The life of a compliance officer can be stressful, particularly when regulated industries make the foray into social media. Not only are there mine fields of regulations to maneuver – your company runs the risk of employees going rogue or accidentally mixing personal and business accounts. One wrong move, and it’s Fine City, population YOUR BANK. What’s a compliance officer to do?
Social Media Policy
Define your company’s policy on social media for business and personal use. There is no such thing as too much detail when it comes to your policy. Are employees allowed to use social media at work? If they do, will that activity be monitored? Are there certain things they can or cannot say in regard to the company? What about digital devices? Are employees allowed to use social media for business on personal devices like smart phones, laptops and tablets? What are the consequences if there is a policy violation? When it comes to social media policies, definitely sweat the small stuff.
After the social media policy is complete, distribute it to the company with a signature page. By signing, employees are agreeing to the policy and acknowledging that they have read and understood the terms. It may be helpful to offer employee training to discuss the policy so that employees are clear on the processes.
Secure Social Media Management Tool
Part of any risk management program should include the ability to monitor and archive electronic communications, including social media, for brand mentions and negative feedback. There should also be an approval process for compliance officers to review posts before they go live to social networks. Gremlin Social Guardian™ allows compliance officers oversight of social media activities.
Nobody wants to be the topic of those cringe-worthy headlines showcasing social media fails. But, if the unthinkable happens, have a process in place to deal with it quickly and efficiently. This can be part of your social media policy, but it is important enough to be a separate document. Define the chain of command – who will deal with the crisis, and at what stage? What will the response be? If the problem escalates, who is next in line to handle it? Will the response be public? Like any other emergency, the key to effectively handling a social media crisis is preparation.
Social Media Team
C-level executives, this one’s for you. Before you dismiss the business value of hiring a social media team, you should first consider the business value of NOT hiring a social media team. One rogue tweet could potentially cost your company hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines – maybe even your job. So, let’s put this to rest once and for all – yes, you need to hire a social media team! This is not a job for an intern, or your nephew who is looking for work on summer break. Social media management is a delicate balance of content, strategy, data analysis and a healthy dose of common sense. These folks will not only need to understand marketing, but also compliance, lead generation and sales. Include compliance officers as part of the hiring process, as the two departments will need to work closely together.
One of the most effective tools a compliance officer can use is education. Part of your risk management process should include employee training on the social networks your company has approved for business use, the social media management tool of your choice, and a review of your social media policy and response guidelines. Offer regular refresher courses to stay up to date on social network changes and best practices.
Social media doesn’t have to be a headache for compliance officers if approached strategically. Define your company policy on social media use, employ a tool for archiving and oversight, hire the right people – and train them. Customers are using social to research brands more than ever, including financial services. Put these tools in place to manage the risk, and do social media with confidence!
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