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Doing Social Business Right: Being Effective and Compliant

Recently LIMRA hosted a webinar which contained some valuable tips on how to be both effective and compliant while using social media for business.  At the heart of the presentation were two key points:  First, whether you know it or not, you ARE on social networks, so there’s nothing to be gained by waiting.  Second, the heart of compliance is management driven policies and procedures designed to empower employees.

Webinar leaders were Edgar Rodriguez, EVP, Distribion, Inc., Chad Bockius, CEO, Socialware, and Stephen Selby, Director of Regulatory Services, LIMRA.  The opening section emphasized the point that we have made elsewhere that consumers are using the new media to put themselves in control of marketing and  customer service.  Further, whether and organization is involved in social media or not, it is highly likely that both its customers and employees are using social media to discuss business related issues and possibly the organization itself.

With regard to employees, the webinar leaders point out that under current regulations, the employing organization is likely liable for employees’ posts on social media regarding its business.  Further, the webinar leaders stress that the environment is likely to get more complex.

So what should an organization do?  First, it is important for senior managers to realize that if the organization is not part of social media conversation, it has no chance to control it. This relates to the impact of corporate culture and the alignment of strategies to actions we have discussed before.  Senior management have to be fully engaged to get this done right.

Next, the organization needs to put policies, procedures and training in place to help it employees understand the importance of proper social media use.  For insurance brokers,  the IIABA/ACT website contains sample policies and procedures for social media use.

Of course, setting policies is just the beginning, but engaging employees is a good beginning.  And being open to the conversation can open new doors. plans to offer additional resources on this topic.  Stay tuned.

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