“FINRA Issues Guidance to Firms, Brokers on Communications with Public Through Social Networking Web Sites” is the latest news release from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). FINRA’s Regulatory Notice 10-06 is a question and answer document meant to provide recommendations to securities firms and brokers regarding social networking sites. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, blogs and other social networking sites are one of the most popular ways for companies to communicate with the public. With their soaring popularity, issues arise regarding the credibility of the information being posted. FINRA’s document stresses how important it is for companies not to mislead clients and to keep good records of their social networking postings.
Whether in the business of annuities, stocks, or another financial product, FINRA wants to ensure that firms and brokers have developed new procedures to handle social networking. All regulations relating to the industry still need to be followed when using social networking for marketing and other communications. There are actually technology systems being developed to help companies keep records and maintain accountability with social networking. FINRA developed this document through their own research and experience along with a Social Networking Task Force representing 14 different firms.