27 Mar Social media advice for regulated industries
Highly regulated industries can suffer from their industry standards, but what advice can we give to these companies?
With the rise of technology, consumers can now be instantly answered on social media. So it’s no surprise that they will often turn to one of the platforms in order to get instant answers. Social media is now the new forum for questions about every single topic. Though social media is incredibly useful for all sorts of questions, companies offering services in finance, pharmaceuticals and law may not have been able to experience any social media at all. It’s been an avenue of the customer interaction that’s been completely off limits.
The regulators of these industries have all suffered the struggle of attempting to join a social medium that isn’t particularly cut out for the given companies. It’s difficult to develop from the traditional media into an interactive one as designing content can be incredibly difficult at times. Inconsistencies are a norm, with the following becoming incredibly common in the world of social media for our industries.
- Adverse Events: A blog post or a Twitter feed from a pharmaceutical company may not mention a products that they produce, or the illness and diseases that they’re used for. The reason for is that in any instance of an “adverse events” – problems reported by consumers – they are required to report to the FDA. Any single problem found and posted on their Twitter or blog can trigger a reporting requirement, with the companies being baffled by this requirement’s application to their social media.
- Facebook likes: A way of connecting with an issue or a company on the Facebook. However, financial companies have in the past considered that any customer clicking the “like” button is classed as an endorsement for the company. Which gives some form of testimonial for financial advisors who use Facebook. The end result was that, until recently, advisors choose to avoid Facebook as a way to connect with their clients.
A sense of unclarity has pushed away a number of companies in the world of social media. Thus, creating a chilling effect for everybody involved. The highly regulated industries are governed by a host of rules, so why chance social media when it could go terribly wrong? As a traditional means of reaching a whole new level of consumers, companies have struggled with this medium for a number of years. The rest of the marketing world has been able to embrace these direct means of consumers, whilst so many industries have struggled to incorporate these marketing means. The tide is now turning for many consumers, which is fantastic news for the finance industry and beyond. For example, financial regulators have told compliance officers that they would no longer consider a like on Facebook as an endorsement for their business. The FDA has now produced guidelines on social media.
Creating a presence on social media to monitor is mostly important to find out what’s being said about your business. Twitter, for instance, is a fantastic source of keeping up with your industry and those who it affects. Your customers will want to be kept updated with any news you may have for them and Twitter is the ideal platform for such a thing. Reporters will often use social media to preview stories that they’re producing, giving you the access to keep your customers updated with something that might impact your company.
New tools are being launched to connect social media profile of clients with contact information. Companies are finding out that it can be an incredibly useful tool for deepening their connection with their valued customers.