These industries are heavily regulated on social media in 2019

Social media regulations are increasing as social becomes a more integral part of our lives.

Thankfully for marketers, there are only a handful of industries with social media regulations in the United States. Many of these are the usual suspects—alcohol, tobacco, etc—but the specifics may be surprising to some.

It's important to be aware of these regulations as you grow your agency. After all, there's a good chance you'll work with a regulated client at some point in your career.

So in this article, we'll show you 4 industries subject to social media regulation. Do note that we've focused solely on regulations in the United States in this article, but these often overlap with Canadian and EU laws.

Ready? Let's dive in.


Here's an obvious one: financial.

Finance companies are regulated on social by FINRA. Thankfully, the regulations are pretty straightforward, but not following them could have detrimental effects on you or your client's business.

In short, financial companies must retain all communications. This means all Tweets, statuses, WhatsApp messages, and DMs must be retained and archived for later reference.

Thankfully, Social Report can help with us. You can use our data export features to backup your messages and statuses, ensuring you're safe in the case of an audit or if otherwise called upon.

Further, companies must adhere to the SEC's rules on adoption or entanglement. This means that financial advisors cannot favor investments or post other content that could be interpreted as the firm being "entangled" or "adopted" with the content's poster.

This is why we recommend that financial companies stick to posting in-house content on social media. If you need to share third-party content, ensure it's well-documented and trustworthy. 


Alcohol social media regulation is simple: make sure you're only marketing to people of legal drinking age.

In the United States, at least 71.6% of your targeted audience should be of legal drinking age in the U.S., or 70% in Canada, so make sure you're properly targeting your ads and using the right social networks.

Thankfully, doing this is easy in 2019.

All major social networks now support age requirements, so you can make ensure all of your audience is of legal age. You can add an age gate from the settings pages in Twitter and Facebook, and Instagram will pull from your Facebook settings.


Like alcohol, creating a social media presence for a gambling brand is pretty straightforward. ]

Don't advertise online gambling, and you're good to go. This is because of the online gambling ban in the U.S. and Canada.

However, many social networks prohibit running ads for real-world gambling on their own.

Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter handle gambling ads on a case-by-case basis, and each require written permission before you can run social media ads. You can, however, run social accounts without issue.



 It's well-known that marketing cigarettes and tobacco is extremely difficult.

In the traditional marketing space, cigarette companies aren't allowed to give out promotional packs, buy billboard ads, or run television ads. And many of these regulations have moved over to the digital space, too.

In short, tobacco brands cannot have a social media presence in the U.S. All forms of online advertising is illegal for tobacco products, making it an extremely difficult industry to market in.

Bottom line

Those are the industries with social media regulations in 2019—not too bad, right?

Keep these regulations in-mind as your agency brings on new clients in the future. And to be safe, always check with a lawyer if you have specific questions.

Need an awesome social media marketing tool? Try Social Report free for a month.

Use Social Report to manage your social media