March 1

Social Media Compliance Best Practices

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A lot of agents struggle with figuring out how to maneuver social media compliance, and what they should post on their social media accounts and agency pages. Let's go through some things for you to keep in mind.

Quality vs Quantity

Quality vs. Quantity

There is a balance when it comes to social media. Some people will tell you to push out as much content as you can in order to reach the largest amount of people. Keep in mind that you are also selling yourself and your company through these posts, so it is important to look professional and credible or there will be little benefit to your efforts. You want to post a lot, but only if you are providing value to the reader.

This is where you work on your balance

Spending a few weeks perfecting a video will only put you behind in your work. Focus on making sure that what you are saying is valuable and you can work on the quality of your video as you get more comfortable. Don't let the quality of the picture or sound hold you back from giving that information to your customers.

Balance of Quality vs. Quantity

What I would recommend is getting out and trying to answer as many questions as you can with the best quality possible. You don't want to get stuck saying "This video looks terrible and decide not to post it because the content could really help someone. 

If you are getting stuck on how to make your video look or sound better, reach out to us at TMG and we can help you make the process easier.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Is your content adding value to your brand or your clients?
  • Does your video or text support your image and brand identity?
  • Is the video high enough quality to post or should I reshoot it?

Don't worry about metrics at the beginning. Focusing on establishing brand identity and getting your voice out there. The more content you post, the greater chance someone will find your page. Once you are established on social, you should then start worry about how your content and posts are performing.

Learn from analytics

Look at the analytics on your posts, see what kind of content is doing the best, and then do more of that. Through this process, you will get a better idea of what constitutes a "quality" post. There are general checkpoints to meet such as shoot in a quiet place with a professional environment in the background, speak clearly into the microphone, and make sure the video is clear.

Outside of these basic checkpoints, the definition of "quality" changes from person to person. Some techniques may work for one person, but not work for another. Trial and error is an important part of social. You're not always going to get it right the first time. The more you post, the more you will learn more about what makes a quality post for you. 

If your customer is asking you a question on the phone, think about how many people are searching for that same answer online. Get that answer on video and post it!

Kevin Smith

Compliance on Social Media

Getting content out is important, but if your content is not compliant, then you will have bigger issues than whether or not you are reaching enough people on social or posting enough. 

We know there are a lot of things that go into posting content on social media, but compliance is something that you need to make you that you don't overlook. 

Content Review - Social Media Compliance

Top 4 things to keep in mind when posting:

  • Privacy and data security
  • Confidentiality
  • Marketing claims
  • Access and archiving

When dealing with Insurance, you have to take into account insurance carriers, FMO's, clients, and other insurance agents, each with a different set of expectations and regulations. For example, certain insurance carriers want you to post the exact information that they send you and include their logo. Others give you the liberty to rewrite or only include some information while still referencing them. With others, if you make original content about their company or use their logo for anything, you will need to get approval from them before posting, thus greatly slowing down the process. 

Obviously, sharing confidential information on social media is not acceptable (or legal). In short, you must keep client information in the strictest confidence. You cannot share information or photos without explicit consent.

If you use social media for insurance, you likely have compliance officers in your upline. Utilize these compliance experts. They should be your go-to resource for any questions about what you can (and can’t) do on your social channels.

Your FMO compliance officers have the latest information on compliance requirements. You have the latest information on available social tools and strategies. When the compliance and marketing departments work together, you can maximize the social benefits for your brand.

Do

  • If you direct the consumer to call a phone number, you must clearly indicate that the phone number will direct the individual to a licensed agent/broker (when applicable)
  • From October 1st to December 31st, you may display information and materials relevant to next year’s plans. Any website displaying plan information or materials must be approved prior to use
  • Comply with the requirements in this checklist and any other CMS requirements
  • Ensure all materials and information are related to current year plans.
  • Ensure you have written approval from all carriers before using on your website(s)

Don't

  • Ask for any health information, including (but not limited to) pre-existing medicare conditions, weight or tobacco use, age or date of birth (you may ask if they are Medicare Eligible)
  • Ask for any beneficiary identification numbers, including (but not limited to) Social Security Number, Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN), Medicaid Identification numbers
  • Ask for beneficiary financial information, including, but not limited to credit card numbers, income, resource limits
  • Ask for referrals from beneficiaries via your website or offer enrollment into an MA, MA-PD, or PDP plans directly from your website
  • Use the word “free” when referring to Medicare plan benefits
  • Display any benefit and cost-sharing information prior to October 1st for the next year’s plans. If you are displaying benefits of any kind on your website, it must be approved by CMS prior to use. Benefit information includes, but is not limited to plan premiums, copays, and deductibles
  • Inaccurately identify or refer to a Medicare Supplement plan as a MA, MA-PD, or PDP plan
  • Use absolute superlatives when referring to plans (e.g., “best”, “lowest”, “highest-ranked”, “rated # 1”) or stating you represent “all plans” in a given area
  • Claim you or a specific plan/carrier are recommended or endorsed by CMS, Medicare, or the Department of Health and Human Services
  • Charge any fee for providing information about MA, MA-PD, and PDP plans

Easy Compliance Rules to Follow

  1. 1
    If you are mentioning a carrier or using their logo, you must submit the content to your regional sales rep to get it approved. Some carriers have the option to submit marketing through their portal, otherwise you will just have to email it to your Carrier RSD or send it to your Upline.
  2. 2
    Sell yourself and your experience. You shouldn't run into any compliance issues by telling people what you do and why you do it for your community. 
  3. 3
    Stay away from marketing Medicare Advantage on social media. Yes, you can tell people you work in the Medicare Advantage space, but say no more unless you run it through the compliance process first.

As always, if you have any specific compliance questions, feel free to reach out to us at 888-622-9122 and someone from our Agent Support or Digital Marketing team will be happy to work with you.

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