When Irvine, Calif.-based planner Winnie Sun jumped from Smith Barney to LPL Financial about 18 months ago, a major factor driving the move was her new firm's support of social media.

"LPL's marketing platform was one of the main reasons," says Sun, who is tweeting and posting her way through LPL's annual conference in San Diego, Calif., this week.  "All the major firms have a very similar investment platform and capabilities." But, Sun takes advantage of LPL's compliance service. Run by a firm called Erado, it costs $180 a year for its advisors to use Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter (that's $60 for each platform). It archives all social media communication for potential review by regulators.

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