Late last year the FFIEC released their findings and guidelines for credit unions and social media use. A key finding was the need for consideration around social media monitoring. While the regulatory concerns that come with the financial industry add their own ingredients to the online mix, monitoring should be high on your list regardless of regulation in an industry.
Protecting brand identity and preventing fraud
Without monitoring your brand on social and online media you run the risk of damage to your brand authority or fraud across both social and online presences. There are several ways credit unions can accomplish brand monitoring on social and online media. In this series we'll look at both native and non native tools to help tackle monitoring. In this post we'll discuss the native tools available from internet platforms that can go a long way in monitoring your credit union and protecting your brand and preventing fraud.
Online brand protection
For online protection of your brand identity and preventing fraud starting with google alerts for your brand, your key executives, and key products is a must.
Enter your search query and choose what kind of results. For brand, I always choose everything and set the frequency to daily. As you set up your alerts, you'll want to play with frequency and the kind of results you're getting. It can become overwhelming so I'll usually set up a folder and an email rule for the alerts so they are delivered to the folder and have a time every day where I review them.
Social media monitoring
First things first with social media. Make sure you've secured your brand on, at the minimum, the major social networks. Even if you don't have a strategy. At least squat your brand name so someone else doesn't claim it.
When it comes to monitoring, the three biggest things I'll look at are brand mentions, sentiment and similarities/competitors.
Brand mentions are any time someone mentions your brand name or a variant of it. It's important you have someone look at the variants as well because it's unlikely (unless you're a company like Ford or Apple) that 1.) you're always going to have secured exactly your brand and 2.) every social media user is going to mention your brand exactly the way you want. When you're looking at brand mentions you're looking for two things, sentiment (which we'll discuss in a second) and false accounts and interactions, people who are pretending to represent your brand.
Sentiment simply refers to whether or not the overall tone of the social interaction is positive, negative or neutral. Think of it as a thermometer to let you know if a situation is getting out of control. It helps you triage situations around your brand on social networks. There are a lot of sentiment analysis tools that you can pay for, but some of the social networks have native sentiment analysis that we'll discuss in a bit.
Keeping an eye on competitors is key. Outside of the strategic importance of knowing what they're up to, how it affects your brand is important too. Making sure they aren't engaged in an assault on your brand or spreading false information. Also, watching for similar accounts. Again, because you can't always get the exact social account you want, keeping an eye on how accounts that are similar to yours are behaving is important especially if they start to behave like a competitor. In other words, do they start to try to pass themselves off as offering the same products and services as you or as an employee at a branch? If so, you have a problem with false representation.
The Native Search Tools available
In this part of our series we'll look at the native search functionality within the major social networks: Twitter, Facebook and Google+ and look at some of the uses as they fit in the goals outlined above for monitoring a credit union online.
Twitter:Twitter's advanced search has robust capabilities to allow you to search words and phrases, to and from accounts, mentions of accounts, and an entry into sentiment analysis.
Uses: Twitter's advanced search allows you to fulfill all of your goals monitoring brand mentions, sentiment and similar accounts/competitors. As a tip, keep a spread sheet of the similar accounts you discover and add them to a twitter List so you can monitor them more easily without having to conduct a search every time.
Facebook: Last year Facebook announced its graph search. As this search ability rolls out it will allow you to type in the search about a query for just about anything across Facebook. In an instant you can find all [Posts about MyCreditUnion] or [Posts written at my MyCreditUnion] with the latter allowing for almost instant monitoring.
Uses: With the graph search you can monitor your brand mentions, see what others are saying about you and make sure no one is posing as your brand.
Google+: Google+ search behaves, not surprisingly, like Google search. At the top of a Google+ profile in the search bar you can search across Google+ community and Google in general. As you enter a query you'll see an auto-response on results for what Google thinks you're seeking across G+ pages, communities and posts. Similarly how you use Google alerts to monitor your brand, executives etc. However, Alerts should pick up mentions in Google +.
Uses: Google + search gives you an instant look at what's happening in Google's social network. Use it to monitor brand mentions on pages, in comments and communities.
If you aren't monitoring start now
With all the tools made available natively by the platforms we use online and socially there is no reason to not start monitoring your brand today. In the next post we'll look at some of the tools outside of the platforms themselves to help credit unions tackle the social and online brand monitoring and fraud prevention concerns of 2014.