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KEYS TO HANDLING BAD CONTENT
You've been told to remove bad content from your website or social media, but what exactly does that mean? When it comes to staying compliant on social media, it's actually pretty straightforward.
Bad content would include a recommendation, especially given the fact that such recommendations on social media are publicly available and would not go through the typical know-your-customer process. A simple test for deciding if content is acceptable is to determine if it is educational or if it offers advice. Be wary of calls to action; those statements that encourage people to buy or act.
While social media typically is not an appropriate place for recommendations, there is an exception: a user group that is prescreened. If advisors know who the population of the group is and have a defined universe, so to speak, they can have conversations and include recommendations that are appropriate for the group's members.
Finally, three more things to keep in mind when posting on social media:
1. Company Policy – It's not enough to put up posts that pass muster with regulators; they also have to comply with the internal guidelines of the advisor's employer as well. Know what your boss expects of you online.
2. Avoid Social Media Fights – Sometimes it seems as if the new technology lends itself to fiery personalities, and it's tempting to lash out at remarks on a website with which you disagree. But even if you're not violating federal or state regulations, it's best not to pick quarrels using intemperate language. Remember that many posts have a long shelf life on the Internet, and your investor clients and supervisors will judge you on how you present yourself.
3. You're Leaving a Trail – Quite a few message boards now require posters to include links to their Facebook or LinkedIn pages, partly to keep inflammatory rhetoric to a minimum. Often they even have the pictures from those websites. It's like leaving your business card at the end of a discussion.
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