The Financial Services Social Media Fear Factor

A lot of organisations within the Financial Services industry have still not solidified their social approach, mainly due to the Financial Services Social Media Fear Factor and concerns regarding security and remaining compliant with strict regulations.

But with the fast growth of consumers turning to social media for answers, to air complaints, or to leave feedback, Financial brands are finding themselves needing to join the online conversation – but remain unsure exactly where to start.

It can be a scary prospect navigating the uncharted waters of social media for some brands, but with many organisations now seizing the opportunities that social creates, choosing not to socially sign in is the only sure fire way to ensure that you do not have a voice in the online conversation.

In order to help make the transition effective and risk-free, we developed compiled a list of best practice points that will help when preparing to take the plunge.

1. Top priority – Protect your Brand

To get the most from social, a broad, cross-functional user-base should be built. We live in an age where, with the right tools, you can now control who posts to your social accounts and the content they share. Features designed purely to protect your brand at your fingertips now include; comprehensive audit trails, 2FA, blocked words, Lockdown buttons and IP address restrictions. It sounds so obvious but making sure these are all in place prior to creating your social presence is a real necessity.

2. Set the Rules – Give your Team what they need

Integrating a new system throughout an organisation presents can be a complex project. Combine this with the need to comply with strict regulations and the complexities are magnified. By establishing set rules for your team from the very start and providing a database of pre-approved posts, or even an RSS feed full of compliant content, you can enable them to share fear-free. Give your team a little homework too – The FCA’s 2015 Social Media & Customer Communications Guidance is a brilliant introduction to the rights and wrongs of social media in the Financial Services industry.

3. Give them a little Freedom – then observe closely

The risk of non-compliant messages being shared is one of the reasons that social channels have been neglected within the Financial Services industry. But with time, the pre-approved content you’ve created may become repetitive, dull and time-consuming to update yourself. With this in mind, you may be playing with the idea of granting some of your more experienced team members the ability to create their own posts. You can remove the risks attached to this by setting their content for verification before being published, ensuring that you can screen their work and provide advice for amendments – in a time-efficient way.

4. Take the Plunge – but have a life jacket ready

When joining the social conversation it’s always worth having a strategic crisis plan in place – just in case. Do you hide away until it’s blown over? Or publicly address the issue and counteract? It may seem pointless to put a strategy in place that you will (hopefully) never have to use, but it’s much better to be over-prepared than underprepared. By letting your team know the crisis plan and ensuring that it is easy to execute, you can ensure that you will be able to effectively manage any situation that may arise.

5. Don’t go in Blind – and keep your ear to the ground

With many big Financial brands, and disruptive newcomers, already leveraging their social channels to drive brand awareness, additional website traffic, and provide a more effective form of customer service – this will allow you to monitor how they are using their social channels and use this to inform your own social activity. Combine this with customer research of how you can best use social channels to meet your audience’s needs, and you’ll have the knowledge and confidence to make a real social splash.

You should also monitor your employee’s’ social accounts, you may feel a little creepy doing so, but it’s a necessary evil, and you should make it clear to your team that you will be doing this. You should also run best practice training sessions for your users or wider brand ambassadors, showing them how, when, why and where to participate in the online conversations – aligning these tactics to your wider strategic goals.

Social media isn’t the future – it’s the present. If you aren’t getting involved then you are missing the chance to generate more brand awareness, healthier consumer relationships and an improved knowledge of your competitors’ activity. SocialSignIn provides the platform for medium-large organisations like The FCA, Gateley Plc and Police Mutual to manage their social media in-house, with a host of security features to ensure they remain compliant and protected.

Book a demo today and find out how we can help you get going on social risk-free, succeeding in achieving your social goals while protecting your brand.

My little Jedi & Moi - EditedAbout the Writer:
Rhiannon Birch is PR & Marketing Coordinator at SocialSignIn. She is passionate about all aspects of writing and enjoys discussing the real-life stories behind social media. With two young children and three dogs, Rhiannon spends her (very little) spare time exploring new places and watching Star Wars.

If you’d like to connect on LinkedIn click here or follow her on Twitter @RhiSkywalker