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January 26, 2010


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Doug Cornelius

Mike -

The report was useful to remind FINRA regulated parties that their existing rules apply to social media. Unfortunately, the rules make use of social media very difficult. More so for some platforms than others.

This new notice did not change the rules. It provided a few clarifications, but any avid user of social media would find the clarifications rather obvious.

Much of the difficulty comes from the inability for the Web 2.0 sites to allow proper archiving of information by user outside of the platform. I'm sure some vendors will step in and hopefully some of the platforms will open themselves for this kind of compliance activity.

Chad Bockius

As you dive into this issue you will see that it isn't just about archiving data. That is part of it but companies also need to think about access control, real-time moderation, discovery and reporting.

Firms interested in learning more should check out the Companion Guide to FINRA Social Networking Compliance http://bit.ly/8xT73y. It picks up where Notice 10-06 leaves off, offering additional detail on social networking considerations and a checklist of requirements for choosing a social networking compliance vendor.

From our experience companies need a solution that meets the letter of the law from FINRA but also provides capability to implement and manage their own social media policies. Of course these issues apply outside the financial arena as well.

Think about companies that simply adopt a social media policy and hope that employees follow it. The level of risk varies from industry to industry but companies need to consider the facts. Deloitte found in an Ethics & Workplace Survey that 49% of employees say a company policy won't change how they behave online.

There are tools now, like Risk Manager ( http://bit.ly/8z779Y ), that allow you to turn a social media policy, from a few pages that no one reads, into an automated system that scans posts in real-time, limits access to areas of social networking sites that are prohibited (i.e., games, videos, etc) and preserves all of the content related to the brand to ensure marketers get the greatest benefit from their investment in social media.


A much better solution can be found here

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