While the number social messages made to brands has increased by 18% over last year only an abysmal 11% receive a response. This is especially troubling when you consider that nearly half of all incoming messages to banking and financial institutions require a response. It is now possible to address these figures without risking being in violation of privacy or compliance guidelines thanks to recently released information from the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council.

Potential Compliance and Legal Issues

The following applies to any organization regulated by the following agencies and should be carefully considered before developing a social media strategy:

  • The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
  • The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
  • The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
  • The National Credit Union Administration
  • The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
  • The State Liaison Community

The Right Way to Run Contests and Promotions

Make certain to ensure that you stay in compliance with Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act. The best way to ensure compliance is to utilize accurate and consistent information across all mediums and do not misrepresents the potential outcomes of participating in your event.


Consumer Friendly Ways to Collect Customer Data

The Fair Lending Law requires you to limit your collection, usage, and applied usage of data to what is legally permissible to obtain through traditional sources. In particular, you cannot utilize demographic information such as age, gender, or ethnicity. Additionally, the Fair Housing Act requires mortgage lenders to showcase the Equal Housing Opportunity logo on their social media pages.


Know How to Engage with Customers

Make certain you are in compliance with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act when interacting directly with consumers on social media. For instance, this includes items like not disclosing that a consumer owes a debt. You also cannot inappropriately contact customers or their families and friends. With over half of the upcoming generation preferring to communicate digitally, social media will continue to play a vital role in communications in the future.

Advertising Best Practices

As a financial institution, you are required to add specific disclaimers to social media profiles and advertisements. By far this is as simple as saying you are federally insured by the relevant agency. Beyond that, you are free as long as you are truthful and accurate with your public statements.


These statements must be clearly legible and at least as large as the smallest font sized use in other portions of the advertisement.

How to Leverage Social Listening the Right Way

Thanks to the Community Reinvestment Act, financial institutions are required to keep a record of all comments and complaints made by the general public to it. As you archive each conversation analyze it to determine how people feel about your brand, products, and competitors. Considering that over a third of the public utilizes social media as a primary avenue for customer care, having an open ear and mind can make all the difference.

There are a number of other acts and regulations to be aware of. For a full list, read the Consumer Compliance Risk Management Guide. If you’re a financial institution located outside of the US, check with your government for specific regulations that may apply to you.

Successful Social Media Stories for Financial Institutions

Here are a few financial brands that are successfully utilizing social media:


Nearly a third of its investors are found through Facebook app ads, in addition, its Facebook page.


Bank of America

It is leveraging Pinterest to reach its ideal market group – young adults experiencing their “financial firsts.” This has led them to contact nearly six million people.



Don’t be afraid to experiment with other social networks. Twitter and Facebook are great, but you have to go where ever your target audience socializes. Bank of America looked to Pinterest to help promote its Better Money Habits site, which targets individuals going through “financial firsts,” which is a big subject for millennials. With 34% of its users between the ages of 18 and 29, this pairing wasn’t an accident.

Bank of America created boards for different life moments, like buying a home and travel plans. The company filled each with relevant Pins that directed viewers to educational content on the campaign’s website. In less than five months, Better Money Habits reached nearly 6 million people and generated more than 29,000 saves.

Going Beyond Social Strategy

Nearly 75% of adults use social media, but only 27% of companies have a social media plan. Develop yours today to reach consumers, just remember that it is a marketing strategy and will require continuous maintenance.

Bring in your team members to discover how they utilize social media. Utilize their experiences to craft a unified policy that ensures a positive and uniform online presence that benefits your marketing strategy. It is easier to eliminate issues once you have a plan for success in place.