How To Make Sure Your LinkedIn Passes The Government Test

Creating a LinkedIn profile is simple, even if you’re not a social networking pro. However, the game changes a bit when you’re speaking in terms of your company. Whether you’re the CMO of your business or you work on the sales side, compliance is essential.

But what are the guidelines you need to abide by after you set up your LinkedIn?

In the past, there were few government standards that companies needed to be mindful of when they created and operated their accounts. Now, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) have developed regulations to ensure compliance among wealth management firms. Additionally, the SEC and FINRA will be doing spot checks in the future to make sure that companies are sticking to these guidelines. Here is what they will be looking for from you and your business.

1. An explanation of your social media usage
How does your company use social media at a corporate level to conduct business?

2. A detailed outline of your social media strategy
The SEC and FINRA request that firms provide the URLs to all of their social networking websites, the dates that they started using these sites and information about the individuals who update the accounts.

3. An explanation of how the firm’s registered representatives utilize social networking profiles
Details pertaining to the exact dates that the firm started using specific websites and whether the usage continues.

4. Information on how social media content is produced and distributed
Specifically, a portion of your company’s written procedures in regard to the production, approval and distribution of social media communications during the time period of February 4, 2013 through May 4, 2013.

5. Insight into how you maintain compliance
Details on how you train your employees to utilize social media and ensure that your business is always compliant with current regulations.

6. A list of your firm's top 20 producing registered representatives (based on commissioned sales) who used social media for business purposes to interact with retail investors as defined in FINRA Rule 2210(a)(6) during the time period February 4, 2013 through May 4, 2013
Information that needs to be provided includes the full names of these representatives, as well as the dollar amount of sales made and commissions earned during this period of time.

While this may seem like a long checklist, maintaining compliance can ensure that your wealth management firm always falls in line with government regulations.

Are you a financial advisor looking to use LinkedIn for client prospecting? Check out our free guide on how to start growing AUM!