Before Getting Started with Social Media: Steps to Compliance

September 21, 2012 by

Social media is about relationships, and relationships take time to build. An important component to a good relationship is trust–it’s hard to build and easy to lose. You want to make sure you enter the social media realm fully prepared for any obstacles you might face. That’s why you want to work closely with your legal counsel and/or a compliance professional, if you have one on staff. So before you get involved in social media, inform yourself on the guidelines you need to follow.

Before getting started with social media:

  • Read over the regulatory notices issued by FINRA: Notices 12-29 and 11-39 and 10-06.
  • Refer to the NAIC whitepaper on social media. It covers insurance company and producer uses of social media, regulatory and compliance issues, and guidance for addressing those issues.
  • Contact the carriers you work with to get their stance on social media. Even if you don’t plan on mentioning them in your social media, you should check that they are okay with your use of it, and they may have some tips for you.
  • If you are regulated by FINRA, you must talk to your Broker/Dealer for their guidelines.
  • Look into how to capture and retain your social media posts. There are multiple companies that offer this service.
  • Create a social media policy, so everyone in your practice is on the same page with what is and is not acceptable.
  • Remember: Social media communications need to align with existing regulations—privacy, record retention, rules related to advertising and marketing, etc.