Any brand with an online presence should be conducting regular social media audits. Evaluating the performance of your content in terms of reach and engagement is the only way to know what works and what doesn’t.
When it comes to financial institutions, you must also add on the layer of compliance. In fact, FFIEC guidelines mandate regular social media audits to make sure your electronic communications are staying within regulation.
As you develop an auditing policy for your financial institution, make sure it includes the following to both maximize your marketing efforts and stay compliant on social:
1. Evaluate your employee training program. If you want to get the most reach on social, your employees should be sharing branded content with their own networks. But this means you need to be especially thorough in training them for compliance.
If you haven’t already, develop a training program that incorporates your bank’s policies and procedures for official, work-related use of social media. Also, be sure to outline what employees shouldn’t do by defining impermissible activities.
Then, if you discover noncompliant material during your audit, update your policies if needed and reinforce training around compliance for the employees at fault.
2. Plan for oversight. Training can help mitigate compliance concerns on social, but it’s inevitable that people will still make mistakes. That’s why you need another turnstile of sorts to authenticate compliant posts and quickly handle any infractions. That’s where a proper oversight process comes in.
You may want to have one person in charge of reviewing posts before they go live, but you can eliminate a lot of time and hassle by using a tool like Gremlin to screen for certain keywords or phrases that could raise red flags.
3. Conduct audits regularly. There’s no hard-and-fast rule for how often you should audit your institution’s social media accounts. As long as it’s done with some regularity, you’re taking a step in the right direction. Just make sure you’re keeping pace with social media platforms.
In 2019 alone, there were at least 10 updates to Facebook’s ad platform. As these sites change their policies, you should take it as an opportunity to do the same — or at least review your current social media guidelines. You always want to ensure compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.
4. Set parameters for reporting.The board of directors and senior management will want to periodically evaluate the effectiveness of the social media program. They’ll also want to determine whether the initiatives are contributing to the institution’s objectives. You must establish parameters for providing appropriate reporting of audit findings to show your return on investment.
If your financial institution is on social media, it’s not only a good marketing practice to conduct regular audits — it’s a requirement and responsibility. Evaluate how well you’re meeting your marketing objectives and aligning with compliance regulations with each audit, and you’ll be able to build on a stronger social strategy every time.