You Cannot Be Serious! 48 Hour Service Level Agreement on Tweet Approval

Do you think a company with a 48 hour turn around on Tweet Approval really “gets” social.

Social media is spontaneous. It’s one of the reasons for the name “social”.

48 Hour Service Level Agreement on Tweet Approval

I’ve described Twitter as chatting in a gigantic and crowded virtual pub. In a social setting you have spontaneous conversations in real-time.

Imagine for a moment you were in a real pub enjoying a pint. Someone approaches you and asks you a factual question about your product or your company. Would you reply straight away assuming you knew the answer?

Or would you say you’ll get back to them in 48 hours once the marketing, compliance and legal teams approve your answer.

Most would reply straight away. Why should social media be any different?

Chatting to a colleague from another financial services provider recently we got talking about marketing and social media. He told me his company operated a 48 hour Service Level Agreement on tweet approval.

I had to ask him to repeat himself.

Again he said his company operated a 48 hour Service Level Agreement on Tweet approval.

First the marketing team would check out the language making sure it was “on brand”. Then someone from legal gives it the once over. Finally compliance ensures adherence to the FCA rules and signed off  the Tweet along with documentation.

Processes like this exist for marketing literature with good reason. But for a Tweet? Couldn’t they have at least introduced a fast track lane?

The SLA means they can plan Tweets for a specific time, say for a product launch. But the process cripples spontaneity.

Is this risk aversion or good business sense? I would argue they should replace the Marketing and Legal checks for good old-fashioned common sense. Then simply be aware of the implications of the FCA rules to make sure you don’t promote a product or give advice.

Tweeting the benefits of a specific product without being able to consider the downside or include risk warnings is against the rules. So don’t tweet these with less regard for compliance issues than you would with your website.

This doesn’t stop you from commenting on issues. Warning about deadlines. Or suggesting that it’s wise to insure your sources of income as part of financial planning.

Let’s not use “regulation” as an excuse not to engage in social media. Don’t use it as a cover for not being on social media. Use the FCA compliance guidelines as far as possible and then use your intuition and common sense.

Now it’s your turn:

You can find more information about Compliance and Twitter in my Twitter Guide for Financial Services Professionals. For a copy just use the subscription form above. Do you agree with my views on this subject? Please leave a comment or a link to your own article.