Staying Compliant on Social Media
Staying Compliant on Social Media
June 18th, 2019
For mortgage companies, social media is a form of advertising or marketing and is used to reach potential borrowers. Ultimately, reaching your borrowers online through social media platforms can be a more effective way to increase mortgage closings. Also, once you’ve turned a prospective homebuyer into a borrower with a pleasant experience, they are likely to share their experience on social media which will increase referrals. Therefore, social media can be a great benefit to your mortgage company; the trick is to follow compliance standards.
Even with all of these advantages, it’s important to recognize that there are a great deal of regulatory standards in the mortgage industry that come along with marketing on social media. Mortgage companies are feeling pressured to stay in compliance with Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) requirements, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) / Federal Communication Commission (FCC) guidelines, and many more requirements when posting on social media. Social media compliance typically includes things such as usage guidelines, content standards, and information security.
Implementation of a Risk Management Program
It is imperative for each company to have a risk management program. More specifically, you need a risk management program in place to identify, measure, and monitor risks that come with the usage of social media in the mortgage industry. Typically, mortgage companies employ a risk management program ran by a board of directors. There should be proper guidelines and procedures to ensure that your team is staying compliant with rules in place. Therefore, this team will be able to help maintain compliance on all social media platforms.
What do they do?
Part of the risk management protocol would include compliance and audit reviews of the social media platforms your company is using. Auditing is important when it comes to social media usage so that you are able to track your posts, and ultimately stay organized. As we know, an inappropriate post on your social media can be a compliance nightmare, and can also put a bad label on a company. An inappropriate post would most likely be in violation of compliance standards and might also even lead to legal actions. With proper risk management guidelines in place, a lender should be able to avoid this problem all together, but will be able to mitigate the damage quickly and effectively if something were to occur.
Where to Start?
- Identify the sources of exposure
- Who is posting? Who is representing your company on social media?
- What types of posts are they making?
- When are they posting?
- What platform are the posts located on?
- Document all possible risks such as compliance, legal, operational, or reputational risks
- Devise proper protocol procedures for noncompliance
- Monitor social media sights and form audits.
With this process in place, your company will be fully prepared, and you will avoid any mishaps online! It is important to have a full understanding of your company’s risks when it comes to compliance on social media. With that being said, if you’re unsure about a post, contact your legal team to ensure that each guideline is followed. Overall, as long as a loan officer and the rest of their team follow the rules, marketing on social media will prove to be beneficial for everyone involved.