Social media compliance helps financial institutions manage online presence

Financial institutions have new social media compliance guidelines to help them manage their efforts online

We all knew social media would be popular, but it has become the most common thing we do online. Social media has also given us great ways to protect and build our digital reputations. Today, we have the ease of searching conversations, the ability to set alerts to help us monitor our names, the constant availability of learning opportunities and more ways to communicate and interact with others. All of these tools, which were not available just a few years ago, now make it possible for us to be proactive in maintaining, building and protecting your personal brand and help spread word-of-mouth about your business.

The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) has recently released new guidelines entitled “Social Media: Consumer Compliance Risk Management Guidance”  to help financial organizations effectively manage the potential risks caused by the use of social media. The activities of financial institutions are regulated by specific consumer protection and compliance laws, so there are specific steps they must take in order to protect their reputations and their clients.

“I am pleased to see that the new guidelines discuss the broader implications and risks of social media and how they may be addressed.” said Kevin Zellmer, Global Director of Enterprise Business Development, in a statement. ” Often these types of guidelines focus on a specific rule or two. In the broader view, companies have not only government guidelines to take into consideration but also have internal policies that must be managed and enforced. To focus on one and not the other leaves massive holes that could result in damage to their brand, customers and even monetary penalties.”

Here are a few of the key guidelines:

Institute Policies

Financial institutions should identify laws that govern their online activities, perform a social media risk assessment and then implement social media policies to prevent issues like spam in a timely manner should they arise. For example, staff should know how to react when a customer posts confidential information like a bank number on their social profiles.

Establish Goals

Despite the risks, information shared over social media has the potential to reach a large global audience. As long as an institution ensures that advertising and other communications comply with consumer protection laws, social media can be a powerful business tool for financial organizations. So, to ensure that you’re making the most of social media, establish goals with trackable KPIs.

Use Monitoring Tools

By being active on social media, financial institutions are adding a channel that can expose their brand to additional feedback. Using social media monitoring tools helps them to identify any issues that may cause a negative reaction, so they can respond quickly. The use of social media monitoring tools also helps banks respond to any inquiries and complaints in a timely manner, and refute any inaccurate statements, protecting the brand reputation.

Train Employees

Whether or not they represent your brand on social media, employees’ public communications on social networks may be seen to reflect your financial institution. The best way to combat any risks associated with this is to train your employees on how to use social networks professionally.

 

For more on social media, check out these articles:

Facebook CEO says government “blew it” with surveillance tactics

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Supreme Court passes on evaluating Facebook class action settlement

Communicating investor information via social media presents new challenges for companies

Contributing Author

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Amanda Ciccatelli

Amanda G. Ciccatelli is a Contributing Writer for InsideCounsel, where she covers the patent litigation space. Amanda earned a B.A. in Communications and Journalism from...

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