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How Can We Pre-Approve Content?

You know what it's like when you eat plain vanilla ice cream – the basics are there, but it lacks any pizzazz.

Pre-approved content – articles, blog posts, and other material suitable for use by financial professionals on social media – generally comes in two flavors. One is an archive of material that's ready for the advisors' immediate use because its accuracy and context has already been vetted. The other alternative is letting professionals write the content themselves and establish a process in which their content is vetted before the authors share it in the social media world.

While it does the job and might be viewed as keeping you in compliance and reducing risk, guess what?

The industry appears to be moving beyond old-fashioned, plain vanilla pre-approved content.

Pre-approved content was all the rage two to three years ago as a one- size fits all solution to the problem of participating compliantly on social media channels. It was the baby step for those leading the way into social media. Today, we're beginning to see more education and training of employees up front as firms shift away from pre-approved content.

WHAT'S DRIVING THE SHIFT AWAY FROM PRE-APPROVED CONTENT?

Social media is a dialogue – not a one-way, static distribution of content.

Suppose you went to a cocktail party and the person standing next to you asked, “What do you do for a living?”

And you replied: “Wait, let me go ask my BD what I can say and I'll be back. ” (As soon as I can track him down.)

The other guest wouldn't wait. He'd be off to the next live conversation – engaging, building a relationship, and who knows, maybe making a deal.

People clearly don't communicate with pre-approvals in the real world, and it's not considered effective in the social media world either.

That recognition is just one reason we're seeing a shift – albeit in its early stages – away from pre-approved content to education and training that allows professionals to provide information in real-time conversations online.

Other factors are also driving this change:

■ Increasing adoption of social media by firms

■ Recognition by regulators that it's here to stay

■ Greater awareness by financial leaders of what social media communication is and how it needs to be executed effectively

 
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