Yes, even highly regulated industries can leverage social media. And they can identify and implement efficient ways to minimize their risk. I invite you to check my post on the crowdsourced experiment launched by Chubb Insurance in May 2010.
Since I started blogging on Visible Banking about social media in financial services back in early 2007, I noticed a significant increase of activity from the industry not only in North America and in Europe, as you would expect, but also in Latin America, the Middle East and the Asia Pacific region.
I invite you to check out my regular updates of the Visible Banking Twitter Watch Series and the Visible Banking Facebook Watch series which reflect the dramatic adoption of social media in South America and Asia.
It’s been years now I’ve been evangelizing the use of social media on my blog and at all my speaking engagements all over the world. In 2011, pretty much every single financial institution I’m meeting with recognizes the importance of monitoring online conversations and the potential damage those conversations could have on their brand.
I’d like to clarify a few points in this post.
Back in May 2009, the brilliant European Financial Marketing Association (EFMA) published in their magazine one of my articles entitled “Not embracing social media presents a new risk“.
In this article, I stressed out the fact that for a financial institution the risk of not embracing social media was far bigger than having a few vocal detractors online.
I also articulated what a sizable opportunity it was for the most engaging financial institutions online.
Among many other business benefits, social media gives brands a unique opportunity to connect with their markets, be perceived as more genuine and authentic, win back angry customers and turn them into brand champions.
Crisis Management & eReputation: Give a Voice to your Customers
More recently, I shared my comments and my advice on the topic of eReputation at an event in Hong Kong “10-Step Strategy to Sail Through a Crisis Thanks to Social Media“.
In a nutshell, I insisted on the importance of building a social media presence asap to be credible when you decide to reach out on services such as facebook, twitter or YouTube.
I also advised the participants to capture and leverage the voice of their customers (capture, leverage and display Customer Generated Content) and let them defend their brand whenever needed.
Social Media Presents Various Levels of Risk
First of all, we need to distinguish two types of social media activity:
1. Outside your own assets
Yes it is important to know what is being said online about your brand, your products, your competitors. Among your key challenges are the amount of noise and the lack of information on the contributors.
No, you can’t control what people are saying about you on public forums, reviews and comparison sites, twitter, facebook, linkedin… You can only be aware of those conversations, and you have the option to respond. But it won’t make those negative, and sometime abusive or fake, comments vanish.
Yes, there is a risk that an over zealous employees decides to join one of those conversations and respond on behalf of your company.
2. On your own social media assets
This is a different ball game. Here I’m thinking of your official social media presence on sites such as facebook, twitter, blogging, youtube, flickr, slideshare… As a priority, you must make sure you own your name on those popular websites.
4 Ways to Reduce the Overall Level of Risk
* Train your Employees: put together a short questionnaire, make it available on your intranet and invite all your workforce to take the test. A few financial institutions firms like American Family organized a few training sessions at lunch…
* Put together two sets of employee guidelines: publish on your intranet simple guidelines about how to behave and interact on social media sites both during and outside working hours.
* Publish a simple set of user guidelines: publishing ‘house rules’ or moderation guidelines will enable you not to get rid of all the negative comments, but to possibly take offline the comments which are abusive or totally off topic.
* Moderate you social media assets: it is critical to put in place a process whereby someone checks your assets, especially on communities like facebook or youtube where the comments will be published straight away. Implement a moderation process on your blog where the comments will be reviewed by your team before it goes online. Some financial institutions, like Progressive, are more transparent and confident than others and even let their facebook fans post directly on their page wall.
List of User Policies & Moderation Guidelines
There is no point in reinventing the wheel. There are a few good list of user policies for social media available online across industries on sites such as social media governance and social media today.
But I believe the ones in our industry will be even more valuable to you and your colleagues, would you agree?
In the Finance industry, employee guidelines are very rarely shared online. Having said that, I invite you to check the comprehensive list of social media guidelines I put together over the last few years.
Please start now and utilize them as much as you can!
As usual I invite you to give me a shout out and share all the your guidelines and user policy I missed to collectively make this post as useful as possible.
* ABSA (South Africa): Disclaimer
* Activo Bank (Portugal): Termos e Condições
* Akbank (Turkey): Kullanım Şartları
* Alfa Insurance (US): Guidance for Alfa Social Media Users
* Alliant Credit Union (US): Disclosures
* Ambition Axa Awards (UK): House Rules
* Bank of the West (US): Guidelines
* Banque Populaire (France): Charte de bonne conduite
* Barclaycard (UK): Terms and Conditions
* Barclays (UK): Volunteers – Terms and Conditions
Articles: 100 voices to attract students
* BBVA Compass (US): Ground Rules
Articles: facebook promotion in the street
* BNI (Indonesia): Serajah
* BNP Paribas Cardif (France): Rules for commenting on our Facebook page
* BNP Paribas Fortis Be (Belgium): Charter
* Caisse d’Epargne (France): Charte de Bonne Conduite
* Capital One (US): Guidelines
* Charles Schwab (US): Guidelines
* Citi (US): Citi Facebook Terms & Citi Facebook User Content Guidelines
Articles: Citi’s twitter strategy, Citibank US on Facebook
* Commonwealth Bank (Australia): Guidelines
* Concorde Securities LTD (Hungary): Tisztelt Látogatónk! & Guidelines
* Credit Agricole (France): Charte utilisateur
Articles: Interview with the Managing Director of Credit Agricole Pyrenees Gascogne
* Crédit Agricole Anjou Maine (France): Charte d’utilisation
* Credit Agricole du Nord (France): Charte, Regles, Responsabilite
* Direct Line (Germany): Richtlinien
* Erste Bank Oesterreich (Austria): Hausordnung
* Esurance (US): Wall Etiquette
* FAIRWINDS Credit Union (US): Your Posts
* Farmers Insurance (US): Rules for Sharing
* Finansbank (Turkey): Sayfa Kurallari
* First direct (UK): Terms
* FNB Premier Banking (South Africa): Disclaimer
* Garanti Bank (Turkey): Sayfa Yonetimi
* Genworth Financial (US): Disclosures
* Handelsbanken (Sweden): Om loggen
* HSBC Students (UK): Bursary Contest – Acceptable use Policy
Articles: video comments – Facebook contest, yourpointofview
* Hudson Valley FCU (US): Social Media Policy
* ING Bank Türkiye (Turkey): Sayfa Kuralları
* ING Direct (France): Charte Facebook
* Interbank (Peru): Políticas y Condiciones de Uso
* KBank Live (Thailand): House Rules
* KBC (Belgium):Richtlijnen
* Kuwait Finance House (Malaysia): Important Notice
* Kwixo by Credit Agricole (France): Charte
* La Banque Postale/Jeunes (France): Moderation
* MayStay Investments (US): Disclaimer
* Multibanca Colpatria (Colombia): Politicas y Conditiones
* OnPoint Community CU (US): Posting Guidelines
* Progressive (US): House Rules
Articles: the brilliant ‘Help Flo’ video contest
* Saxo Bank (Czech Republic): Upozornění na rizika
* Saxo Bank (Denmark): Disclaimer
* Saxo Bank (Poland): Ostrzeżenie o ryzyku
* Saxo Bank (Romania): Disclaimer
* Saxo Bank – Sala de inversion (Spain): Aviso Legal
* SEB Sverige: Policy
* Standard Life (UK): Guidelines
* State Farm (US): Guidelines
* State Farm Careers (US): Community Guidelines
* Trading Floor (Denmark): Disclaimer
* USAA (US): Posting Guidelines
* Vanguard (US): Commenting guidelines
* Virginia Credit Union (US): Privacy
* Wells Fargo (US): Guidelines
* BforBank (France): Charte de moderation des commentaires
* Citi (US): new.citi.com site usage guidelines
Articles: new.citi.com a tale of two tales
* Independent Bank (US): Community Guidelines
* Societe Generale (France): Charte web
* SpareBank 1 (Norway): Blogging Rules
* Wells Fargo (US): Community Guidelines
Articles: interview SVP Experiential Marketing, blogs, facebook, Wells Fargo 2.0
* Allstate (US): Good Hands Community – User Guidelines & Vehicle Vibes – About User
Articles: virtual career fair
* Bank of America (US): Small Business Online Community Guidelines
Articles: comments on BofA’s online community for SMEs
Articles: Amex’ online community for SMEs, Small Business Saturday, twitter Top 10, facebook Top 10
* Severus Credit Union (Canada): Young & Free Alberta – Blog comment Policy
* LV (UK): LV Community Guidelines
* US Bank (US): Important Notice
* FINRA (US): Guide to the Internet for Registered Representatives
* H&R Block (US): Response Process
* Monroe Bank and Trust (US): Social Media Policy
* State Farm (US): Community Guidelines
* US Bank (US): Social Media Guidelines for Bank Business and Personal Use (page 39)