6 Best Practices Corporate Social Media

6 Best Practices: Corporate Social Media

Speaking at the Pathfinder Career Summit, Philippa Allen, CEO of ComplianceAsia, laid down the law for financial services employees in Asia who use social media. Drawing on more than 20 years handling regulatory concerns in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, the PRC, Hong Kong, Singapore, Southeast Asia, the Indian Subcontinent and Australia, Philippa shares her list of social media do’s-and-don’ts.

Check out this list to see which rules you have broken and mind the gap between using social media effectively and risking compliance issues.

#1 Resist Recommendations

Giving a respected colleague or counterparty a recommendation on LinkedIn may seem like an effective way to solidify a client relationship, but it may get you in hot water with the regulators. Statements of endorsements resemble legal declarations of professional competence in the eyes of regulators like Hong Kong’s SFC. As such they should be avoided to prevent any undesired implications, keep recommendations to non-related fields, like your hair stylist or personal trainer.

#2 Avoid Chat Rooms

Chat rooms were once viewed as the online equivalent of staircase conversations: off the record, private and safe. Along comes Google and most chat room discussions are now as accessible as a simple keyword search. Just ask Kweku Adoboli.  Sensitive discussions must be reserved for face-to-face meetings or risk the scrutiny of ever-vigilant regulators.

#3 Dislike Likes

Just as you should exercise caution when recommending colleagues or external partners, liking another company’s page can be interpreted as an official endorsement. You might not see yourself acting in an official capacity as a representative of your firm, but that might not prevent regulators like Singapore’s MAS from taking that view. Like at your own risk.

#4 Don’t Link Company and Personal Accounts

Many companies now maintain active social media accounts across a variety of platforms. While there may be a natural desire to gain credibility and visibility by including a link from your account to your company’s account, it carries a clear compliance risk. Listing your employer is fine, but anything that draws correlations between your social activity and that of your company may create potential compliance headaches. For other ways to build your social profile, try these ideas.

#5 “If you can’t say anything nice, …”

This really ought to be obvious, but your Facebook account is not the appropriate place to vent your workplace frustrations. Negative statements are simply unprofessional, but when private statements contradict official policy or call into question the ethics of company officers, a petty rant turns into a compliance nightmare. Keep it clean people.

#6 Confidential Means, Well, Confidential

Continuing the ‘you really should have known better’ theme, client information must always be treated as highly confidential. Discussing client activity, in any form, is a clear compliance violation. While you may not be likely to post your client’s trade orders on Twitter, discussing your workload or providing identifying information about a client is strictly prohibited.

The safest way forward is always to consult your firm’s social media policy. For issues that fall outside stated guidelines, speak with the compliance team and get guidance before risking the reputation of you and your firm. Following Philippa’s guidelines, social media can be leveraged effectively and prudently to boost your reputation and further your career.

To learn more about how you can not just safeguard, but build your career trajectory, contact Pathfinder Talent Solutions today.

Career Summit 2014, Social Media