Social media can be a daily occurrence in many RIA firms. However, is your social media plan a compliant social media plan?” Frequently the answer to that question is “no”.
If you are going to use social media, either daily, weekly or not at all, it is important to create, implement and monitor a compliance policy and procedures for your firm’s social media use.
In January, the staff of the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations, in coordination with other SEC staff created a helpful National Examination Risk Alert titled “Investment Adviser Use of Social Media” (http://www.sec.gov/about/offices/ocie/riskalert-socialmedia.pdf).
Things to consider when preparing your “policy”:
- Will you allow it all? – Still need a policy.
- Will you allow LinkedIn, but nothing else – Still need a policy to define what can be posted and if content needs to be approved prior to posting
- Will you allow Twitter posting – Need a policy, monitoring procedure and record retention
The most often overlooked is the record retention requirements of social media. RIAs should ensure that all required records are retained (include this in your policy) in compliance with all federal or state securities laws.