Making Money the Modern Way— Tweeting: How FINRA’s Regulatory Guidance May Help Clear the Way for Social Media Communications

June 9, 2012

Financial services firms have traditionally been cautious about utilizing emerging communication tools such as social media due to uncertainty regarding the application of existing securities laws to the use of these tools. Recently, regulators have focused their attention on defining the regulations that govern social media. FINRA has taken an active approach to informing financial services firms through podcasts, seminars, notices, priority letters, task forces and press releases about the guidelines for use of social media. This Recent Development argues that FINRA’s guidance on the use of social media by financial institutions is an important step forward in assisting securities lawyers and financial services practitioners with regulatory compliance in a nascent, evolving area of the law. Empowered by FINRA’s new guidance, financial services firms may now start to construct compliance guidelines that incorporate the use of social media. FINRA’s approach strikes a fair balance between allowing companies to take advantage of powerful technologies and protecting investors.