By Ben April
For individuals and businesses alike, posting video on social media is a fun, effective way to connect with people. But for financial institutions, the responsibility of keeping compliant with regulations has turned video into a high-risk playground—the fun is still there, but is it really worth the potential for injury?
In short, yes. People have gotten used to living their lives through social media. Whether searching for restaurant recommendations or looking for video tutorials, their first port of call is often a social platform. The institutions that can solve this puzzle will meet consumer demands and cultivate a loyal base of customers.
But while consumers are hungry for video-based content—one-third of people’s time online is spent watching videos—lenders are still hanging back from offering it, often stuck on issues of compliance. Multiple sets of regulations from different bodies (FFIEC, FINRA, the SEC) mean that lenders can’t just post video ad hoc. They must create, execute, and distribute very carefully to avoid hefty fines and sanctions.
The massive potential for compliant social media videos.
Video posting isn’t just nice to have anymore. It’s a foundational aspect of successful social selling. Lenders can use social media to build relationships between employees and customers, solve problems, and offer helpful advice. Video can help drive all of those missions, while also pinning relationships down at the right moment to achieve sales.
Look at compliance roadblocks in the clear light of day, and you’ll find that it’s entirely possible to navigate them. Here are three ways to do just that:
- Act as a pack.
One hurdle you’ll face is trying to remain compliant as an institution, while also enabling individual employees to take advantage of social media. Because whether or not a lender has embraced video, its loan officers almost certainly have. Without a moderation process, they may reference the lender’s name and products, which could easily undo all the hard work of the compliance team.
To solve this problem, you can adopt a platform that’s specifically designed for regulated industries so every post connected to the institution passes through a set of checks before it goes live. You can then demonstrate to auditors that best practices have been followed with respect to all the regulations that apply to you.
- Use archiving tools.
One of the compliance duties that causes the biggest headache for lenders is regulators’ mandate to archive every piece of content. Lenders must keep a full record of all posts, including video, on every platform they use—no matter if it has been posted directly through an individual account or via a specific compliance tool. Again, there are tools that can quickly round up all your social broadcasts and unite them in a single archive.
- Pursue goals beyond compliance.
Your social media goals shouldn’t hinge on compliance alone. Solely focusing on gatekeeping and monitoring can hamstring your ability to get creative with video and reduce social posts to functional placeholders.
Keep your eye on the big-picture social strategy. Schedule content according to a cadence that works for you, including video, original articles and personal stories. By using a 4-1-1 approach to content, lenders have the opportunity to leverage social channels to balance brand building and conversion. The model suggests that you should share four pieces of useful content produced by others—and retweeting or sharing one relevant social post from another account—for every one self-serving promotional post. This pattern helps to draw customers in and engage them with relevant, educational content.
Social media has the potential to expand a lender’s circle of influence and build trust with consumers. Overcome compliance hurdles using the tools at your disposal to produce quality video content that drives long-term engagement.
Ben April is the COO of Gremlin Social, an integrated solution that combines social media marketing with ABA-endorsed compliance tools to make it easy for financial services companies to master the social media landscape and engage customers using social networks. Gremlin Social helps ensure safe use of social media communication while maximizing social marketing campaigns, guiding strategies, and monitoring return on investments. Ben is the former president of VidVerify, a platform that delivers video-based compliant messaging to borrowers and loan officers. He also founded Mortgage Returns, a relationship management solution that was acquired by Ellie Mae in 2015. LinkedIn.