Social media? Yes, please! But not at any cost. In the financial sector, in particular, the focus is on security and compliance. A case study shows how important it is to protect your own company when communicating on social networks.
More than half of the world’s population is now active on social media to stay in touch and share content and get information. So it’s no wonder that social media is becoming increasingly popular as a marketing tool – this also applies to the financial sector. At the same time, however, the security risks increase.
Social Networks Offer Attack Surfaces
A study by the University of Surrey shows that social networks offer a significant target area due to increasingly sophisticated technologies. According to this, 20 percent of all companies surveyed have already been infected by malware spread via social media. 40 percent of the infections were caused by malvertising, around 30 percent by plugins and apps.
The consequences are severe – lost sales, damage to reputation, a lower ROI, and, in the worst case, the leakage of valuable company data. The challenge, especially for financial companies, is to set up a social media strategy that is efficient but at the same time maintains compliance and the security of the company.
5 Tips For A Safe Social Media Presence
Only those who know and understand the social media risks for their company can adequately prepare their team for them and counteract them. The following five tips will help minimize risks and identify and contain dangers in good time before they develop into a real problem.
- Close neglected accounts
- Create social media guidelines
- Set up sharing hierarchies
- Train employees
- Use social listening
Close Neglected Accounts
Suppose you don’t know which social media accounts belong to your company and what happens there. In that case, you risk damaging your reputation because whether customer feedback, product problems, or spam – the online world interacts with your own company, regardless of whether social media profiles are idle or actively maintained. Therefore, a thorough inventory of all official social media accounts is mandatory. Companies ensure a consistent appearance across platforms by identifying and closing statements that do not offer any concrete added value.
Create Social Media Guidelines
Clear and comprehensive social media guidelines enable companies to adhere to compliance guidelines and, at the same time, provide employees with guidelines for communicating securely and effectively with customers and interested parties online. Of course, social media guidelines can vary from one company to another, but they should always emphasize the importance of protecting its integrity, reputation, and values.
They usually contain company guidelines, roles, and responsibilities about the company’s own social media presence, best practices, consequences of improper use, security protocols and processes, and relevant industry regulations and laws. The guidelines should be updated regularly to keep pace with the company’s changing social media habits.
Set Up Sharing Hierarchies
It is called human error when an employee accidentally uploads an inappropriate photo to a social media post, shares information about the wrong account, or unknowingly posts sensitive information. If companies do not have tools and processes to prevent such errors, a single mistake can have catastrophic effects on the company.
Therefore, all company social media accounts should be protected by a transparent approval system so that no post goes online without prior checking and approval. Those responsible can control who has access to social media content, publish content and submit drafts for support, or only read-only access. If companies work with apps or integrations from third-party providers, other systems can be set up here that mark potentially sensitive content and automatically prevent publication.
All employees should undergo basic social media awareness training – regardless of whether they work with the company’s accounts or not. This is the only way to enforce the company’s guidelines throughout the company. The training of employees should take into account points such as best practices and the appropriate use of social networks, an overview of the company’s social media guidelines, a list of common risks associated with using social media, and instructions on how to implement the policies and risks avoids.
Use Social Listening
With the help of social listening, companies can listen to unfiltered conversations about their own company or the industry on social media. This technique offers two key advantages. On the one hand, it is suitable for discovering new business opportunities. Still, on the other hand, it is also ideal for protecting your brand in social media, as it allows companies to react to complaints, negative brand perceptions, or spam before the situation escalates.
With suitable social media management software, companies can set up streams or notifications to track down conversations that contain, for example, the company name, industry and campaign keywords, and hashtags and capture the mood.
SIX: From Reactive To Active Crisis Management
The Swiss SIX Group, which operates the infrastructure for the Swiss financial center and a wide range of international customers, shows how this process works in practice. As a financial service provider, the company was confronted with increasing dangers from cybercrime and, therefore, planned to increase security measures in social media consistently.
Initial analyses and an internal audit uncovered various weak points – including unauthorized social media accounts, flexible access to company accounts, and unclear approval processes. SIX, therefore, decided to introduce social media management software that, as a compliance hub, securely networks all social media activities between the marketing department, consultants and agents, customers, management staff, partners, and employees and minimizes risks.
With the help of a social media management solution, SIX was able to transfer all social media activities from the remote administration to an integrated management system and establish workflows for the release of messages and team authorizations to support release processes. At the same time, 80 unofficial social media accounts were identified and closed – most of them on Facebook. The solution also assists in identifying attempted fraud that can cause significant damage to customers – a critical requirement in the financial sector. Regular training on security guidelines and user training ensures that the employees of the social media team are prepared for risks.
Another level of security is created by integrated monitoring software that checks company accounts for manipulation, misuse, or hacks. The program generates alerts in the event of unauthorized activities and proactively searches for fake accounts. If the guidelines of the social media networks are violated, the software can also initiate the prompt deletion of the relevant accounts (or specific posts). Another tool is used for social listening and reputation management and covers three areas: alerts and signals, general brand monitoring, and crisis processes.
Today, the company has complete control over corporate accounts and content publishing and can focus entirely on engaging with customers and building relationships on social media.
Conclusion: Social Media Strategy Must Take Security Into Account
Social media is an efficient tool for financial companies to build a close relationship with customers online, understand which topics they are particularly interested in, and address younger target groups. However, a well-founded social media strategy and related security concepts are required to make this communication as secure as possible. Because one thing is sure: cybercriminals don’t sleep.
Also Read: Five Social Media Marketing Trends For 2021