Guest post: “Be Compliant When Using LinkedIn Messages”

Social media compliance is a big worry for financial advisors, so I was delighted when Bill Winterberg offered to write a guest post on three easy steps to be compliant using LinkedIn messages. I’ve quoted Bill in numerous blog posts and tweets on technology, social media, and tweets because he’s a great resource.

Be Compliant When Using LinkedIn Messages

By Bill Winterberg, CFP®

An earlier post on highlighted a “whopping flaw” in LinkedIn’s messaging system that poses compliance issues for financial advisors. The concern is that no viable solution exists to archive and retain messages using settings on LinkedIn.

I believe that advisors can use LinkedIn messages without violating regulatory requirements, provided they follow the three steps below. The key in all three steps is to leverage an existing e-mail archiving service to capture and retain messages sent via LinkedIn.

Here are three steps advisors can follow to demonstrate proactive compliance when using LinkedIn messages.

1.      Use an e-mail archiving service and use the e-mail address being archived with all LinkedIn messages. If you’re not archiving e-mails today, you’re going to have a challenging time responding to audit requests by examiners. They almost always ask for e-mail communication in one form or another.

2.      Configure your LinkedIn E-mail Notification settings to control how you receive e-mails and notifications. All of your General options should be set to deliver Individual E-mail, as shown below. This will feed all LinkedIn messages sent to you into your e-mail system, so they will subsequently get archived by the service you established in Step 1.

3.      Here is the only part that requires you to do something manually. When you compose new LinkedIn messages−or reply to messages received−you must click the “Send me a copy” check box under your message window. Again, the copy of the message will be sent to your e-mail address that is subject to archiving through your archiving provider.

These three steps will leverage an e-mail archiving service to capture and retain message sent through the LinkedIn messaging system. Upon examination by a regulator, advisors will be able to quickly produce all messages sent using LinkedIn.

Bill Winterberg, CFP®, is a technology consultant to financial advisors in Dallas, Texas. His comments on technology and financial planning can be viewed on his blog at

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