Due Diligence

FAs Are Using Social Networking And Breaking The Rules

Broker/dealer and investment advisory firms need better social networking rules and policies, if recent survey results from Socialware are any indication. The survey showed that 60 percent of financial advisors are using social networking for business, but that a lot of them are breaking compliance regulations when they do.

Only 57 percent of those respondents using social networking for business are aware that their company has a social networking policy, and 32 percent said their firms don’t have a policy in place. Further, 66 percent of those who are using social networking for business have no archiving process in place—something that is required under FINRA guidelines.

Other fun facts:

--50% of respondents agreed there were significant hurdles to adopting social media for business purposes, specifically the inability to archive data, understanding compliance issues, and time constraints .

--40% believe that the firm’s social media policy is a detriment to performing one’s job duties successfully.

--57% of respondents use LinkedIn for business purposes, making it the most popular social networking site. 20% say it is prohibited by their firms.

--Over 40% of respondents plan to use Facebook for business purposes but 37% say the network is prohibited by their firms.

--Over 25% of respondents plan to use Twitter for business purposes, but 35% say it is prohibited by their firms.

--About 50% of all respondents who use social networks for business have been able to identify new referrals that resulted from those networks, and over a third have acquired new customers by using the networks.

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