Regulations

We live in a world of rules and regulations.  It almost has to be that way to keep everyone’s best interest at hand.  We also live in a world where social media has taken over.  With so many rules and regulations the most regulated industries have tried to shy away from social but that option is quickly disappearing.

Highly regulated industries have been slow to the draw when it comes to social because they don’t want to get slapped with a fine.  The problem isn’t always the rules and regulations but as Social Media Examiner puts it, the problem is the lack of time devoted to creating social media policies that embrace the rules.  It’s no longer a question of how to avoid social media.  Regulated industries should take the time to research and develop a social media policy and plan to protect themselves and their fans.

According to Forbes, consumers turn to social media when they have questions especially in the fields of insurance, finance, and healthcare.  So how can regulated industries best use Facebook?  The first thing they need to do is research their field and the regulations. Education is the best thing any industry can do regulated or not.  Any and all employees associated with the company should be educated on the basic social media policy so everyone can represent the company in the right manner. Once you’ve educated your company on what you can and cannot do you can begin to implement your goals.

Every regulated industry should have a section of their Facebook page dedicated to a social media policy with disclaimers like “We are not responsible nor do we condone any of the comments on or about this page.”  Doing so makes a public record of the industry’s intentions.  These industries should also take advantage of the page tools Facebook offers by utilizing profanity filters and approving posts before they are made public.

Much like with customer service on social media, strict policies should not be ignored or hidden.  A company should embrace their industry and the regulations and openly talk about them on social.  Implementing some of the policies and rules into visuals, status updates, and even blog posts is a great way to not only keep your company up to date on the regulations but to make your fans aware as well.  Doing this also creates a higher sense of trust with your fans because they know you are putting their best interests first by following the rules.

In utilizing social media, highly regulated industries should practices crisis management.  For every rule and regulation there is someone out there who has broken it or is waiting to.  The social team should practice how to react and respond to each situation in multiple ways.  In doing this they should get feedback from employees across the company to represent the diverse feedback they would get on social media.  While this is time consuming it is well worth the effort.

The last must do on social media for highly regulated industries is to regularly monitor and report.  Someone should constantly be on social media watching what is going on both internally and externally.  Mistakes happen and fans cross the line.  The more engagement is monitored the more it is understood.  Adhering to regulations on social media shouldn’t be an impediment.  The time spent researching and planning can pay off greatly for industries that make the move to social and supply their customers with the answers they’ve been waiting for.

 

 

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