According to surveys conducted by American Century Investments, financial advisory firms with a formal social media policy or guidelines increased from 60% to 74% from 2012 to 2015. Over the same period, advisors reported reduced regulatory concerns, greater social media participation and consequently increased gains from social media. Is the absence of a social media policy impeding participation in social media in your firm?
Putting together a well thought out social media policy need not be a complex process. In addition to clarifying do’s and don’ts with financial professionals, a well-crafted social media policy can also build trust with clients and prospects. In this post, we select 3 examples of social media policies from 3 firms – an independent financial advisory firm, a 500,000 employee credit union and a century-old bank.
1. Revolution Capital (an independent registered investment advisor based in Cambridge, Massachusetts)
linkedin.com/in/douglassoons | facebook.com/revolutioncapital | revolutioncapital.net/blog
Revolution Capital Social Media & Blog Policy
Revolution Capital has adopted the following guidelines for our social media, website and blog:
- We will strive to have open and informative dialogues with our readers;
- We will protect the privacy of our clients and readers;
- We will correct inaccurate or misleading positions in a timely manner;
- We will not delete posts or comments unless they violate our policies;
- We will disclose conflicts of interest;
- We will credit our sources;
- We will respect intellectual property rights;
- We will review comments in a timely manner;
- We will approve all comments relevant to the post except those that we deem inappropriate or defamatory, that include profanity, or that threaten the privacy of individuals or organizations;
- We will not post specific investment advice or recommend specific investment products in our social media or blog posts;
- We welcome third-party comments on our social media and blog sites, but our inclusion of these comments is not an endorsement and does not necessarily reflect the opinions or positions of our firm
Updated: 1 January 2017
2. Vancity (credit union in Canada, with $20 billion assets, and 500,000+ members)
linkedin.com/company/vancity | facebook.com/vancity | @Vancity | instagram.com/vancitycu | blog.vancity.com
Social Media Policy for Vancity Employees
(policy portion of guidelines)
- I will never disclose member information or discuss a member’s financial situation on social media because I know that protection of members’ private information is paramount. The same is true for confidential information about Vancity and its employees.
- I will be myself online.
- I will always be respectful and will never say something online that I wouldn’t say in front of my grandma.
- I will always be truthful and if I inadvertently make a mistake, I will make every effort to correct it as soon as possible.
- I will use casual, friendly language.
- I agree that profanity and hateful language is never appropriate.
- I will always be transparent and identify myself as a Vancity employee if I am discussing Vancity online while not using an official Vancity account.
- I will remember that what I write in social media cannot be retracted and becomes a permanent part of the public record. I will think twice and write once.
- I will always be respectful and polite when I disagree with someone on social media.
- I know it is not productive to get into an argument with someone online. I know that when online conversations go sideways I can choose not to respond or I can ask for assistance from my manager.
- I will make sure that my social media activities don’t interfere with my job. Helping members and colleagues takes precedence over any social media work that needs to be done.
- I will not give financial advice unless I am qualified to do so. If I give financial advice on social media sites, I’ll keep it general and won’t mention specific rates.
- I will only discuss specific investments and returns if I am qualified/registered to do so.
Updated: September 13, 2012
See complete policy and guidelines at vancity.com/AboutVancity/News/SocialMedia/Guidelines
3. Centennial Bank (a century old FDIC commercial bank based in Tennessee)
mycentennial.bank | linkedin.com/company/centennial-bank-tennessee | facebook.com/CentennialBank1916 | @centennial1916
Participant Code of Conduct
(portion of policy)
This social media space is a public forum. By participating in discourse herein, the participant implicitly agrees to adhere to the following rules:
- Participant must not disclose any information that is confidential or proprietary to the organization or to any customer or vendor that has disclosed such information to the Bank. Review the Bank’s policy on confidential and proprietary information for guidance.
- Any communication occurring in a public forum such as those identified previously in this policy must be respectful to the Bank, fellow employees, our affiliates, and our business partners.
- The Bank may request at any time that the participant cease any communication concerning the company on Social Media sites or require the participant to block access to such communication if the Bank believes that such action is necessary to ensure compliance with government regulations or other laws.
- Do not use the Bank’s trademarks or any official marketing material on any personal communication or reproduce any company material.
- Do not use Social Media portals for communication with fellow employees or customers concerning business matters. Such communication must go through normal channels such as e-mail to comply with archiving requirements.
- Please refrain from using obscenity or profanity, from engaging in “flaming” other participants, from issuing insults or calling names, and from posting content that is off-topic or could be offensive.
- Please remember that this is intended to be a civil, constructive dialogue among community members. The participant is welcome to disagree with any viewpoints expressed, but please do so in a respectful manner.
- Please refrain from disclosing any information that could jeopardize the participant’s privacy, the privacy of any affiliated organizations, trade secrets, or any other confidential or proprietary information.
- For protection of the participant and the bank, do not post any copyrighted material unless the participant holds the copyright, has written permission from the copyright holder, or is sure the material is permitted by “fair use”.
See complete policy and guidelines at .mycentennial.bank/files/Social_Media_Policy.pdf
– By InvestmentPal