In 2014, the National Credit Union Administration and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation reported that New England had more than 6,000 banks or credit union branches, which if evenly distributed, would amount to approximately four branches per town. With high levels of competition, it is increasingly important for a financial institution to differentiate itself and showcase its unique personality via all communication channels available today. With an experience base close to 35 years, Broadreach has seen it all when it comes to financial services companies.
“Regulated industries are a unique challenge; the rules are established and the accountability levels high,” reflects Linda Varrell, president & chief strategist for Broadreach. “Risk must be ingrained into the culture of a regulated industry, where there is little tolerance for non-compliance.”
Recently, the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) issued updated social media guidelines: Social Media: Consumer Compliance Risk Management Guidance. This Guidance defines all aspect of social media, where it fits in the institution, who is responsible and what can be pursued. All financial institutions were mandated to update their social media use policies and procedures, while ensuring management understands potential reputation, operational and consumer risks.
So while social media use is pertinent for financial institutions to attract new business, engage current customers and post important information, there are certain rules one needs to keep in mind prior to developing any strategies. As an overview, financial institutions will need to, among other actions:
- Clearly define how social media contributes to its strategic goals;
- Outline roles and responsibilities;
- Analyze known threats and vulnerabilities;
- Shape all social media policies and procedures to align with the institution’s risk threshold;
- Utilize filing protocols; and
- Implement employee training.
Once this FFIEC guidance is being followed and the institution’s attorney has signed off, next comes the fun part! Use your brand’s social media pages to hone in on the institution’s personality and what differentiates it from competition.
Whether you focus on industry news, the institution’s team members, community initiatives or local events, be sure to provide an engaging resource for your customers with tailored content for each outlet. LinkedIn is best used for business conversation and industry news, whereas Facebook and Twitter are for more fun and entertaining exchanges. Make sure to monitor your social media pages, interacting with followers as relevant.
Broadreach provides a valuable and strategic resource for regulated industries (generally defined as Financial Services, Healthcare, Government, Transportation, Utilities and Food Production / Distribution), whether for navigating social media, developing plans to achieve strategic business goals or raising an organization’s profile in its target market; all while ensuring compliance.
— by Jillian Kanter, Broadreach Account Executive & Client Operations Coordinator