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Delivering Innovative Compliance Solutions to Our Customers

shutterstock_315885482One of our core objectives at Hearsay Social is to deliver industry-leading compliance and governance solutions to our customers. Developing truly innovative compliance technology is multi-faceted; it’s not just about coverage or control, but also about effective governance solutions that must be scalable across an organization.
At Hearsay Social, we are focused on building technology that empowers our users to work more productively. We closely study the workflows of our users including compliance professionals, and concentrate our engineering efforts on building powerful technology that makes their daily activities more efficient.
Today, we announced a variety of new compliance functionality that provides additional risk controls and increased efficiencies for the compliance teams we work with.
These enhancements include:
Updated text change reviews: With many tools, it is common that compliance and supervision teams scan static content such as profiles or posts word by word to identify changes. This can be a huge drag on time. We’ve tried dramatically to speed up our customers’ compliance flows by providing visualized change management for text fields. The new solution from Hearsay Social visibly highlights edits in text fields, including additions and deletions, making it possible for compliance teams to clearly compare requested copy changes and make efficient supervision decisions.
Customizable supervision dashboards and saved queries: With the launch of the Universal Supervision dashboard earlier this year, we delivered greater visibility and control to compliance professionals. With customizable dashboards, each member on the team can make their own view according to their supervision responsibilities and risk areas they monitor. Instead of requiring a user to repeatedly make the same query, compliance professionals can now save the supervision views and queries they use often in order to more efficiently do their job.
Flexible lexicon controls: There is not a one-size-fits-all lexicon for social media compliance across an organization. Different activities across social networks require different policies and controls. Over the past year, we have greatly enhanced the ability for companies to add and manage lexicon terms by activity type, limiting alert and approval queues to activities that are against the rules for each distinctive activity type.
On behalf of the entire Hearsay Social team, we’re truly excited to bring these latest innovations to our customers and their supervision teams to ensure social media compliance even more easily, quickly and accurately.
For more details, check out our press announcement.

Improving efficiency and protection with new social media compliance enhancements

As head of legal and compliance at Hearsay Social, it is important to me that we continually provide cutting-edge improvements to the Hearsay Social platform to make the jobs of our compliance and supervision users easier.
Today we announced new enhancements to our compliance capabilities, and I want to share some of the key focus areas for these enhancements.

Streamlining the review and publishing process for static content

Request-Changes-to-Profile-Teal_NEW (1)FINRA sees social media profiles as “static” content and categorizes this content as “advertisements,” meaning profiles require pre-approval by a firm’s principal before they are published. Because we know this review process is a heavily used area of the Hearsay Social platform, we’ve created a new streamlined social profile review, approval, and publishing solution to make it even easier and more efficient for financial professionals to publish compliant profiles.
Many of our customers in highly regulated industries are already using this new profile solution, and I’m happy to report we’ve received extremely positive feedback. With one of the first implementations of the new LinkedIn API, Hearsay Social can now automatically publish approved profile content directly to the network. For supervision professionals, this new functionality ensures public profiles match what they have approved, minimizing risk for the organization and easing compliance for profiles. Plus, it saves advisors and agents the time and headache of having to update their profile manually after new content has been approved.

More pre-approval functionality for dynamic content

We heard from some of our customers that they wanted a better way to pre-approve dynamic social activity from advisors and agents. With recent enhancements, Hearsay Social now lets supervisors pre-approve social engagements such as Likes or comments before they go live on the social networks.

Archive support for photos

An effective social business program is not just text-based. In order to help our customers take advantage of all types of social content, we now provide the ability for firms to archive photos posted by agents and advisors through the platform. This ensures they’re capturing this type of activity in their records, even if it is deleted or removed from the social network at a later date.

Increasing context for improved efficiency

In addition to delivering a new static profile solution, we have added more note and attachment fields so supervision users can share comments or context with each other or advisors during the supervision process. These new fields are also pushed to the archive systems so that complete context is available upon record review. In addition, Hearsay Social now provides enhanced searching and sorting to supervision users so that they can be even more efficient when reviewing or auditing social business activities of agents and advisors.
We hope these enhancements will make our customers’ jobs easier and their social business programs more effective and compliant. Please feel free to reach out to me directly if you’d like more information about the new solutions above or other functionality of the Hearsay Social platform.

Ensuring Compliance in 2014: Lessons learned from AXA and FINRA in a Hearsay Social webinar

Last week we were excited to present our first webinar of the year, Ensuring Social Media Compliance in 2014. Thank you to everyone who was able to attend and especially our speakers, Windy Lawrence (Chief Compliance Officer, Lead Director and Associate General Counsel at AXA Distributors, LLC and Head of Advertising Compliance for AXA Advisors LLC), Amy Sochard (Senior Director of FINRA’s Advertising Regulations Department), and Yasmin Zarabi (Hearsay Social’s Vice President of Legal and Compliance).
Many of you asked if we could outline the topics we discussed during the event. Here are some of the points we covered:

Tips for creating and managing your social media policy

  • Carefully draft a clear, concise and comprehensive social media policy that considers the unique requirements of your firm. (For more information, see our white paper on How to Create Your Social Media Plan and Policy.)
  • Get input from business units across your organization on the policy as early in the process as possible.
  • Consider implementing a social media program with part of your organization before rolling it out company-wide.
  • Provide training to anyone in your organization who will be using social media on behalf of your firm.
  • Ensure users understand the policy and how it will be enforced by training as described above, and by requiring them to sign attestations agreeing to comply to the policy.
  • Review and update your policy at least once a year. Have users re-sign the attestation annually.

Get to know FINRA Rule 2210 (Communications with the Public)

  • FINRA Rule 2210 sets revised standards regarding broker-dealer communications with the public.
  • The rule defines categories of communication that are relevant to social media as outlined below.

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Supervising social media

  • A registered principal must review social media sites that will be used for business prior to their usage. Such sites must be reviewed online, in their true form.
  • Only approve users that you believe can and will abide by your firm’s social media policy.
  • Supervise content regularly to make sure users aren’t violating the rules and policies. Conduct spot checks as needed.
  • Consider defining categories of supervision based on different roles, applicable state laws, social network features and different use-cases (e.g. using a network for research versus communication.)

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Update on 2013 FINRA Spot Checks

  • FINRA began doing spot checks of registered member firms’ social media usage during the summer of 2013.
  • Spot checks examined how firms and specifically their top producing registered representatives were using social media for business.
  • Initial findings were positive: most firms produced reports that were in compliance with FINRA rules.
  • The issues that FINRA identified were mostly around record-keeping and supervision processes that didn’t comply with requirements.
  • For more information, see the spot check guidance page on FINRA’s website.

Consider Mobile as Part of Social for 2014

  • 71% of people use mobile devices to access social media.
  • Consider mobile when drafting or updating your overall social media policy and strategy.
  • Regulations require firms to monitor and archive social media communications no matter how they are made.
  • Make sure your compliance system is able to capture all communications on social regardless of whether they made at home, from the office or through mobile devices.

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Thanks again to the speakers and attendees of this webinar. Understanding and navigating the complex regulations can be challenging and time-consuming, and we were lucky to have perspectives from Amy and Windy to help us better understand the regulatory requirements.

Disclaimer: The material available on this blog is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. We make no guarantees on the accuracy of the information provided herein.