You have probably heard to the nth degree the importance of using social media to network. Social networking sites can work to successfully market your company, although they may present you with quite a few compliance issues as a financial advisor. FINRA has encouraged independent advisors to develop their own social media compliance requirements for the purpose of regulation. According to FINRA, these guidelines must also include:
- Keeping records of social media communications.
- When recommending a security on a social media website, it must meet the requirements of NASD Rule 2310.
- Blogs containing static content require approval before posting, which may include third-party content posted and endorsed by a firm.
Here are few tips to navigate these compliance issues:
- Keep records: This means that social media use in the office needs to be recorded through the use of software, and it is also recommended that a supervisor periodically check social media posts to make sure they best represent the company.
- Thorough training: The truth is the need for social media is going to continue to grow, so it will only be doing your company a favor if you train your employees in the best practices for using social media at work.
- Comments are public: There have been a number of horror stories of employees getting fired because of comments made on Facebook and Twitter, not even relating to the financial industry. With the strict FINRA standards, becoming vigilant about what you say online is all the more important because you are representing yourself and your firm.
- Continue networking: There is nothing wrong with building relationships–one of the main purposes of social media. Simply view social media as a convenient and quick way to connect with clients, instead of meeting face to face or using the phone. With this approach, you continue to keep your conduct appropriate and not be in danger of breaking any of the new regulations.
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