Using social media as part of your marketing strategy has the potential to reach thousands of prospective clients, making it seem like a marketing dream. However, without giving it the appropriate forethought, a single post or tweet could become a nightmare. That’s why it’s imperative that your social media presence always be compliant with regulations.
As with all forms of advertising, the content of your social media communications is key. Make sure you follow your state insurance advertising regulations any time you use social media. Below are a few basic social media guidelines to keep in mind:
- Keep it one- sided. By that we mean it’s best to avoid engaging others in conversation or debate. Always keep in mind that posts are seen by many people, potentially causing your comments or replies to one individual to be viewed as a generalized recommendation when that isn’t (and shouldn’t be) your intent. Therefore, the content you put on your sites should be static.
- Read it before posting it. Think about applying settings, when applicable, that require you to review and approve any comment before it posts to your page. This is a great way to scrutinize any unwanted or potentially questionable content. At the end of the day, it’s you that will be held accountable for the content on your site(s).
- Be generic. In other words, keep information at a high level. Discussing specific products could be problematic on a couple of levels: 1) It could appear that you’re making a blanket recommendation of a product that may not be appropriate for everyone in your social media circle, or 2) it could appear to be a material conflict of interest. Either way, these are red flags for regulators so it’s smart to avoid them altogether.
- Disclosures aren’t just for printed materials. You must include all applicable disclosures on your social media sites when and where they are appropriate. They should be easy to find and located close to the pertinent information. Your best bet is to disclose as much information as you can within your posts.
As a general rule of thumb, use your best judgment when posting on social media and be sure posts are appropriate for all parties. Even when you have the best intentions, remember that anything you put out on social media about yourself, a carrier or your customers could possibly harm your business.
For additional information on social media, check out our Compliance Connection piece “3 Tips for Social Media Mindfulness”.
If you have questions regarding this or other compliance-related issues, send them to the Brokers International compliance team at ComplianceConnection@biltd.com. As your partner, we’ll assist you in keeping your advertising on the right side of the regulators.
This information is intended for Financial Professionals who are insurance licensed only. If you are securities licensed please contact your Broker Dealer for their requirements.
These educational pieces are intended to be informative and provide generalized guidance. They should not be construed as legal advice or provide protection against compliance violations brought on by a consumer or state insurance commission. It is the sole responsibility of the financial professional to seek compliance or legal direction specific to their individual situation. These pieces should be used as a means to raise awareness and evaluate business practices.
For Financial Professional use only, not for use with the general public. #17-1003-120118