Even as social media becomes an increasingly commonplace form of communication, parts of the financial services world still have woefully slow adoption rates.

Using social media is clearly possible -- some advisors have had great success with it -- and there’s no doubt that compliance is in some ways getting easier. Online automatic archiving and monitoring solutions are now readily available, making compliance faster and more efficient.

Yet compliance is still widely regarded as a big hurdle.

In a recent conversation with Blane Warrene, the founder of social media archiving provider Arkovi (recently acquired by RegEd), we discuss why compliance remains such a major obstacle even as advisors push for more information and education about how to use social media.

Aside from inertia and caution, firms are also waiting for clearer regulatory guidance on social media compliance, and having trouble making a decision and executing it, Warrene says: “I think that’s where we’re getting stuck.”



Interestingly, even FINRA, the regulatory body overseeing advisors’ use of social media, seems to think the compliance aspect is more than manageable. At a recent conference, Joe Price, the senior vice president of corporate financing and advertising regulation for FINRA, went on record saying that the social media compliance rules financial firms must adhere to aren’t that difficult to follow.

“I don’t think the rules of the road are overly complex,” Price told me in an interview after his compliance session at LinkedIn’s Finance Connect event in New York City. “There are pretty straightforward principles to apply.”

Price’s comments, along with other guidance released by the SEC and FINRA this year, may be just what the industry needs.  “I think it was important for Joe to say that to the industry,” Warrene says. “I think the industry has been waiting for a little nudge from the regulators.”

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