Applying the ‘postcard rule’ to social media marketing

There are many community bank and credit union marketers up in arms about proposed regulations on social media communication. While most of the objection seems to center on the fact that disclosures are annoying (and in some cases simply too wordy) to use in character-limited social posts, there are other factors troubling to the industry’s social savvy.

Overall, the key to compliance in social media strategy is not to think of it as a different program. Rather, consider your blog, your Facebook, your Twitter, etc. as nothing more than delivery channels.

For example, direct marketing has well-known rules and regulations with which financial institution (FI) marketers are very familiar. A community FI would never, for instance, print a customer’s account balance on a direct mailer. I like to call this the postcard rule. The basic premise of the postcard rule? Don’t share anything on a promotional piece you wouldn’t mind sharing with the entire world (It’s a rule more of today’s tweens and even young adults could probably benefit from applying, as well.)

The same thinking applies to social media, which is just another channel to reach customers, promote products, and build brand awareness. Communicators and other FI leaders should simply apply the general “postcard” rule to any social media conversation.

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