Now that regulators have finalized their guidance for financial institutions on approved uses of social media, firms are just starting to let their financial advisors communicate with customers in social networks — but with great caution so as not to violate a new rule.

ING U.S. is a case in point. It recently began letting a small group of financial advisors interact with clients on Facebook and LinkedIn, using technology designed to block advisors from running afoul of federal rules. Advisors interact with their clients, for instance, by congratulating a customer whose son recently get accepted into the college of his choice, thus opening an opportunity for the advisor to sell a new investment product.

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