Among Facebook’s more than a billion users are a growing number of investment advisers who use the network, as well as other social media sites such as Twitter and LinkedIn, to communicate with clients and prospect for new business. The migration into social media has state and federal regulators and investment advisory firms wrestling with how to update, tweet, like, blog and otherwise participate in social networking without running afoul of compliance rules.

Morgan Stanley began a pilot two years ago with 600 financial advisers using LinkedIn and Twitter. “This pilot was a success, and the ability to utilize these social media has been extended to all of our advisers,” says James Wiggins, managing director of corporate communications for Morgan Stanley Wealth Management in Purchase, New York. “As of this July, 4, 300 of our FAs had gotten engaged with LinkedIn, Twitter or both.”

Morgan Stanley advisers can send pre-approved tweets featuring market, investment, and wealth management commentaries, and topical messages such as holiday greetings, says Wiggins. On LinkedIn, they set up personal profiles and engage with others on the social network. “While this program is still in its early stages, many of our advisers have reported success staying in touch with clients and bringing in new business as a result of their social media presence,” says Wiggins.