Brands from the finance sector are learning the importance of a strong social media presence and digital community. But it’s important to have a social media policy in place for the sake of a company’s reputation. A social media policy advises representatives of an organisation on their use of social media. Various businesses have social media policies in place, especially in the finance, government, tech and healthcare sectors. So, how do you write a social media policy for your finance brand? Let’s look.
Why Create a Social Media Policy for Your Finance Brand?
Yes, you’re busy. We know. But if you’re going to leave anything off your to-do list, don’t let it be your social media policy. A well-written policy for your finance brand can:
Protect a brand’s reputation
Clients will talk about you online. And thanks to hashtags and tagging functionality, they probably won’t hide it if they’ve got something to say. A clear social media policy will define how to handle both positive and negative feedback, detailing what and what not to say. A poor attitude, bad language or a statement that doesn’t reflect the ethics of a finance brand could prove detrimental, for example. So all social media managers, forum moderators, customer support reps and even IBs must be on the right page.
Safeguard client data
The last thing you want to do is breach client trust. So a social media policy should detail what type of data is allowed on social networks and what data should be kept private. Distributing sensitive information could result in legal action being taken against your firm.
Help employees remain professional
Many clients hear of and interact with finance brands for the first time on social media. Therefore, it’s important to remain professional at all times. Social media policies help employees to understand brand expectations and provide a framework for what is and isn’t allowed. When reading the policy, the rules should be clear. Even having a policy to hand to employees sets a standard. Those handling your channels will know that they’re expected to comply with company policies and should not act inappropriately during their time at the company.
Improve customer service
A good social media policy should detail how to communicate with clients. For example, you might want to prioritise rapid responses to customer queries or enforce respectful conversation. You might also want to craft set responses for FAQs that can be sent to a client directly via Facebook Messenger. Collating your expectations into a formal policy makes them easier to implement. If you’re working with an agency, it’s a great idea to share your social media policy, tone of voice and strategy so everyone is on the same page.
Simplify Crisis Management
Without the right strategy, negative press can spiral out of control which is why you need clear, concise details of how to deal with an emergency on social media. One strategy, for example, could be to assign one person to crisis management so that mixed messages are not posted. You could also create a skeleton crisis management script and get it approved by compliance – just in case you need to respond quickly. The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank earlier this year is a good example of the need to be prepared. Put simply, clients piled in to remove their deposits from the bank after losing trust in the institution. This led to a ‘bank sprint, not a bank run’ and was made a whole lot worse by anxious Twitter posts and WhatsApp messages. Investor Jason Calacanis tweeted: “YOU SHOULD BE ABSOLUTELY TERRIFIED RIGHT NOW,” using all capital letters for emphasis.
Help with Compliance
The finance industry is governed by regulators and nothing is overlooked – even online. A social media policy should detail all relevant compliance rules to ensure communication across all channels is appropriate. Remember that traders and investors have grown accustomed to taking screenshots. Deleting something non-compliant later won’t cut it.
What to Include in a Social Media Policy for Finance?
When writing a social media policy for your finance brand, there are several important details that must be included. Here’s a rundown of the top features.
#1 Channel Permissions and Access
You should know exactly who has access to your channels and where their permissions lie. For example: your social channels might be in the hands of your marketing agency, social media manager and content writer. But who is handling complaints, PR problems and messaging? Be careful about passwords and access, especially in the finance sector where staff turnover can be high!
#2 Regulation and Compliance Details
Compliance is huge in the finance sector and you can’t afford to slip up. Any rules and regulations relevant to your industry and country of operation should be detailed clearly. We’ve provided many content marketing guides in the past to help CySEC brokers, ASIC brokers, those following FINRA regulations and more. But it’s your job to know what is and isn’t OK for each channel and how the regulations translate for social media. If you’re not sure, enlist the help of our team. We specialise in producing compliant social media content for our clients.
Common compliance rules include:
- Being fair, clear and not misleading. In other words, a broker can’t promise endless riches to traders as this could encourage poor financial decisions. You should also avoid giving “advice”. Retail clients must also be given a fair and prominent indication of a relevant risk when referencing any potential benefits of a service or financial instrument. The font size of the risk warning must be as prominent as the main text.
- Using compliant images. Don’t post images that could be seen as misleading. For example, traders rolling around in huge piles of cash. Images are also subject to regulations as they’re a form of communication.
- Not providing investment advice regarding financial instruments. Many companies simply state the services available, including tradable assets, while some are forced to put ‘not trading advice’ after a statement. Other regulators require lengthier risk warnings for social media.
#3 Customer Handling
Careless social media posts can land companies in hot water. And this can be hard to recover from. This is why detailed guidelines around appropriate conduct must be included in your social media policy. Things to consider include.
- Setting expectations. A social media policy should layout appropriate responses for different scenarios. If you utilise a professional agency, they can work with the templates you create. You should also detail the way complaints are handled internally. In our experience they will usually be passed to legal/compliance who will assist in drafting an appropriate response based on the client’s account activity and specific issue.
- Handling disgruntled customers. Your social media policy should document how to handle difficult customers or those who could potentially damage your online reputation without ongoing negativity. While minor comments might benefit from a proactive comment left underneath a specific thread, others need to be taken to a more private location such as a one-on-one email or chat platform to avoid negative PR. Make it clear when situations might be considered minor and when they need to be escalated. Name a go-to person for backup and sign-offs and have a very clear strategy in place.
- Discretion and professionalism. Discretion is key when it comes to appropriate content. Employees should not reference other clients, give away personal details or mention private company details that have not been disclosed.
- Handling sensitive information. Anything can happen online. You’re not in control of what people share and post. But you should have a strategy in place for how to handle sensitive information that might breach confidentiality rules.
#4 Privacy and Confidentiality
One of the biggest things a finance brand must focus on is client trust. So, your social media policy document should detail how to handle client data and how to protect sensitive client information. There are many potential security risks online and extra care must be taken to ensure details remain private and secure. Social media managers should know all of the company policies for keeping information safe.
Having a social media policy in place will minimise errors, reduce the risk of fines and ensure brand consistency. Need help with your social media policies and social media management? Contentworks Agency is the leading marketing agency for the finance space. We work with forex brokers, banks, fintechs, techs and insurance companies. Book a free Zoom call with our team.