The Chartered Insurance Institute has warned members whose social media accounts are linked to their professional organisation to ensure their posts are conducted in a professional manner.
In a 14-page guide, titled ‘Using social media professionally and safely’, the CII urges members to check their organisations social media policy, to align themselves with company values and be aware of any conflicts of interest when expressing personal opinions.
The guide also flags it isn’t just what you write or photos you post that could cause you problems with insurance and personal finance professionals being encouraged to fact and source check any content they wish to share.
Recommendations for what to do when a post generates a negative response and how the CII’s Digital Companion to the Code of Ethics could help ensure insurance and personal finance professionals don’t find their career cancelled due to a hasty Tweet are included in the guide, which can be found here: https://www.cii.co.uk/media/10127251/cii-using-social-media.pdf
Kathryn Knowles, managing director of Cura Financial Services and author of the guide’s foreword, said: “Financial services has always had the stereotype of being boring and full of middle-aged men. Social media allows us to show that this image is far from the truth. But even though it can be a wonderful place, it can also be negative.
“It’s easy to read a ‘tweet’ in an aggressive tone or write something in all innocence that is seen in a completely different context to what you intended. This can lead to anger and to-ing and fro-ing of point scoring, sometimes boiling into insults or more.
“It’s not nice when this happens, for anyone that is involved. It can change people’s perception of you and can potentially affect your professional image, and in more extreme cases your current and future work opportunities. It is great to see the CII putting together a social media guide, to help people within our sector to have more confidence in these platforms.”
Matthew Connell, director of policy and public affairs of the CII and Personal Finance Society, said: “Using social media can open a whole new world of opportunities but also places the user on an instantly exposed platform for the whole world to see.
“While corporate social media policies can help to navigate the purpose of a social media account, this is only beneficial in a professional capacity rather than a personal one. Users should feel able to be themselves online while remaining respectful of others. We hope our guide helps members feel empowered to make the most of social media.”