How to Align With Your Compliance Team on Social Media Strategy

By Doug Wilber

In order for bank social media marketing strategies to thrive, marketers and compliance teams must collaborate to create and distribute compliant and engaging content. But compliance and marketing teams are often working toward different goals: Marketers aim to promote, and compliance officers aim to protect.

Social distancing and widespread remote work have made this challenge even more pressing as collaboration is decentralized. Building consensus can be difficult in a virtual environment. What’s more, banks have had to update their strategies for reaching and engaging prospects and customers throughout the pandemic. Without face-to-face interaction, social media marketing has become a key method for banks to reach their audiences.

Having to contend with social media regulations, compliance teams are faced with an increased volume of work and unfamiliar tactics and strategies. Banks that just began social media marketing in the past year, for example, have had to establish new review and approval processes that look much different from traditional media approvals of the past.

Though they have different goals, marketers and compliance teams need each other. Marketers need to avoid regulatory hot water in their social media and other electronic messaging. Compliance teams, along with the rest of the institution, need engaging and effective marketing strategies to remain competitive and continue securing revenue.

It’s up to bank leaders to facilitate greater collaboration between compliance and marketing teams to ensure this success, but it doesn’t have to be an arduous process—even in a virtual environment. With the right tools and approach, any bank can create a compliant and effective social media marketing strategy. Start with the following steps:

Establish automated approval workflows

In the age of remote work, everyone is fielding more internal electronic communications. One study shows that employees sent more than 5 percent more emails in a day just eight weeks into the pandemic..

Attachments and never-ending email chains are recipes for missed information, confusion and error. Fortunately, software exists to automate approval workflows and ensure that the right people—from marketing supervisors to compliance leaders and more—receive every bank social media post and engagement for review, comment and approval. No piece of content goes live without the proper sign-off.

Build compliant content libraries

Social selling, in which employees post branded content to their own profiles, is a popular and lucrative social media strategy. However, it does present more room for social media regulation and compliance missteps as one unapproved employee post or comment could land the institution in regulatory trouble. To avoid such a mistake, marketers can keep employee content compliant and on-brand by building libraries of content that has already been approved by the compliance team.

This way, employees can simply go into the library and choose a preapproved post to share. What’s more, marketing teams can save compliance officers’ time and energy in reviewing these posts by setting up software with filters to automatically tag potentially problematic keywords. For example, they could add the word “guarantee” as a filter to notify compliance any time this keyword shows up in a post to help catch any promissory language.

Automatically archive all content and engagement

In the digital age of today, most banks should have already moved on from using physical paperwork to record social media posts and engagement in case of an audit. Even still, manually entering all of your bank’s social media posts and correspondence into spreadsheets can be a cumbersome task.

The right software can automate that process and compile every single piece of social media engagement into an easily accessible and searchable archive. Be prepared if FINRA ever comes knocking at your door for a compliance audit, and save your teams time and potential cross-department hurdles in the process with technology that can do it for them.

It’s imperative that your marketing and compliance teams stay connected. The specific roles and responsibilities of these two departments are different, but ultimately they should be working together toward a goal of reaching prospects and customers with helpful, engaging and compliant content. Neither department can realize that goal without help from the other.

Doug Wilber is the CEO of Denim Social, which ABA endorses for social media management solutions.

Photo by Karen Martin