FA Playbook

Hearsay shifts to disrupt financial services & fight robots

Hearsay Social founder and CEO Clara Shih
Peter Foley | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Hearsay Social works with 100,000 financial advisors and insurance agents, including Vanguard, JPMorgan Chase, Raymond James and eight of the top 10 U.S. Insurers, helping them manage their social media interactions.

Now CEO Clara Shih is introducing a new set of tools—focusedentirely on financial services—to help those advisors keep their jobs in the face of a slew of robo-advisors such as Wealthfront and Betterment, which are disrupting traditional financial services.

"They're threatening to do to human advisors what Travelocity did to travel agents," Shih said recently. "How do you survive in this age of automation?"

Read MoreRobo-advisors: Friend or foe?

Hearsay's angle: To avoid being "disrupted" (made irrelevant), financial advisors and insurance agents need better tools to be more useful across all platforms. What Hearsay is calling its Predictive Social Suite will allow financial relationship managers to connect all of their interactions, from Twitter and LinkedIn to blogs, email and a website it helps users set up, on a single dashboard.

Rise of the robo-advisor

And to ensure that the technology doesn't prompt robotic communication, the tools help advisors easily customize their communication.

The predictive algorithms will suggest to advisors the best clients to contact, based on what they're saying on various social platforms and across the Internet.

If the technology sees you've switched jobs, a financial advisor could reach out and advise you on how to roll over a 401(k). It might suggest a college savings account to a family that's just had a baby.

Read MoreRobo-advisors are no immediate threat, wealth managers say

"Social media in too many companies sits in a silo," Shih said. "To actually realize gains from social, it has to be integrated in how we work, into business."

Shih said the addressable market is huge—over 3 million financial services and insurance agents worldwide, excluding India and China—and she wants to help them keep their jobs, and avoid being replaced by robots.

"Given the flexibility and the low cost of the cloud, it's possible for Fortune 500 corporations to replace legacy systems quickly, and to have new systems up and running in weeks instead of years."