Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Financial Advisors and Social Media

A lot of financial advisors are using Social Media to interact with their customers and engage them. But as pointed out on this link, there are certain SEC regulatory constraints that financial advisors should be wary about while using social media.

First, all disclosures (earnings, operations, etc.) should be made available to all parties at the same time. We cannot share information only on social media and not through other channels.
The second challenge is around handling negative comments on social media sites. How to officially respond? Can anyone put comments on the Facebook page?
The third important facet is that of the customers privacy. If an advisor responds to a customers question on twitter or facebook and inadvertently discloses some kind of financial information about the customer, then it could be considered as a violation of privacy by SEC.

Also from a regulatory perspective, it could be required to store all communication and retain them for future. There are a number of players in the market that provide services for achieving all social media interactions. E.g.
https://www.backupify.com/products/personal-apps-backup
http://www.socialware.com/products-services/socialware-compliance/
http://www.symantec.com/advisormail/
http://www.smarsh.com/social-media-archiving