I am a huge fan of using social media in your compliance function. But how can you get your arms around how to structure such a program for your company?  After acknowledging that social media focuses on the social aspects of the communication, the most important thing to remember is that communication in social media is two-way; both inbound and outbound. It helps to bring your employee base together in an efficient manner to create an environment conducive to compliance for your organization. It also has the benefit of continued engagement. It is more than putting on training or even a set of initiatives; you can continue the conversation and enthusiasm about compliance going forward throughout the year. The authors break this down further into three parts that emphasize 1) the need to listen to and learn from user-generated content; 2) the need to engage and facilitate dialogue with employee innovators; and 3) to find an audience of early adopters to create excitement and collect feedback.

If your goal in the compliance function is to create awareness and publicize your compliance program and initiatives, social media can be a powerful tool. This is so paramount it should become a core activity of your compliance function. Using social media tools, your compliance function can not only tell the story of compliance but also communicate expectations and even train. Yet again it is simply more than a one-way tool. Just as employees are more apt to tell you about a concern immediately or soon after they have been trained on that issue; they may well communicate directly with you after having received a social media communication on subjects such as managing of third-party relationships.

CCOs and compliance practitioners need to develop a dedicated compliance strategy around social media in the context of your corporate objectives. It allows you a 360-degree view of compliance, through which you can take the input from your employee base and create a compliance experience that your employees will embrace.

 Three key takeaways:

  1. Never forget that social media is a two-way communication.
  2. Company employees are the customers of the compliance department.
  3. As with all compliance issues, assess what works for your company and tailor your social media approach appropriately.