Social media compliance means ensuring that your company's marketing content across social media channels follows the rules and regulations set by the government. This includes industry-specific regulations, such as those for financial services, as well as regulations specific to consumer protection. Just like any other consumer-facing channels, marketers using social media must understand these regulations and abide by compliance obligations.
What are some of the regulations around social media compliance?
The same regulations apply on social media as they would for the web, email, call center, and messages, such as UDAAP (Unfair, Deceptive or Abusive Acts and Practices). For financial institutions, this also includes those set forth by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), State AGs, and other regulatory bodies.
With the recent rise in popularity of social media, truth in advertising laws play a huge role in social media marketing compliance. Federal law says that ads must be truthful and not misleading, no matter where they appear. The FTC's Endorsement Guides provides guidance on how to properly disclose material connections between advertisers and endorsers.
Even more recently, the FTC released a new guide, Disclosures 101 for Social Media Influencers, that outlines the dos and don'ts for those advertising on social media. A few key points:
- Material connections include any financial, employment, personal or family relationships with the brand-any and all of these must be disclosed
- Use clear and unambiguous language with proper hashtags (#sponsored, #ad)
- Make disclosures hard to miss (i.e. "above the fold")