The key to an effective social strategy is to use it as more than a marketing tool — but as a channel through which to share real stories from real people and foster authentic conversations. Here are four ways to build a social strategy that will humanize your brand while staying in line with important compliance regulations:
1. Make your employees your advocates on social. Industry research discovered that 76% of consumers are more likely to trust a piece of content when it’s shared by an individual in their social media networks than when it’s shared from a company page. By positioning your employees as your credit union’s ambassadors on social media, you can make them the face of your brand and, as such, a more trustworthy source of information in the eyes of the public.
Social selling is the practice of having your employees share branded content on their own social pages, and the key to a great social selling strategy is authentic content.
2. Give employees engaging content to share. When employees post on your institution’s behalf, they need to do more than push financial products and services. They should share stories about your credit union that spark further conversations in their networks. These stories should further your community-minded agenda with articles about events your credit union is participating in or other ways it is supporting members.
To create this content, however, you’ll need to give your marketing teammates the reins. Your employees may be great at serving members of your credit union, but that doesn’t mean they’re strong writers. Instead of having employees write branded content to share themselves, have your marketing team gather employee insights to write posts on their behalf.
Marketing team members should ask employees to describe what they like most about working for your credit union and to identify the pain points customers often tell them about. Get input from the front lines on what matters most to your audience so that your content conveys an understanding of the real challenges your members face.
3. Eliminate bottlenecks with a streamlined approval process. Before making your employees the face of your social media presence, clearly define each person’s role in the social selling strategy. By restricting users’ roles, you can ensure that only employees who have already been properly trained in customer communications will be responsible for answering questions and responding to online comments.
When you have an exhaustive approval process, high engagement on multiple posts can slow down response times. But when employees are trained to reply while staying compliant, response times and content for consumer inquiries will be more consistent.
4. Ease compliance concerns with an auto-archiving tool. One of the biggest concerns you might have is keeping all your employees’ social media communications in compliance with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority — better known as FINRA. If you ever have to prove compliance, the only way to do so is by producing the appropriate archive of social media and online communications.
Instead of letting the fear of breaking compliance keep you off social media, make proving compliance simple with the help of a reliable auto-archiving tool. The right software can capture all comments and responses, all edits to a response or post, and the name stamp of the employee who’s responsible for each piece of communication. The archive can be easily searched to quickly and efficiently prove compliance when necessary.
Social media is the most direct way for credit unions to connect with consumers and the community at large. By arming your employees with branded, compliant content that their networks will care about, you can reach further into the community around you and build your customer base.