Social media communication? Yes, please! But not at any price. Security and compliance are critical in the financial sector. 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 with each other and share content and get information. So it’s no wonder that social media is becoming more and more popular as a marketing tool – and this also applies to the financial sector. At the same time, however, the security risks are increasing.
Social Networks Offer A Target For Attack
A study by the University of Surrey shows that social networks offer a large target for attacks due to increasingly sophisticated techniques. 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 – loss of sales, damage to reputation, a lower ROI, and, in the worst case, the loss 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 the compliance and security of the company.
5 Tips For A Secure Social Media Presence
Only those who know and understand the social media risks for their company can prepare their team adequately and take countermeasures. The following five tips 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
Anyone who does not know which social media accounts belong to their own company and what is happening risks reputational damage. Because whether it’s 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 consistent performance across platforms by identifying and closing statements that offer no tangible value.
Create Social Media Guidelines
Clear and comprehensive social media policies allow companies to remain compliant while providing a guide for employees to communicate safely and effectively with customers and prospects online. Of course, social media policies may vary by company, but they should always emphasize the importance of protecting its integrity, reputation, and assets.
They typically include company policies, roles, and responsibilities regarding company social media presence, best practices, consequences of misuse, security protocols and processes, and relevant industry regulations and laws. The policy should be updated regularly to reflect the company’s changing social media habits.
Set Up Release Hierarchies
When an employee accidentally uploads an inappropriate photo to a social media post, shares information on the wrong account, or unknowingly posts sensitive information, this is a human error. If companies don’t have the tools and processes to prevent these kinds of mistakes, a single mistake can be catastrophic for the business.
Therefore, a transparent approval system should protect all of a company’s social media accounts so that no post goes online without prior review and approval. Controllers can control who has access to social media content, publish content and submit drafts for support, or have read-only access. If companies work with third-party apps or integrations, other systems can be set up here that flag potentially sensitive content and automatically prevent its publication.
All employees should have basic social media awareness training, whether they work with company accounts or not. This is the only way for the company’s guidelines to prevail throughout the company. Employee training should include topics such as best practices and the appropriate use of social media, an overview of the company’s social media policy, a list of common risks associated with social media, and guidance on implementing the policy and risks avoided.
Use Social Listening
With the help of social listening, companies can listen to unfiltered conversations about their company or 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 on social media, as companies can react to complaints, negative brand perceptions, or spam before the situation escalates.
Through proper social media management software, businesses can set up streams or alerts to track down conversations that include, for example, company name, industry and campaign keywords and hashtags, and capture the sentiment.
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 faced with increasing dangers from cybercrime and therefore planned to increase security measures in the area of social media consistently.
In the course of this, initial analyzes and an internal audit revealed various weaknesses – 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 could transfer all social media activities from the remote administration into an integrated management system and establish workflows for approving messages and team authorizations to support approval processes. At the same time, 80 unofficial social media accounts were identified and shut down – most of them on Facebook. The solution also assists in identifying fraud attempts that can cause significant damage to customers – a critical requirement in the financial sector. Regular training courses on security guidelines and user training ensure that the employees of the social media team are prepared for risks.
Another level of security is provided by integrated monitoring software that checks company accounts for manipulation, misuse, or hacks. The program generates alerts in case of unauthorized activity and proactively searches for fake accounts. The software can also initiate the timely deletion of the funds (or specific posts) in question if the guidelines of the social media networks are violated. 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 interacting 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 are of particular interest to them, and reach younger target groups. However, a well-founded social media strategy and appropriate security concepts are required to make this communication as secure as possible. Because one thing is sure: cybercriminals never sleep.