Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Social Media and the Financial Industry

You never know what you don't know, until you learn something...

For anyone in Finance who is interested in using social media to facilitate further engagement with your customers...
I was asked recently by an old colleague of mine, to take a look at a copy of guidelines for the financial industry as outlined by FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority). At first I thought, I was going to have to break out the law books, but FINRA's Regulatory Notice 10-06: Social Media Web Sites Guidance on Blogs and Social Networking Web Sites, is actually very layman-friendly and not as ominous as I presumed.

The areas that concerned me the most were the rules regarding:
  • Q1: Are firms required to retain records of communications related to the broker dealer’s business that are made through social media sites?
  • Q3: What factors should firms consider when developing procedures for supervising interactive electronic communications on a social media site that recommend specific investment products?
  • Q4: Does a blog constitute an “interactive electronic forum” for purposes of Rule 2210?
  • Q8: If a customer or other third party posts content on a social media site established by the firm or its personnel, does FINRA consider the third-party content to be under Rule 2210?

The answers weren't scary at all and I think if planned properly, a social networking strategy can be executed as long as the rules are followed impeccably.


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