Wells warms to social media

|By:, SA News Editor

After about 8 months of allowing just a few of its financial advisers to post to Twitter and LinkedIn (LNKD) without any major compliance slip-ups, Wells Fargo (WFC) wants to expand the practice - planning on allowing up to 20% of its more than 15K wealth managers the freedom to tweet and send LinkedIn messages.

While caution is needed - witness the suspension and fine last week of one adviser (not from Wells) who commented on a stock via Facebook - Wells' strategic solutions chief Joe Nadreau notes the importance of engaging with clients in ways that go beyond portfolio reshuffling. "One of the faster growing populations (using social media) is the plus-50 and 60 (year olds)," says Nadreau.

Do's and don'ts at the moment for Wells' people: No 3rd party pics, no endorsements, no financial advice, no politics, no "I'm in my car driving." Links about current events, tweets about how to save for college, or the best spots for family vacations are kosher.

Morgan Stanley advisers are also allowed to use Twitter and LinkedIn, while BAML advisers have the green light for LinkedIn, but not Twitter or any other social media site.