DiscoballIt is no secret that financial service firms have been hesitant to embrace social media. If the realm of social media were a dance floor, the financial industry would be a wallflower nervously tapping to the beat of social media, waiting to take the plunge. However, some financial firms have cautiously peeled themselves from the wall to join in the celebration. Included in this group is the financial firm Investec. Recognizing certain risks particular to the financial industry, Investec drafted a social media policy that addressed such issues while recognizing that it still had room to evolve its policy as well.

The core of Investec’s social media policy

Investec’s social media policy included three critical components: the appropriate use of social media, information security training, and monitoring social media. First, Investec included a ten-bullet-point guide detailing proper online behavior. This described what could and couldn’t be said online and what behavior was expected of employees. Second, Investec gave instructions concerning privacy settings of employees’ social media accounts during information security training in order to safeguard their private lives. Finally, Investec now employs monitoring technology that ensures that employee use of social media is not offensive or harmful to the company.

A still-evolving policy

This move by Investec is notable and reflects the financial industry’s trend of embracing social media in a measured fashion. Drafting a social media policy is quickly becoming an obligation of firms and not an extra safeguard, especially for those in financial services. However, David Cripps, the information security office at Investec, did admit one lingering issue his social media policy was yet not prepared to address: archiving and preserving social media interactions. According to Cripps, Investec does “not have the technology” to archive and record social media communications from customer-facing staff, meaning “therefore our policy dictates that no customer-facing staff may use social media.”

So while Investec has drafted a comprehensive social media policy, Cripp acknowledges that its work is not quite done. Many firms including Investec realize the regulatory and compliance restraints FINRA and SEC impose concerning social media recordkeeping and limit their social media exposure accordingly. However, the technology to successfully address these concerns is readily available in ArchiveSocial. A fully compliant, cloud-based, and cost-effective social media archiving solution, ArchiveSocial can help complete an airtight social media policy so financial firms can join the social media dance floor too.