Every day, more than 10 million LinkedIn users post endorsements of businesses on that social-networking site. Perhaps you’ve been wondering about the true impact and meaning of these endorsements and how to remain SEC- and FINRA-compliant.

Managing endorsements. First things first: FINRA and SEC guidelines state that endorsements are fine as long as they do not come from a client and are not related to financial services or your ability to manage money. (Check with your own firm’s compliance policy; some firms restrict endorsements completely.)

You may not realize it, but you have some options when dealing with endorsements on LinkedIn:

1. Turn off endorsement visibility entirely:

  • Click the “Edit” button at the top of your profile.
  • Click the “Edit” link in the “Skills & Expertise” section.
  • In the upper-right-hand corner, click the drop-down menu next to the green check mark.
  • Select “No, do not show my endorsements.”
  • Click the “Save” button.

2. Hide endorsements for specific skills:

  • Click the “Edit” button at the top of your profile.
  • Click the “Edit” link in the “Skills & Expertise” section.
  • Click on the “Manage Endorsements” option above the text box.
  • Select the skill or skills you want hide.
  • In the box showing your endorsements for that skill, un-check the box that says “Show all endorsements for this skill.” If the check marks next to the individual endorsements don’t automatically uncheck, uncheck each endorsement individually.
  • Click the “Save” button.

3. Hide endorsements from specific people:

  • After clicking on the “Manage Endorsements” option, select the skill or skills with endorsements from specific people that you want to hide.
  • In the box showing your endorsements for that skill, un-check the boxes next to a specific user’s endorsements.
  • Click the “Save” button.

(Note: You will still receive new endorsements for this skill, so you must continuously manage which endorsements you want to show.)

4. Add or delete skills:

  • Click the “Edit” button in the “Skills & Expertise” section, then add new skills by typing them in the text box.
  • Delete skills you do not want on your profile by checking the box next to the skill you want to delete.

There’s no doubt that endorsements can help you gain new business (as long as they abide by industry guidelines). Take a moment to customize your preferences to make the most of your endorsements.

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Amy McIlwain is a professional speaker on social media and President of Financial Social Media, an online marketing firm specializing in the financial industry. She can be reached through her website www.financialsocialmedia.com and on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.