The power of social media and its influence on growth in the financial industry is mesmerizing. However, the conspicuous absence of guidance from regulators, which may be holding back many credit unions from taking the plunge.

Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter are energetic, dynamic and interactive. When compared to traditional sites where members must seek out the content and then mull over pages of information, social media sites serve up and dish out content to the members in compact, snack-sized portions.

Not until January of this year has any guidance been published by a regulatory organization of the financial industry. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, an independent regulator for securities firms, published Regulatory Notice 10-06, Guidance on Blogs and Social Networking Web Sites. The guidance is designed to protect investors against false or misleading claims on social media sites. It is also intended to help organizations develop their own policies and procedures that are in compliance with the regulatory requirements specified by the notice.

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