Here's a Social Media Staff Policy Your Boss Needs to Know!
Here's the 5 Things In a Good Bank or Credit Union Social Media Staff Policy That You MUST Include!
When crafting your Social Media Marketing Strategy, your Financial Institution MUST have a full-proof Social Media Staff Policy in place, in order to avoid online disaster. Here’s the five main points you’ll need to consider when crafting your internal and external social media staff policies.
1. Define Your Audience:
You’ll need policies that are for the public and then policies for employees. The purpose of the public policies should be to explain your mission for interacting online. Consider using wording like:
“[---- Credit Union/Bank] respects the confidentiality of each of our members’ unique financial situation and their personal financial information. Because responding to account-specific posts would infringe upon such rights, [---- Credit Union/Bank] may remove the post and/or request the individual contact us directly to discuss their individual situation.”
Policies for employees will need to be more specific and govern how they behave online at work AND at home, and whether or not they will be representing the CU in an official capacity.
2. Designate Employee Roles & Responsibilities:
Your employee policies will apply to ALL CU/Bank employees, but you will need to assign some specific staff members to take on additional responsibilities with regard to social media. It’s important that all employees understand they are not all allowed to represent your Credit Union online just because they happen to work there.
This is a role that should be limited to specifically trained staff ONLY. Consider using this language:
“Designated credit union/bank employees will be responsible for monitoring the Credit Union's social media program. These employees will develop a measuring and tracking system so the credit union can determine the effectiveness of using social media.Employees must not speak on behalf of the credit union on any social media site unless they have received advanced authorization by [---- Credit Union/Bank].”
3. Employee Policies Will Also Need to Govern Personal Behavior Online:
Whether a good or bad thing, people’s personal behavior online can reflect on an employer. For this reason your employee social media policy must include some language covering this area of employee conduct. Consider something like this:
“With regard to online activities outside of work, employees should remember that information and data placed on or sent through any electronic medium, including social media sites, may become public. All employees must consider the impression they create about themselves and the credit union when they place information relating to, or identifying the credit union or its employees, on any electronic medium.
We expect that employees will act responsibly and exercise good judgment and the highest degree of professionalism, loyalty and confidentiality when communicating any information that directly or indirectly concerns or identifies the credit union or any of its employees.”
4. Policies Should Also Clearly Govern Behavior AT Work:
Though not all employees will have access to the internet during their work day, most have personal mobile devices. For this reason we recommend that policies also cover use of the internet and social media during work hours.
Perhaps include something like this if employees are NOT allowed to use social media during their work day:
- “Employees may not use [---- Credit Union/Bank] computers to access, view or post to any social media site without authorization from Senior Management.
- Employees may not use their own devices to access, view, or post to any social media, except during authorized break or meal times outside of work areas.”
5. Public Policies on Social Media Networks Should Include Your Mission & Post Removal Policy:
This is necessary as there will be cases when you may need to remove content from a social platform, so you must have a clear policy for when staff will need to do this and why it might be necessary. You should also consider creating a response plan for these situations. Here's a blog on how to create this kind of plan. Consider using wording like this within your staff policy:
“We reserve the right to remove any posts that do not adhere to the following guidelines:
- Posts made by people using an alias and/or if we can't determine his or her identity regardless of content
- Posts that are libelous, profane, defamatory, disparaging, hateful, harassing, threatening or obscene, personal attacks will not be tolerated
- Posts that condone or promote any activity that violates local, state, federal, and/or international laws or regulations
- Posts that are fraudulent, deceptive, misleading or contains spam, or is intended to cause technical disruptions to this page
- Posts that are of a sexual nature, graphic, obscene, explicit or racial
- Posts made for the purpose of solicitation or advertisements - this includes promotion or endorsement of any financial, commercial or non-governmental agency
6. Policies Can't Include Everything - Staff Training is KEY!:
You will NEVER be able to include every scenario in your staff and public policies and procedures. For this reason it's important to conduct training with new and existing employees so that they fully understand how to conduct themselves online. Include role playing and real world examples in this training to bring these issues to life for your staff. They need to understand that what they do online will follow them and can have real consequences.
Below is a link to a pre-made Credit Union/Bank Social Media Staff Policy, if you would like to download and edit ours, rather than writing your own from scratch. Good luck!
About Meredith Olmstead
Meredith Olmstead is the CEO and Founder of FI GROW Solutions, which provides Digital Marketing & Sales services. Since 2013 Meredith has led the FI GROW team, working exclusively with Credit Unions and Community Banks, taking staff step-by-step through the process of launching all of their Digital Marketing efforts, as well as implementing full Inbound Marketing campaigns and providing Sales Enablement training and support. Meredith recommends a very clear and measurable strategy to all of her clients, and then works with them to re-evaluate the success of these efforts on a continuing basis, all with an eye on moving toward a clear return on your online sales and marketing investment.