I was recently invited to teach at this year’s American Banker’s Association School of Bank Marketing and Management. One of the topics that I’ll be discussing is the role of social media and regulation. To prepare, I’ve done some light research and also had the opportunity to speak to one of the ABA’s own experts in the social media and banking field.
As part of that, I wanted to share three of my findings that may be useful to those financial institutions / banks that are considering social media as part of their channel mix. There are many more solid practices so this is just a start to your banking and social media marketing journey. Also, keep in mind that you will need to verify these with your compliance officer prior to implementing them at your institution, just for a fact check and to make sure the recommendations from regulators have not changed.
The One-Click Rule for Banks
The Truth in Lending Act, better known as Reg Z, works to make sure that financial institutions state fact in their advertising in regards to lending and lending practices. Out of that, a recent recommendation by the FDIC was issued that banks, when dealing specifically with mortgages, should always make sure that in any online advertising (social media posts, PPC advertising, Banner & Tile, etc.) that all regulatory disclosures are either contained in the ad if space is available or made available only one-click away, that is on the ad’s landing page.
Fortunately for banks, this is relatively simple to do assuming that you follow the guidelines. Because of the simplicity of this rule, other types of bank advertising have also begun to apply. So, making sure that any required regulatory disclosure is only one-click away from any and all online advertising can help ensure compliance.
The FDIC Logo
In addition to this rule, it is also required that the FDIC logo or Member FDIC. text be present for all FDIC-insured products. If you are writing a tweet about the awesome fireworks show that you sponsored, no big deal. But if you are talking products, it’s critical that it be visible on the page either in the post or on the institution’s avatar.
So, for good measure, we would recommend putting the FDIC logo or text on your Facebook profile picture. On Twitter, if you are directly referring to an FDIC-insured product, make sure it’s in your actual tweet just for good measure.
If you know that your financial institution has a Wikipedia page, make sure you are monitoring and auditing the page. You as a financial institution have an obligation to monitor and audit anywhere and everywhere your name shows up on the web. To find out where that is, just do a Google search for your bank’s name.
It always comes down to reputation management. If a customer posts something negative about you on Wikipedia, you have to treat this just as you would any other customer complaint. The complaint must be archived and responded to in the same way and saved in your examination files.
So, that’s just a start to some of the considerations that financial institutions must make in regards to banking and social media. I’ll cover all of these items and more in detail during my session at the ABA School of Bank Marketing and Management in Dallas this summer. For more information the school or to apply for next year, visit the site.
I work with banks and credit unions every day and see the full spectrum of social media support and adoption across institutions. Some of the larger banks like Bank of America and Wells Fargo are using multiple twitter accounts to reach different audiences. Other banks have claimed their name but are holding the space as if to watch or buy time until they determine just what this new medium is.
Staying compliant and within regulations is certainly necessary but banks don’t want their social media messages composed of legaleeze. Your topic should be one of great interest to everyone. How to stay compliant while still keeping it ‘social’.