According to Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC)’s supervisory guidance on social media, financial institutions “should have a risk management program that allows it to identify, measure, monitor, and control the risks related to social media.” This document takes into consideration all agencies that regulate social media, including the FTC, CFPB, FDIC, and others.
As part 3 of this blog series, here’s how to best manage your social media compliance program to effectively mitigate your risk.
Financial institutions should have a clear structure in place that directs how social media should be used in order to contribute to the organization’s overall goals. These goals can include, but are not limited to, increasing brand awareness, promoting products or researching new customer bases.
This governance should establish clear roles and responsibilities of those handling the institution’s social media accounts and implement controls and ongoing risk assessments related to all social media activities.
Policies and Procedures
Implementing policies to provide a framework for using and monitoring social media channels is a great way for institutions to ensure that all employees are on the same page and understand the compliance standards that need to be met.
These policies and procedures should address all applicable consumer protection laws and regulations and are responsible for guiding employees on how to move forward. They should also include the institution’s approach to addressing risks for both posting and replying to users.
Providing an employee training program to guide employees on how they can use social media while staying compliant will greatly help mitigate and control the risks related to social media. While most employees most likely already understand the basic concepts of social interaction across the various social media platforms, not all employees may understand the diverse components that go into compliance and risk management within the financial industry.
Such a program should incorporate details of the institution’s policies and procedures relevant to social media use, outline what may be okay to share on social media platforms and define behaviors and posts that are not permissible by employees on social media.
By educating employees on how social media can affect their institutions, both positively and negatively, you can ensure that employees understand how the institution is presented on social media, how their personal accounts may affect and risk the reputation of the institution and how to ensure proper compliance.
Check out part 4 of this series for more information on how to effectively manage employees on social media for compliance.
Social media is a great resource to promote your financial institution and products or services offered; however, it is important to understand the regulations and restrictions surrounding social media use within the financial services industry as not to incur harsh penalties or fees.
Implementing an oversight and monitoring process for all social media accounts owned or operated by the financial institution will help you keep track of brand mentions and ensure compliance. You can do this manually, having a person or team of auditors do spot checks or by use of an automated platform for your social media monitoring, such as PerformLine, to identify potential regulatory compliance violations or brand marketing abuses for remediation one that can check an enormous number of pages everyday, against the rules you require.
This can help you uncover potential or occurring risks and discover mentions of your brand and ensure partners are representing your brand appropriately. When you’re investing a large amount of time, energy and money into your financial institution’s social presence, then it’s within your best interest to ensure you’re doing it right.
Institutions should be performing audits of all social media channels to assess performance and possible risks. By taking the time to compile data across all of your social platforms, you will be able get a much bigger picture of the social content your institution has been pushing out.
These audits can not only give insight into what posts are performing the best or if you’ve met any of the social media goals that were set, but also allows you to ensure that you have been meeting your institution’s compliance standards. Understanding how your institution has been meeting compliance with internal policies and any applicable laws or regulations can help you ensure you’re incorporating any new guidelines that may need to be added, improving processes and procedures and addressing any issues that have come up.
Finally, financial institutions should be evaluating the effectiveness of their social media channels and determining whether the program is achieving its goals and objectives. Do the benefits outweigh the risks? Are you connecting and engaging with your target audience? What specific KPIs are you seeing?
These questions will help to visualize what your social media is accomplishing for your company, understand how it can be modified to see increased results moving forward and hone in on problem areas.
Check out part 4 of this series where we share some expert insights on how to ensure that your employees are meeting compliance requirements. And, be sure to never miss a post – subscribe to our blog here.