Social Media Risk Management Programs for Banks, Step 3: Training

Posted by Mikki Ware on July 5, 2017


In our first two articles in this series, we have discussed two of four steps in creating a social media risk management program for your bank. The first step, governance, includes choosing your social media team, the roles they will play, and what to include in a social media policy. The next step provided insight on what processes to include in your social strategy, such as monitoring, archiving, and approval. In this post, we will explore one of the most important aspects of social media risk management: training your team.

The American Bankers Association State of Social Media in Banking Survey showed that 24% of respondents feel that their banks social media compliance training was poor, while only 10% believed their employer provides adequate training. Employee advocacy provides an opportunity for banks to expand their reach, but must take steps to manage the risk. The biggest fear, obviously, is an employee saying something online that reflects poorly on the bank. Most of the time, user error or lack of knowledge is the culprit behind something getting out that was meant to be private. The fluid nature of social media adds another layer to the challenge, so providing employees with regular, updated training on social media best practices is a crucial part of your risk management program. Below is an FAQ for creating a simple social media training program.  

Q. How often should we provide training? 

A. That depends on how active you are on social media, and how many employees you are enabling. FFIEC guidance states that “the size and complexity of the risk management program should be commensurate with the breadth of the financial institution’s involvement in this medium.” Changes and new features happen quickly and often in social media, so once a quarter is optimal for large banks who are very active on social. Once or twice a year might suffice for smaller shops.

Q. My loan officers aren’t interested in social. How do I incentivize them to participate? 

A. The crux of social successful social media is authenticity. If your employees are using social media already, and are excited about using it for business, that will come across in their posts. If it’s something mandated that they’re not into, their posts are likely to reflect that as well. The best course is to make it a volunteer effort. Having a few enthusiastic rock stars is more effective than many who are inexperienced and uninterested.

Q. What should the training include? 

A. If you have people with various levels of social media experience, you might offer a 60-day course that starts at the beginning and progresses to a deep dive of each network your bank uses. If time and manpower doesn’t allow for that amount of detail, simply roll social media into your annual training, and provide a high-level overview of best practices and bank policies. At a minimum, topics you cover should include:

  • The difference between a profile and a business/company page, and how to set them up.
  • Privacy settings
  • Social media profile and cover images
  • Liking, sharing, retweeting, and commenting on the banks posts, as well as others
  • How and what to post to business accounts
  • Review and acknowledgement of your organizations social media policy

Q. Nobody on our team knows much about social media – who should do the training? 

A. If you don’t have staff in house, you can find a marketing agency or consultant to train your staff. Ideally, a third party will have knowledge of social media compliance to provide the most relevant information.

Q. Only the marketing and compliance departments will handle social. Do they still need training? 

A. Yes. Anyone in charge of maintaining social media accounts and approval processes should have comprehensive training in social media compliance best practices.

In the end, social media training is in the eye of the beholder – create yours based on the unique needs of your organization. As with all parts of your social strategy, start small and scale as your team becomes more sophisticated. The goal is to get your social media influencers on the same page with the banks overall risk management program. How does your bank or financial services company handle social media training?

Make sure you stay tuned for our final installment on social media risk management programs on systems you can use to pull everything together. 


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Topics: Compliance, Social Media Education, Social Media for Banking

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