Compliance and social networking don’t often go hand in hand. With so much information and so many people viewing it, disagreements are bound to come up. How can you steer clear of a PR nightmare waiting to happen? First, check with compliance counsel for advice relating to your license and state. Second, follow these tips and tricks for compliance-friendly networking.

  1. Be careful of recommending a specific security. If you do, you may trigger FINRA’s Rule 2310 (on suitability), which may require prior approval and additional disclosures.
  2. Understand that everything you say on an interactive platform is a “public appearance.” You don’t need to clear your statement, but it must adhere to FINRA content standards of “fair dealing, good faith, balanced,” etc.
  3. Treat your professional/company LinkedIn and Facebook profiles as advertising. So get it approved before posting.
  4. Make sure your post comments are professional. Since they are considered “dynamic content,” they don’t need prior FINRA approval but they must be fair, balanced, etc.
  5. If you’re an investment advisor representative, do not solicit LinkedIn client testimonials. That’s illegal.