Social Media & Regulated Industries –Reduce the Fear Factor
Does the “openness” of a company Facebook page trigger the sweats? Does the idea of an employee-authored blog make you want to put Legal on your speed dial? Social media—and the openness it demands—presents challenges to regulated industries, such as finance, health care, and even legal professionals. Here are tips for developing a social media strategy in a regulated environment:
- Educate yourself – As a doctor, can you blog about a patient’s case if you don’t name him? As a lawyer, will social media efforts violate legal advertising restrictions? Know relevant regulations inside and out so you can build an effective—and trouble-free—social media initiative from the ground up.
- Get the Buy In – In regulated industries or publicly-traded companies, some stakeholders are critical to social media success: the C-suite, Legal and/or Compliance. One of your first social media strategy tasks may be helping these audiences understand how social media furthers brand success. For instance, provide examples of others in your sector effectively utilizing social media or present an analysis of social media monitoring that demonstrates how much—or how little—online conversations center on your brand.
- Develop a Review and Moderation Process – Build clearly defined policies for approval of company-created content as well as moderation of blog comments or other user-generated (UGC) content. Social media users expect quick responses to comments or posts, so it’s important to set up a timely review or moderation process. Although reviewing might be a team effort, consider assigning one or two staff members to be “on-call” to provide quick turnaround for time-sensitive content.
- Implement Social Media Education for Staffers – Team members who are wary of running afoul of regulations are less likely to support and participate in social strategy initiatives. Educate staff as to how the company will use social media, how review processes will work, etc.
Don’t let the fear of regulations stop your brand from leveraging social media to connect with clients, shareholders, and other stakeholders. Social Strategy1 helps brands increase profit potential through a web presence strategy that includes social media monitoring and online reputation management. Get started by checking out our free business diagnostic panel.