Why Social Media for Finance is So Darn Difficult

Social Media for Finance

With Facebook set to reach two billion active users and over 330 million people interacting on Twitter, it’s no surprise that companies are weaving a social element into their content marketing campaigns. We live in a tech-led where 71% of those who have a good social media experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others – but as the pressure builds to have a strong online presence, one question remains: why is social for finance so darn difficult?

Compliance and Regulation

Unlike other sectors, the finance industry is governed by a host of tough rules. Compliance is as necessary as a Friday night in with a bottle of Italy’s finest (just us?) and therefore must be taken seriously. Regulators like CySEC, the FCA and FSA strictly watch over banks, lenders, trading companies and other institutions and trust us – they won’t hold back if your break the rules.

The smallest of errors could land you with a regulatory fine and these can run into the millions. This, of course, makes running a social account incredibly difficult as you have to pay attention to every Facebook post, tweet, YouTube video, Instagram update, link and comment. A seemingly trivial mistake such as using the world “will” instead of “may” could result in a slap on the wrist, so it’s important to familiarise yourself with all the regulations and to be extra careful.

While compliance is every finance content writer or social media manager’s nemeses (not because they disagree with the rules but because it makes their job harder), the FCS recently released this guide which covers essential issues such as how to add risk warnings to tweets.

image of compliant social media tweet for finance

As you can see, it gives a clear example of what is and what’s not acceptable – but there’s still a tremendous amount of pressure to get things right.

How to overcome the challenge?

  • One of the best ways to stay out of hot water is to employ social media experts with a solid understanding of financial compliance. You could then implement an editing process to ensure all content is double (if not triple) checked before it goes live. This might seem like a hassle, but it’s worth it to avoid a considerable financial penalty.

Visualisation Restrictions

When coming up with a social media campaign, creativity is of paramount importance – after all, you want your products and services to stand out from the crowd. This might sound easy enough but, of course, within the world of finance there’s a mountain of restrictions to bear in mind.

Firstly, you’re not allowed to show any images which give the impression of instant wealth. So, a visual of investor ‘Johnny’ jumping up and down with a $1 million money bag is definitely out of the question. Openly inviting people to invest is also a big no-no and under no circumstances should you make investment look easy or trivialise the risk factor.

How to overcome the challenge?

Visualisation restrictions are tough, but there are a few things you can do to overcome this challenge. Firstly, social media should be about humanising your business and therefore you could try tapping into the likes of your target audience. Barclays did a particularly nice job of this by focussing on community interaction and engagement – rather than shouting at people to invest.

imge of social media compliant tweet from barlcays

Market Changes

The financial market changes at a rapid rate and when followers are looking at your social accounts for updates and advice – this is a tremendous amount of pressure. Currency movements are second-to-second and with news breaking throughout the day, there is literally no time to take your eye off the ball. Doing so could make your stories and updates irrelevant – which in turn may weaken your authority within the industry –so it’s essential to pay attention to other financial channels.

How to overcome the challenge?

  • Stay up to date by using an RSS feed for your Twitter account. Use a reputable source such as Bloomberg Business to eliminate the risk of running ‘fake news’.
  • Plan ahead with financial calendars and prepare as much of your content as possible in advance. If you do this, however, be sure to keep referencing breaking news and making updates where possible.

Managing PR

In a connected world where an inappropriate Facebook post could get you silenced, blocked or un-followed, it’s essential to manage your PR in a professional and timely manner and improve your online reputation. One of the most important tasks social media gurus face is keeping people happy – and that’s not easy when 72% of those who complain on Twitter expect a response within an hour.

Excuses are meaningless to the everyday social media user and as a manager of social accounts it is your job to calm them down. So, if you have an unhappy client, your afternoon could be spent trawling through specific elements of a case, liaising with the legal team and formulating a well-structured and thoughtful response. Oh, and don’t forget about compliance!

How to overcome the challenge of bad PR?

Bad PR must be dealt with properly to avoid a further backlash, so never:

  • Delete posts in an attempt to hide a particularly cutting comment
  • Ignore a complaint or pass it off as “unimportant”
  • Be condescending, sarcastic or rude
  • Reply without contacting your legal team
  • Acknowledge the client in an impersonal or non-committal way, for example: “Thanks for tweeting us, please allow us some time to investigate your case and send you a DM.”
  • Post client details, account numbers or confidential information publicly

So, as you can see, tackling social media within the financial sector is rather difficult. You must fully understand the rules and regulations before even attempting to run a social account as one small mistake could prove costly. Need assistance? Then contact the Contentworks team today.

 

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