Are Your Social Media Efforts a Compliance Risk?

on August 20, 2015

Are Your Social Media Efforts a Compliance Risk?

Any B2B marketer in a company that is subject to government or other regulations knows that maintaining compliance with these regulations can add another layer of complexity to your marketing efforts. Whether you are subject to the SEC, FINRA or any of the many other regulators, having strict guidelines on what you can and can’t say can be a burden when trying to deliver a timely and effective social media message.

Despite the difficulties, the added tasks related to compliance are nothing compared to the damage of failing to meet regulations. The obvious case where a disgruntled employee chooses to post sensitive information online may come to mind. However, the unintentional occurrences; an employee discussing a sale in a LinkedIn message, a social media post with a single unverifiable fact or a call-to-action that quotes a specific rate, are the more likely compliance risks. With these two conflicting interests, companies must ask themselves whether social media efforts are worth the time.

Here are a few tips for maintaining compliance with social media:

Always plan ahead

With B2B social media, it pays to have timely, relevant posts to share with your audience. If you know your posts will need to be approved beforehand, plan out your social strategy as far in advance as possible. You don’t want to get to a conference and realize you can’t engage with the participants on social media because you don’t have any content approved. Your strategic planning must be out as far in advance as possible, especially for time sensitive situations and events.

Pre-approval keeps your strategy fluid

Since compliance tends to involve everyone from risk management to HR to legal, it would be a wise logistical move to coordinate the compliance oversight down to one person or small team of people if possible. Rather than spending the additional time sending your content out to be approved, give your compliance officer specific permissions to access your social media management tool, so they can approve content as it is created.

Keeping employees compliant reduces risk

Recent research by Deloitte has shown that the greatest risk of social media and compliance is uneducated employees. Use employee training as an opportunity to educate your staff on the risks of non-compliance with regulations, and the steps they need to take. To make sure your employees aren’t posting anything on social media that may be a compliance risk, set up an employee advocacy board with suggested – and approved – social media posts they can share.

How do you make sure your marketing team stays compliant with industry regulations? Be sure to let us know in the comment section below.

B2B Marketing Strategy