Social media marketing isn’t the hot new thing anymore for most industries. There are, however, some segments of business that have been hesitant to dip their toes in the social media pool — heavily regulated industries. If you work for a business that needs to constantly worry about compliance, you may have avoided developing a social media strategy beyond “STAY OFF SOCIAL MEDIA.” Perhaps you should reconsider. Social media marketing can be an incredibly valuable tool, even if you work in a heavily regulated industry. Here are some tips to get you started.
Many real-world regulations apply online too.
Before we start to assuage some of your fears about social media, let’s acknowledge at least one: many real world regulations also apply online. If there is a piece of information you are not allowed to disclose publicly elsewhere, you certainly can’t do it on Facebook.
Think about how people think about your brand and adjust your strategy accordingly.
Let’s say for instance you work for a health insurance company. If you start a Facebook page, what kind of feedback do you think you will get from Facebook users? Probably complaints from people who were denied coverage. This might mean that Facebook or Twitter might not be the best place for your brand, but there may be other social networks, like LinkedIn that would work better for you.
Good customer service can be good marketing.
Or maybe Facebook and Twitter are exactly where you need to be. Many regulated businesses are viewed negatively by the public. There is one way to use popular social networks to your advantage in this regard: invest in great social media customer service. Cable companies are some of the most reviled businesses in America, but Comcast, for example, uses the Twitter handle @ComcastCares to seek out customer complaints and address them, turning their enemies into evangelists.
Professional social networks are a niche of social media where you absolutely need to have a presence. You must make sure that you are part of the conversation if people are talking about your industry. Also, as far as recruiting goes, you need to have a presence so that you can find the best prospective employees and so they can find you.
Create great free content.
If you haven’t heard, content is king. Create content that pertains to your industry that is engaging and entertaining. Even “boring” industries like accounting need great content. You could even create content, videos, blogs, etc. that deal with the trials and tribulations of working in a heavily regulated business.
Let’s say you work in a theoretical industry that is so heavily regulated that you cannot share any kind of information at all, even online. Even if such an industry existed, and you worked in it, you could still listen. Go online, go on social media, and find out what people are saying about you and your business. The insights you gain will be invaluable.