By Justin Stutz, Vice President Strategic Growth, WEST, a Williston Financial Group Company

You might think that social media and compliance can’t exist in the same world (or even the same sentence), however it doesn’t need to be that way. We can live in a world that leverages social media to build influence, create opportunities, AND comply with the various rules and regulations that govern our industry. 10 years ago, many companies prohibited the use of social media by employees over fears of compliance risks. We are now seeing this slowly change. If you are concerned about how to participate without landing in hot water read on.

Business vs Personal

First and foremost, we need to understand the difference between using social media for business vs personal use. In terms of being compliant we are mainly speaking about communications pertaining to conducting business. In these instances, you are representing a company and as such, you must follow you company’s current policies and procedures. On the basic level content pertaining to the business of a title insurer would be permitted, criticizing your competitors…not so much. Other ways to engage might be highlighting community service, office open house events, or happy buyers and sellers that just closed on their home. It’s like having a social media easy button to push.

Build Influence

One of the biggest opportunities for you on social media is to build influence. I’m not referring to Kylie Jenner Insta-famous influence, but rather having a voice that people listen to in your market. The key to social is having more conversations with more people and getting really comfortable with turning those conversations into opportunities. Here are some ready-made, proven tips on using social to build your local influence:

  1. Find your voice.Think about people that your follow in the media. Chances are that they have a unique voice and perspective. That is what makes them interesting and compelling. You are no different. Be authentic to who you are and you’ll attract like-minding people to add to your tribe.
  2. Interact with others.Social is a two-way conversation. Simply taking a few minutes out of your day to interact with your network will facilitate more conversations and turn into more opportunities.
  3. Humble brag about your company.These are easy ways to show that we are doing some cool stuff as a company without coming off as too braggy (which is lame).
  4. Leverage opportunities to tap into larger audiences.Find people in your market with different (larger) networks and look for ways to work together. Facebook live interviews, tagging, and speaking opportunities are great places to start.
  5. Align with local organizations.This is good for a couple of reasons. First, by tagging the organization in the post you are leveraging their network to expand yours. Secondly, it shows that you are a part of the community helping to make the place you live and work just a little bit better…I call that a win-win!
  6. Leave some room for the fun stuff.People do business with the people they know, like, and trust. Showing people your fun/non-business side helps solidify that you are someone they want to be around.

Using the tips above you’ll quickly see that social can be both compliant AND good for your business. At the end of the day trust your gut. When in doubt ask. And if you wouldn’t want your mother seeing it, don’t post it.