Financial companies are finally starting to leap on the social media bandwagon. Many weren't comfortable with the medium until they saw other, larger companies jumping in over the past couple of years.

Registered investment advisors, broker-dealers and other financial professionals must comply with Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) or U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rules governing what financial professionals can say and to whom.

A 2011 study by American Century Investments showed that while many investment professionals are still "lurking" most are participating regularly in social media. Half of the financial professionals who participated in the study said they were moderate or extensive social media users. Another 35 percent said they were lurking in the shadows, trying to understand the value.

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