Deciding to get your bank set up with social media accounts and profiles may seem overwhelming. New social networks seem to pop up all the time -- how do you know which ones will work for you? Who has the time to update them all regularly? Should you even be using social media? At Gremln, we understand your concerns. We're here to help!
Gremln's Get Started Guide and blog series will help you understand the value of what social media can bring to your bank; get you prepared for organizing your team, policies, and workflow; and guide you through the account set-up process for Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
1. Should Your Bank Use Social Media?
We’ll be the first to admit that diving into the social media world can be a bit daunting. With so many networks and options to choose how to represent your brand, you may not know if this endeavor is even worth your time.
At Gremln, we strongly believe that it is. With hundreds of millions of people worldwide spending more and more time using social networks to get their news, connect with friends and companies, and research brands and purchases – it truly is where your customers are. Plus, there’s a strong likelihood that people are already talking about your bank online. Leaving their issues unanswered opens the possibility of another bank swooping in and offering an alternative, and a negative connotation with your bank searchable by other potential customers. The FFIEC’s social media guidance explicitly points to financial institutions needing to “be sensitive to, and properly manage, the reputation risks that arise from social media activities” such as dissatisfied customers or negative publicity.
An active presence on social media gets you involved in the conversation. You can address customer questions and complaints and help them stay committed to your services, and protect your bank’s reputation. Being present and engaged on social media helps keep your bank and services front-of-mind with your current customers, and lets potential customers know what you offer.
2. Determine Your Purpose & Voice
How do you plan to use social media for your bank? Will it be for marketing purposes, community building with your customers, or addressing customer service concerns? You may decide a mixture of all three will be most helpful to your audience. Whatever the case, having your purpose defined before you get started will help your bank master a streamlined and professional social media presence.
You’ll also want to define the kind of voice you want to use when posting to your social networks. Do you want to use a “mascot” to be the voice behind your social networks, or a real person your customers know and can recognize? Will you sign each post from the person who wrote it, or have one common voice shared by your social team? Once you have the answers to these questions, you can decide if you want this voice to be more matter-of-fact in tone, or have a bit of playfulness to it.
3. Organize & Train Your Team
Who will be responsible for posting content to your social media pages? Will you have one person in charge of all aspects of your social presence, or will multiple people be contributing to the overall social activity? Once you have determined who will be creating and sharing content with your audience, you’ll want to also put a workflow in place.
Regulatory bodies suggest having registered principals monitor social media activities to ensure compliance measures are met and help other team members post within the bank’s expectations. No matter who is in charge of your social posting, having a second set of eyes approve copy is a great rule of thumb.
When your team is set, you can begin training on the social networks and regulations that will be applicable to your bank’s social media presence. Make sure everyone on your team knows and understands the rules and regulations that you are held to by the financial regulatory bodies, as well as the bank’s internal rules. A training session is a great time to go over specific examples of what is allowed and encouraged for social posting vs.what is not. Go over various scenarios that might take place on line (angry customers, potential compliance violations, responding to questions, complaints, and compliments, etc.) and have team discussions or provide protocol on how best to handle those situations.
4. Create a Social Media Policy
When it comes to social media for business purposes, guidelines and policies are a must. As a financial institution, your bank is held to social media regulations put forth by the FFIEC, SEC, and FINRA. There are also state-by-state laws relating to social media activity in the workplace and company standards that must be enforced as well. Outlining the laws and regulations that your bank is held to and providing specific examples and descriptions of the kinds of activities that are off limits for you and your staff on social media channels will keep everyone on the same page.
For a well-rounded policy that meets everyone’s needs, you’ll want to involve some key players from your bank, such as representatives from marketing, human resources, compliance, customer service, and IT. Lay out the rules you’re held to, the social networks you’ll be posting to, the types of messaging you want to share with your audience, outlines for handling negative situations, and key terms that relate to social media. When you’ve created your policy, gather your team and introduce the policy in a group setting so everyone can feel involved and have the opportunity to ask questions. You may even want to consider offering training and assistance for additional support. Keep the tone friendly and inviting – remember, social media is supposed to be fun! (Want more help? Gremln has plenty of tips to consider when creating a social media policy.)
Understanding why it's important for your bank to be on social media, defining your purpose, staff training, and creating a social media policy are some of the most important pieces of a strong social media presence. If you spend ample time ensuring your team truly understands the reasoning, value, and best practices for social media, you’re that much more likely to be successful in your efforts.
If you’re ready to take the next steps in building a social media presence for your bank, contact Gremln (sales@GREMLN.com) for a live demo and explanation of how our social media management tools can help save you time, keep you compliant, and provide you with the resources you need to stay up-to-date with all things social media.
Stay tuned for more details on how to get your bank started with social media! Upcoming installments of Gremln's Get Started Guide will feature step-by-step instructions for creating a Facebook Page, Twitter Account, and LinkedIn presence.