Did you see the FINRA news release last week announcing guidance for securities firms and brokers regarding the use of social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and blogs to communicate with their investors?
Securities firms and brokers are now required to develop their own customized policies and procedures to ensure all personnel are complying with regulatory requirements when using social networking sites and that their online recommendations are suitable and not misleading to investors. Firms and brokers must have a general policy prohibiting any associated person from engaging in business communications in a social media site that is not subject to the firm’s supervision.
Firms and brokers must also record their employee’s business-related postings and they may use software to automatically log these web messages.
Organizations across all sectors must realize that people (customers, vendors, employees, etc.) are talking about them online whether they like it or not, and organizations must be prepared on how they will respond should an individual post negative, inaccurate and damaging comments online.
All organizations should have a social media policy and all organizations should explain to employees their privacy (or lack of) rights with respect to the social media policy. And don’t forget ongoing reminders that existing policies on harassment, discrimination, ethics and compliance extend to all forms of communications.
Has your organization implemented a social media policy?
Do your employees understand their individual roles and organizational responsibilities when it comes to social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn?