When Morgan Stanley started down the social media path, we did so because of demand from our advisors. Eager to do the right thing from a compliance standpoint, our marketing group would frequently field advisors' requests for permission to connect with their clients on LinkedIn. After hearing this enough times, we dug into the issue to understand FINRA's stance on social media. It was January 2010 and Notice 10-06 had just been published. The guidance was that social media use was allowed, but all the same "communications with the public" rules applied. If firms could figure out a way to archive and supervise social activity, they could unlock the use of social media for advisors. While its a compliance problem, it requires a technology solution.
This may not be obvious to firms when they begin the process of creating a social media program. Firms need technology resources and budget allocation if they want to make this happen for their advisors.
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