How to Embrace Social Media and Stay Compliant: Exactly!
Having just read “How to Embrace Social Media and Stay Compliant” ,by Howard J. Stock, I have to say “Exactly!” I love it when someone (other than me) gets it! Social Media and Networking are my passion; I LOVE sharing information with people and connecting people with the resources and people they need to succeed. Often, people in highly regulated industries, like finance and insurance, are hesitant to use social media for fear of non-compliance and the repercussions arising from it. It’s a very serious issue indeed, but not necessarily a roadblock to using social media effectively.
Stock writes: “Armstrong points out that information doesn’t have to be timely to be useful. An advisor could put together an article on the Top 10 things to look for in a financial advisor, for example. ‘There’s plenty of time for compliance to bless it and then you can get it up on your website,’ he says.” And I say, “Exactly!” You can be a resource to your audience by providing sound advice and solid resources that hold up over time. Breaking news is great for getting views, but not the only source.
Another concern with compliance is getting into trouble with comments, since they aren’t going to the marketing department for approval in the same manner as the original content. Stock writes: “Making comments on something someone else has posted does entangle you, but ‘the biggest challenge isn’t compliance itself, but what’s inappropriate to say,’ Armstrong says. ‘Anyone who’s registered knows 99% of what they can and can’t say—you can’t promise a 10% return, for example…’ ” I would also point out that you can moderate comments to include or exclude content. Having a clearly stated comment policy and disclosure outlining whose opinions are represented and in what capacity are a must for any licensed professional. If comments are too much of a concern for your company and there is no way to work around the issue, turn them off! It’s not ideal, but it’s not worth ditching your whole effort over comments.
The referenced article, “How to Embrace Social Media and Stay Compliant“, by Howard J. Stock is a great example of using social media effectively in the world of finance. Another fantastic example, a recent discovery and instant favorite of my own, is The Naked Portfolio Manager, by Robert Fischer. He uses everyday examples and entertaining media clips to translate complex financial theories into entertaining, understandable articles suitable for financial professionals and the average reader. Don’t take my word for it; check it out for yourself!