Insurance companies, banks and other financial institutions (and their representatives) need to exercise caution when executing their social media marketing strategy due to restrictions from the SEC, FFIEC, FINRA, FDA, HIPAA, IIROC and PRA. “Caution” doesn’t mean you need to avoid being on social altogether, mind you, but it does mean that companies need to educate themselves and their employees on industry regulations and compliance laws that govern the digital space, specifically on social media.
Thanks to technological genius and a few innovative companies that found this niche in the social media landscape, there are compliance tools available for the financial industry that have proven themselves extremely effective at ensuring companies and their representatives remain compliant while posting content and engaging with consumers on social media. Hearsay Social, Gremln and Smarsh are three of the best examples of these tools, at least for now.
1. Hearsay Social
“The Hearsay Enterprise Platform provides robust compliance functionality across both social and web communication for regulated companies, including FINRA, SEC, IIROC and FCA regulated firms. Make compliance and supervision simple with pre-approval workflows, real-time alerts, supervision and approval trails, and infraction resolution – all managed from a central supervision dashboard. Capture, monitor and archive digital communication between your advisors and their clients, across the corporate network, mobile devices, and remote locations.” – Hearsay Social
The greatest benefit of using a platform like Hearsay Social as an insurance company is the ability to monitor and regulate the use social media of agents in the field. Sometimes, due to ignorance or unethical behavior (hopefully not the latter), insurance agents post questionable content on social media networks in an effort to ultimately make a sale. Content without clear language and accurate information may not only reflect negatively on the agent and company they represent leading to poor brand sentiment but it could also break the law. Field agents who post content using the Hearsay Social platform have their content vetted by the home office, usually by some sort of social media specialist or Hearsay Social’s automated system, so the chances of a post not being compliant are slim as each post has to be approved before it goes live on the agent’s various social networks.
Other features of their Predictive Omnichannel Suite opens communication channels between agents and clients through web, email and even text messages, in addition to social media, all while remaining compliant. In addition, Hearsay Social offers a variety of reporting and analytics at both the enterprise and agent level for viewing performance of individual agents, regions and more.
“Stay compliant in regulated industries, such as Financial Services and Healthcare. Gremln’s social media management tools allow you to easily prevent posts with restricted keywords or phrases and archive your posts for up to 3 years. Gremln ensures compliant social media communication for companies that adhere to SEC, FFIEC, FINRA, and HIPAA regulations.” – Gremln
Unlike Hearsay Social, Gremln doesn’t offer agency level services for monitoring and regulation but that’s okay! Gremln is tailored towards the social media needs of the overarching company at the enterprise level and they do a great job of presenting a social media management tool that is both user-friendly and effective at ensuring content is compliant. It feels like you’re using Hootsuite due to the similar vibe of “tabs” and “streams” when viewing and engaging with customers in each social channel, but yet it’s different as it’s tailored toward financial companies that need to be concerned with compliance laws. Gremln is ideally for social media teams to monitor brand mentions and engage with customers with the ability to assign engagements to members of the team who have the appropriate level of permission given to them by management. Also, with the added bonus of tracking capabilities for ROI and various reports to back it up, one can see the potential of this being a very effective tool for the financial industry. But that’s not even the best part.
Gremln’s filtering capability relieves the pressure from someone accidentally posting content in violation of compliance regulations. Let’s say that a team member of a social media team for a bank creates a post with terrible wording that’s obviously in violation. If the bank’s compliance department notified management of keywords and phrases they cannot be used and management uploaded those into Gremln’s compliance filter, this post will be blocked and Gremln will once again save the day. Way to go Gremln!
“Join the many thousands of Smarsh customers in regulated industries enjoying the benefits of a unified, search-ready repository and interface for lightning-fast, powerful e-discovery and automated, policy-based compliance supervision for all of their email, instant messaging, text, web, video and social media communications.” – Smarsh
Smarsh is primarily a highly organized archiving solution to make sure that companies keep records of all communications and are then able to find them when needed for auditing purposes any other functions. Viewing the archived data is user-friendly and displayed in context of how the data was originally communicated. Smarsh has also focused on their ability to flag data, group it, and distribute archived information to supervisors and managers for easy access and required escalations. But they don’t stop there. They have additional products offerings as well like advisor marketing and email encryption.
Their advisor marketing platform known as Advisor Launchpad is honestly quite impressive. Here, financial firms, advisors, agents and the like are able to piece together their digital marketing needs from one end of the spectrum to the other. Everything from expert web design, SEO, copywriting, email marketing, blogs and social media services (some content can even be automated) can be purchased to give the buyer just about everything they need for compliant digital marketing.
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