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Social media is one of the most influential marketing assets that a business can utilise, and the financial sector is no exception to the rule. In fact, 81% of financial advisers attribute their growing assets to social media activity. However, when conquering social media marketing, many IFAs steer clear out of fear of the compliance risks it may pose to their business. 

The ultimate guide to social media compliance

In this article, we’ve compiled the ultimate guide to social media for independent financial advisers and the impact it may have on your compliance. 

Create a social media marketing strategy

Brand trust and client engagement have always been the cornerstones of a successful business – particularly in the financial sector. This is why it’s critical for your online presence and social media platforms to be a source of credibility. But in this day and age, content has mere split seconds to make an impact and create an excellent first impression. Your reputation hinges on a solid strategy that allows you to tap into the benefits of social media marketing while protecting you from the risk of unnecessary exposure. 

Ensure you’re not leaving anything up to chance by implementing a social media strategy for your business. This strategy should include compliance’s four core pillars: robust policies, supervision, content creation, and archive tools. 

Supervise and archive all social media activity

IFAs must retain and track all their social media activity to ensure compliance. IFAs are mandated by law to supervise and archive their content and activity for at least three years. Although this may seem like an administrative nightmare, it is part of regulatory due diligence. If someone may have a dispute with any of the content you’ve created, you will need a clear audit trail to help settle legal implications and to ensure that correct legal action can be taken if necessary. 

Don’t make financial recommendations

Regarding compliance, it’s best to take a zero-risk approach. Although it may seem counterintuitive, refrain from giving financial advice online. Your social media presence speaks to a variety of different personas at the same time. There is also no way to gauge whether or not they interpret your content and recommendations correctly. From a compliance perspective, it’s best to use your social media platforms to build relationships to set up in-person meetings to further discuss financial planning. 

Social Media compliance

Implement data privacy and cybersecurity 

There is a significant intersection between privacy, cyber threats, and social media. You can mitigate any information security risk by aligning your social media strategy with your overall security posture. 

By creating strong security policies and through supervised access control, as well as other security controls such as two-step verifications, you can mitigate financial loss and regulatory consequences. 

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