The newsLINK Group - Banks and Social Media - Developing a Policy

Editorial Library Category: Banking & Finance Topics: Social Media Title: Banks and Social Media – Developing a Policy Author: newsLINK Staff Synopsis: Banks are embracing social media in record numbers. Some 84% of the top 35 banks now have a social strategy, according to the 2011 Social Media Banking Sector Survey. While regulations are behind the times, new software allows for e-discovery and real-time monitoring, ensuring that FTC, SEC, and other core regulations are met. Editorial: Banks and Social Media – Developing a Policy 4064 South Highland Drive, Millcreek, Utah 84124 │ thenewslinkgroup.com │ (v) 801.676.9722 │ (tf) 855.747.4003 │ (f) 801.742.5803 Editorial Library | © The newsLINK Group LLC 1 Banks are embracing social media in record numbers. Some 84% of the top 35 banks now have a social strategy, according to the 2011 Social Media Banking Sector Survey. While regulations are behind the times, new software allows for e- discovery and real-time monitoring, ensuring that FTC, SEC, and other core regulations are met. As a result, social media is a valuable tool your bank can use to connect with customers. The Implications of Social Media for Banks Your customers use social media. If you want to keep your existing customers and find new ones, you have to go where your customers go. And that means you have to learn how to use social media, too. Some things are clear: Controlling social media messages is hard. Consistency is a problem; so is controlling who has a public voice. Everyone is struggling with this. Courtesy and service both matter. When it comes to social media, the goal is always to keep things positive. You want employees to be polite no matter where they are communicating; you want customers to be happy about their experiences with your bank. You can’t compete with the biggest banks. Instead, work on a smaller scale. Identify the possible, narrow it down to what will help, and then start working. Banks use social media differently than individuals do. It can be a useful service tool. Tweets that show excellent responsiveness to customer needs is an asset. Social media can harness the power of someone else’s brand to your advantage. Barclays decided to sponsor the top football league in England, attracting some customers to sign up on its Facebook account. (It was only a little less than 2% of the customer base, but 2% of a large number is also a large number.) You can do the same type of thing. A Social Media Policy Experts on social media all agree that as organizations embrace social media, having a social media policy is paramount for many reasons. Shama Kabani, author of the Zen of Social Media Marketing, asks, “What are they saying about you, your company, and your practices? Better yet — how are you responding? Having a social media policy in place does not mean you can dictate your image. But, you do get to interact responsibly in the conversation that forms your image.” The same can be said for banks. Developing a social media policy means asking banking employees to be sensible and thoughtful when they interact online. Kabani offers some suggestions: 1. Decide what you want social media to do for you, and how deeply you want to monitor your employees. For example, consider using it to help people recognize your brand and, if applicable, improve sales. It can also be a tool for talking both to employees and customers. Think about whether you want to initiate actions, or if you prefer reacting to the actions of other people. 2. Decide how you define social media, and write it down. A broad definition is better than a narrow one, because social media is changing fast. (Kabani defines social media as websites or mediums where open communication can take place.) Ask yourself about how your bank will get involved. Name the specifics (for example, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and online video), and add new categories when necessary. 3. Decide who owns what. Social media at work is different than at home. Draw lines, especially in cases that might be ambiguous, and check those lines with a competent lawyer to make sure you aren’t overstepping. In addition, make sure that work accounts are owned by the company and not by an employee.

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