Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) has long held on to a strict policy regarding social media but seems to be relaxing its stance starting today. While the brokers aren’t permitted to tweet about specific investment opportunities, or offer forecasts, there still remains plenty for them to say on the micro-blogging social media platform. Additionally, brokers are forbidden from tweeting about any risky offerings that require disclaimers such as structured products or commodities.
That’s not to say that Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS)’s brokers were forbidden to tweet in the past, they were simply limited to scripted messages prepared by the company on wealth management and lifestyle topics along with general investment news and broad comments on the economy.
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In order for brokers and advisers to send tweets they must first have successfully completed an online training course that takes roughly 20 minutes and have at least 15 followers. Additionally, advisers must send their 140 character messages from company approved accounts.
All messages are moderated and need to be approved before sending. According to Valentina Chtchedrine, executive director for digital marketing strategy at Morgan Stanley, that approval should come within hours. She added that Morgan Stanley is the first of the big brokerages to relax its policies.
Morgan Stanley’s LinkedIn use
Unlike other firms, Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) began allowing advisers to post their own messages on LinkedIn Corp (NASDAQ:LNKD) two years ago and given the fact that they have faced no trouble from regulators may be responsible for its decision regarding Twitter.
So far, 6,500 are approved to use LinkedIn and 20% of those have also been approved to tweet.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has told firms that they are required to save all social media communications and, of course, follow all laws and regulations regarding testimonials and advertising of specific investments.