Many financial advisors remain understandably leery about using social media especially in the face of regulatory compliance. However, they may be losing out on opportunities. According to the Cogent’s research report, “Social Media’s Impact on Personal Finance and Investing,” one-third of affluent investors use social media, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and blogs.

Time to Change Opinion on Social Media?

Furthermore, the report states that nearly 70 percent of investors have reallocated investments, or started or change relationships with advisors based on content found through social media. And FINRA has issued several notices clarifying the rules for advisers using social media. Advisors will be hard-pressed to find reasons not to investigate social media. Don’t know where to start? Begin with Three social media guidelines for financial advisors.

One of the more important factors is the ability to archive all online conversations. Social media management firms, social CRM and message archiving technology from the following companies will help advisors satisfy the requirement. This isn’t an exhaustive list, but one to give you an idea of what’s out there.

Actiance

Actiance’s compliance management platform helps manage organization’s real-time communication, collaboration and social networking to ensure they meet regulatory requirements. Actiance includes audit trails, real-time content review and secure archiving for all communications channels.

RegEd

RegEd Arkovi Social Media Archiving platform archives email, social media communications and YouTube, including profiles, company pages, comments by everyone — not just the employees, likes and so on. RegEd supports Google Apps, Office 365 and offers on-demand audit reports and search exports. The company also has various compliance and risk management tools and training.

erado

Designed for FINRA and SEC compliance among others, Erado’s suite of products review content in real time and near time, and capture, archive, secure and encrypt electronic communications, such as email, social media activities and instant messaging. The company also helps with developing a corporate compliance policy and provides disaster recovery services.

hearsay

Hearsay Social Compliance Solution captures and archives all social communications across devices, locations and access points. The platform continuously monitors all content in real-time for instant remediation. Hearsay’s dashboard consists of pre-approval workflow, real-time alerts, supervision and approval trails and infraction resolution.

smarsh

Smarsh hosted email archiving and compliance platform captures and archives every email and internal message, and includes search, supervision and on-demand export features. Smarsh’s Virtual Compliance Officer for electronic message supervision activities is integrated with the company’s hosted message archiving platform. This tool searches all communications and takes action based on customized policies.

socialware

Socialware software and services helps organizations use social media securely and stay within compliance on the corporate network and mobile devices. Socialware Compliance lets organizations define and automate social media compliance policies and create workflows and processes.

Before You Invest in Social Media Tools …

Most of these companies state that technology also needs people, processes, policies and strategies. Organizations can’t rely on technology alone for complying with regulation requirements and benefiting from social media and other communications. Any company that says otherwise is probably one to avoid.

Social media has one advantage over other modes of communication: online technology. Because of this, everything said and done in social media is stored. This makes the data searchable, trackable and reportable. Again, technology doesn’t cover everything. Financial advisors need to be educated and incorporate social media strategy into the business strategy.