The Key To Social Media Success In Regulated Industries

by Jason Falls |

If you were following along at the old personal blog last week, you know I visited Bangalore, India. There I spoke to a global conference about social media in regulated industries.

My talk dove a bit deeper into the subject matter than I have before and while the research and topic was fresh on my mind, I thought it appropriate to share a takeaway I distilled out of all the preparation work. There emerged for me a common thread in analyzing industries like banking/finance, health care, pharmaceuticals, non-health-related insurance, firearms, tobacco, alcohol and publicly traded companies.

The problem marketers and companies have with social media for regulated industries is not tied up in the regulations and laws that need to be followed, it’s taking the time to develop policies and procedures that achieve social media marketing efforts while embracing the rules.

Social Media Policy Templates - Social Media Policies ToolkitI’ve said before that good attorneys don’t just say, “No!” They find a way, within the rules, to say, “yes.”

No is easy. No doesn’t take effort. Yes, on the other hand, means someone will have to research. Someone will have to write. Someone will have to educate and train the staff. Someone will be accountable.

The next time you’re facing a skeptical executive or suspicious attorney, keep that in mind. You are making them work. Illustrate ways the rules can be followed but you can still have your idea. Blog comments bother them? Write an air-tight moderation policy and procedure. Real-time interactions without filtering bother them? Propose the PR or legal team member who is enthusiastic about social media be responsible for immediate responses until they’re more comfortable with you doing it.

Better yet, unless your audience is inordinately engaged in Twitter, that the real-time platforms like it off the table and baby step your way to that point down the road.

Remember, it’s not the rules that are hard on you. It’s the willingness to work to find a path to performance within them.

True? Not so? The comments are yours.

NOTE: Policies toolkit advertisement is an endorsed product of Social Media Explorer. It is an affiliate link. Enter “SMEVIP” to receive $50 off.

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About the Author

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for Elasticity, one of the world's most innovative digital marketing and public relations firms. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).