SOURCE: Socialware


June 21, 2010 10:00 ET

Socialware Unveils New Research on Social Media Usage for Financial Services

New Research Points to Opportunities, Confusion, Risk in Social Media Adoption Among Financial Services Companies

AUSTIN, TX--(Marketwire - June 21, 2010) -  Socialware, a leader in enabling the social enterprise through the use of Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, today unveiled new findings from a survey of nearly 200 financial advisors from across North America on their use of social media and the compliance issues surrounding these public social networking sites. Of those surveyed, more than 60% use social media for business purposes, and of those, nearly 50% have been able to identify new referrals that resulted from their social networking presence. While social media is clearly an important business tool for the sector it's also a compliance concern. Socialware's survey showed that 32% of respondents did not have any social media policy in place to guide their actions online, a direct violation of FINRA's recent guidance. For those companies that do have a social media policy, only 57% of employees are aware it exists. Even more concerning is the fact that nearly 4 out of 10 respondents who use social media for business are using Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter in direct violation of their companies' policies on social media usage.

"Public social networks have proven their value and are here to stay, but understanding how to use them securely and effectively can be a difficult transition for financial services employees and employers alike," said Chad Bockius, CEO of Socialware. "This research shows that often times financial services companies are in violation of FINRA's guidelines on social media without knowing it, opening up their firms to a great deal of risk. At the same time, there is tremendous opportunity for financial services companies to take advantage of the opportunities available through these public sites while being compliant at same time."

As an example, the report found that many financial professionals are failing to meet the basic requirements of archiving and supervision set up by FINRA's social media guidelines. Socialware's research shows that of the respondents using social media for business purposes (60%), two-thirds of them have no archiving process in place. For those who do archive, 22% manage this activity manually. 50% of survey respondents cited the inability to archive data, understanding of compliance issues and time constraints as the major hurdles to adopting social media for their business.

"As our research points out, not only have advisors not been educated on the issues, but many of them are in direct violation of FINRA's guidelines around social media adoption," continued Bockius. "These firms are opening themselves up to massive risk and missing out on the business impact by not employing strategies to both activate these sites for their business and educate their employees on how to use them in a compliant fashion."

An executive summary of the report from Socialware is available immediately for download here:

About Socialware
Based in Austin, Texas, Socialware bridges the gap between the enterprise and social networks to transform the way that companies and their employees engage and communicate with clients, partners and one another. Leveraging the industry's first Social Middleware platform, Socialware's technology allows companies to transform public social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn into enterprise-grade channels within the framework of their existing business processes. You can find out more about Socialware at, as well as on Twitter: @Socialware. You can also read their blog:

Contact Information

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