The Financial Conduct Authority’s Twitter account @TheFCA, with more than 36,000 followers, is designed to be an authoritative, timely source of information about the regulator. With a target audience of 56,000 regulated firms, financial services customers and the media, the FCA uses social media to inform and lead the debate about the work it does. Every year it adapts its Twitter approach in response to user feedback.
For its sixth year, the FCA built on its previous approach of signposting announcements and key messages. It identified priority communications, such as a Mission consultation and the appointment of a new chief executive, Andrew Bailey, as opportunities to amplify messages with more visual elements, such as graphics and native video.
The regulator created the ‘rule of three’ with all posts performing at least one of three functions: linking to the FCA website, promoting a key message and visual optimisation. When Bailey was appointed, the FCA used native video to showcase his arrival. Using subtitles ensured accessibility and aligned with the user trend of viewing video without sound.
The team also created a new social content calendar that ensured messages coordinated with a wider publishing schedule so that content could be repurposed for multiple posts on a topic. Creating popular industry hashtags, such as #financialaccess and #missionfca, encouraged conversations at events.
Between 1 April 2016 and 31 March 2017, @TheFCA released more than 800 posts about its mission and policy statements, #ScamSmart campaign and CSR activities. These were viewed more than 5.4 million times, up 50 per cent, with 64,588 engagements (up 38 per cent). The account also grew its following by one fifth.
Several trends emerged from its new activities. The regulator learned that infographics increase engagement; three of its six most popular posts were infographics. Native video, such as Periscope, also drove views. Its 21 native videos generated 14,867 media views. Its #ScamSmart campaign was among several that proved successful, generating almost 720,000 views from 68 tweets. The FCA even trended on Twitter, with its #financialaccess hashtag.
The judges felt the FCA had made ‘great strides’ and generated high levels of engagement for subjects that could be deemed dry. They also recognised the sensitivities and restrictions on a regulator, but felt that the work demonstrated an open and accessible approach. ‘Great demonstration of results,’ they said.