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Safeguarding Social during COVID-19

April 3, 2020

We’ve all seen the myths – many of us (author included) have fallen for them. Hold your breath for 10 seconds and you don’t have the coronavirus. Hand dryers kill the virus… garlic kills the virus. So many that the WHO has a dedicated myth-busting page.

In highly fluid, turbulent times, the risk of misinformation is heightened. We’re increasingly susceptible to both consuming and spreading content with misinformation. Social media and other client engagement channels are the front lines of this issue. For our customers, it’s critical to be proactive and provide a steady drip of updates to keep clients continuously informed. However, financial institutions need to ensure what goes out is both accurate and representative of a firm’s view.

To address these challenges, Hearsay’s compliance team has proactively built protective measures. For one, we’ve built a lexicon designed to identify, prevent and track particularly sensitive communications related to COVID-19. This offers a scalable, intelligent defence layer for your teams on the front lines of compliance, so your supervisors can focus on the highest-risk violations. And by capturing this information, business and compliance leaders can better understand how their field is operating amidst the pandemic and better assess the overall impact their efforts may have on policies, accounts, holdings and more.

Beyond suffering reputational and firm risk, spreading misinformation can put your clients and professionals at risk and contribute to broad hysteria. So how can we defend against this while keeping critical channels like social open to engaging clients and prospects?

  • Implement Safeguards. Leverage a dedicated lexicon in your supervision process to quickly identify and review client engagements that focus on COVID-19. This will help surface the most sensitive of communications, and offer your compliance teams the chance to review and remediate if necessary. We’ve built a COVID-19 lexicon that amplifies our Risk Meter and AI-powered alert system to surface and remediate risky posts for our customers. Together these tools offer better coverage and defense against digital risk while reducing the risk of misinformation on social, websites, and texting by focusing supervision on the most critical areas.
  • Stay on Top of the Data. By tracking COVID-19 communications, leadership has a direct view into field engagement insights in this environment. The information being shared can have material impact on their business going forward – it could impact renewal rates, coverage terms, portfolios, and client satisfaction. This is a time to dig deeper into the data to facilitate best behaviors and practices that drive loyalty.
  • Promote Trusted Sources. In addition, we recommend organizations build out their social content libraries with easy-to-share, trusted content with messaging from the corporate team or from a trusted senior official. Since this is the primary news topic, it’s also a great time to source third-party content from trusted industry sources. Hearsay offers curated content to our customers as well as offers the ability to “whitelist” – or trust – specific domains so you can more effectively source accurate, reliable content.
  • Adapt Quickly. Developments – both market and cultural – are extremely fluid during these times. Content that was suitable yesterday may not be today, and may even appear out of touch or insensitive. For instance, customers of ours had March Madness and spring break vacation posts planned. Hearsay’s Dynamic Campaigns allow for content to be quickly removed, affecting all subscribers and ensuring inappropriate content is removed.

Overall, encourage your teams to communicate openly with clients. It’s critical for advisors to proactively and immediately reach out to reassure clients that they have a firm grasp on their financial goals and are monitoring the situation. But protect them and your firm – ensure you have the tools and processes in place to quickly identify and effectively remediate any problematic communications.

William Warren

Product Marketing Manager

William Warren is part of Hearsay's product marketing team, focusing on bringing a financial services perspective to our advisor-client engagement platform.

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