Help! My company has "posting laws"!

THREE TACTICS TO BUILD A FINANCIAL PERSONAL BRAND

WHILE STAYING COMPLIANT WITH YOUR PARENT COMPANY’S REGULATIONS

As of 2019, over 91% of banks are using social media for communication purposes and over 84% of banks uses social media for marketing/sales purposes. That includes:

  • Pushing out informative content of products, services and other information provided by the institution

  • Sharing company updates

  • Establishing a company “voice” resonating the brand identity

  • Showcasing company environment and employee culture

In contrary to this highly encouraging data, the social media marketing engagement of employees at banks or other financial institution is surprisingly low.

By low, we are not saying these people are not on social media. They simply aren’t on social media building themselves up as a professional. Many of them are amazing, trustworthy people in real life, but on their LinkedIn profile, all you can see is the minimum basic info, or the events and groups they are personally engaged in.

The Financial Institution “Posting Law”

All financial institutions are under strict compliance restrictions when it comes to their social media posting, both on a company level and from the individual employees.

Four of the most crucial social media regulations for financial institutions are:

(Image from Google) The social media posting regulation and when you break the rules…

(Image from Google) The social media posting regulation and when you break the rules…

  • The prohibition of discrimination against certain credit applicants;

  • Truth-in-lending Act: also known as Reg-Z, applies to any content promoting credit transactions. This could include mortgage loans, home equity lines of credit, student loans, etc.

  • Truth-in-savings Act: also known as Reg-DD. Similar to Reg-Z, but applies to depositing accounts.

  • Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act: security of consumer information

While it is crucial for employees with such institutions, including insurance providers to follow compliances 100%, it does pose challenges against building a trustworthy personal profile (personal brand") online.

However, there are ways to work with these social media regulations without breaking any rules enforced by your parent company, and of course, none of the financial compliances.

  1. LEARN Your Compliances

    “Posting law” or not, always stay on top of compliance updates. This is the most fundamental requirement to any professionals in the financial/credit/insurance world.

    Keep yourself educated, and NEVER, ever post things that you’re in-question about yourself. If your institution tells you something may not be appropriate to post, or to recommend to your prospects, then it probably isn’t.

    While in other cases, we encourage people to be bold and creative with their digital marketing strategy, when it comes to financial institutes and other trades with strict regulations, our guideline is:

    Better safe than sorry.

    So speak with your colleagues, ask your mentor, find 3rd party sources to support your content before making an official post.

  2. Know Your Approval Process

    Get to know your company’s approval process. This includes:

    • The general approval turnaround cycle (7-days? 15-days? 30-days? Longer?)

    • Know the direct point-of-contact when it comes to content approval

    • Create “batch approvals”: send out a collection of content you’d like to post in the next period of time, instead of sending out one-post-a-time for approval

    Work within the general turnaround cycle with the content you’d like to create and/or share, and plan your personal brand marketing deadlines accordingly.

    Would like to send out an email newsletter to your past and current clients, or leads you’ve collected?

    Send out your final draft at a time so you get a result before your intended sending date. As long as you are personally familiar with financial compliances, such as the four key compliance regulations mentioned above, your content is likely to be approved.

  3. Make Use of Disclaimers

    When you are posting about your own reflections, experiences, or anything that helps to make your digital presence more personal, instead of, say, just another banker…

    don’t forget to use disclaimers.

    Even better:

    Make that disclaimer bold, clear and eye-catching. Avoid using fine-print if you are under parent company social media regulations.

    A classic disclaimer goes like this:

The following content only expresses the personal, professional insights of [Your Name]. It doesn’t represent the opinions of [Your Institution] and is not by any means affiliated to [Your Institution].

And…

Oh, have I said it already?

No, fine, prints!


All-in-one Infographic below

building-a-brand-around-comopany-social-media-policy-industry-compliances

BONUS Tip 1: Customize Parent Content

If your parent company sends you an email every month with things they’d like you to choose from and post to your social media - don’t fluster.

Consider them giving you a “safe, semi-approved” content bank that allows you to build your personal brand, and even better - implement lead generation campaigns on social media!

Check with your approval POC, or marketing department regarding the following items:

  • Whether you can crop, edit, quote or paraphrase (this one can be tricky) the sent content;

  • Whether you can “partial rebrand” the content sent by parent company by adding a little personal touch (your name/photo), while keeping the primary branding (brand color, logos) of your parent company

BONUS Tip 2: Be Personal

If you want to work with your parent-company’s regulations and share more professional content, the four tactics above will be very helpful. (Guaranteed!)

But did you know there is one, final, tactic that doesn’t involve the “posting laws” you must follow, and is extremely efficient when building your personal brand as a professional?

The secret tactic is - be personal.

Here’s the thing we often forget:

There is no regulation when it comes to the events you attend, the connections you make, your personal life (as long as you’re being reasonable and positive), and your growth experience.

And that’s the most powerful thing in personal branding - the person behind the content!

Participated in a financial training? Write about it.

Got a certificate? Post it.

Went to a networking event and had a blast? Take a photo with your colleagues and share.

Keep writing, keep creating, keep sharing.

Be genuine, be informative, and be helpful.