Social media is no longer considered a passing fad -- it’s now an integral part of the overall marketing strategy for most companies. It’s one of the most cost effective ways to disperse information, engage with audiences and build brand awareness.
Social media can present substantial risk for banks. Governing bodies such as the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) have issued guidance for financial institutions regarding their participation in social media. Critical to this guidance is the necessity for banks and financial services companies to implement a social media risk management program.
In part one of our blog series on social media risk management, we discussed the importance of outlining a clear governance structure that identifies roles and responsibilities, and establishes controls. The next step in implementing a social media risk management program is to set up the processes that will enable your bank to participate on social media channels while mitigating risk.
Step 2: Risk Management Processes
In order to effectively participate with your customers on social media, you need to know what they’re saying. By listening to what your customers have to say, you can make sure your social media posts are relevant to them. The ability to monitor feedback, both positive and negative, should be an important component of your monitoring effort. Another critical part of monitoring involves keeping an eye on your competition. Are there certain topics or promotions your competitors are discussing that are resonating with their customers? With proper monitoring software, you can monitor the web and social media sites for mentions of your brand name, products and keywords.
Moderation and Approval processes
One of the best ways to secure your bank’s social media presence is to set up an approval process that guarantees at least one additional set of eyes sees every tweet, post and comment before it goes live. Set up filters to make sure any post with questionable content is flagged for approval prior to distribution. Invest in a social media software program that enables you to set up a calendar and schedule posts ahead of time.
Responding to customer feedback can be tricky. Make sure your bank has a process in place that not only includes who can respond, but also how they respond. The online environment is instantaneous. Today’s culture is very much “in the now,” therefore, it’s reasonable to assume that any response to customer feedback will occur in a timely manner. Automated responses can seem impersonal, so make sure your responses are customized and tailored to the specific feedback.
The FFIEC’s guidance suggests keeping strong records for a period of anywhere between two and five years, and making those records easily accessible on the chance of an audit. Be sure to keep an archive of your bank’s social media presence and set regular reminders to keep this information up to date. Social media risk management tools can help ensure you properly archive and retain records. You should be able to capture and archive messages and activity from social media sites including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, as well as search and export data for reporting and auditing purposes.
After you have a clear outline of your governance structure and have processes in place for social media participation, it’s time to train your team on how to effectively manage social media for your bank. Stay tuned for our next post in the series, Social Media Risk Management Process for Banks, Step 3: Training.
Meanwhile, download our infographic for a guide to setting up social media processes.