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THE RISKS OF PRE-APPROVING CONTENT
Okay, so maybe you're still thinking you want to pre-approve content. There are some downsides, including:
■ Unreal-time – The online conversation may have to be paused if an approval of content is needed first. Like the cocktail party example above – and perhaps your own experience when you're kept on hold – how would it make you feel about the firm or advisor if you asked a question and didn't get an answer right away? Would you want to reach out again? Would it affect your trust in them?
■ Impersonal – How do you react when you see, “We're sorry for the inconvenience”? Content developed and essentially cut and pasted can come across as canned and generic. It lacks authenticity.
■ Degrees of Separation – If content is created by folks who aren't close to the customer – an outside consultant, perhaps – this can also create issues; for example, an inability to give specific answers. There can be several degrees of separation between the author and the customer – and too many can just lead to a bad customer experience.
A STEPPING STONE: THE PROS OF PRE-APPROVING
Still, for a variety of reasons, pre-approving content might make sense. Perhaps you're a large bank with multiple employees in several divisions using social media, or a wealth division with hundreds or thousands of advisors. Pre-approval can allow you to group content by categories and give you a greater sense of control as you venture into social media.
For small firms, pre-approvals are uncommon since advisors generally serve as their own chief compliance officers (CCOs). But even those who have small staffs may want to pre-approve as employees get up to speed. Pre-approval generally takes two forms:
1. Employee-Driven Content – Employees or advisors create the content, and then it goes into a queue for vetting. Once approved, it can be scheduled for posting.
2. Company-Driven Content – The firm provides content without employee input. However, the company could hold a monthly content meeting to provide employees the opportunity to share what they think.
Bottom line, pre-approving can make perfect sense for companies who have not yet engaged in social media. Using this gradual approach to more real-time engagement can:
■ Help establish systems
■ Increase confidence by the compliance department
■ Develop a writing style and voice for social media
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