would see pictures of Christmas party on Facebook and also on Twitter. The people subscribing to the Twitter feed don't care about the Christmas party, but they do want to know about the Fed’s forecast. So we think we're doing a good job of tailoring.”

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