Businesses in the mortgage and financial industries that commit social media compliance infractions face a number of issues including legal and regulatory concerns, loss of consumer trust, and deterioration of brand reputation. These businesses simply cannot afford to make mistakes in regard to regulatory compliance. In the ever-changing landscape of the web, avoiding social media compliance mistakes can be difficult; employees may unintentionally break from corporate and regulatory policy, and companies may not have the resources or tools to manage their digital presence effectively. Here, we’ll outline four major digital compliance mistakes that are common in mortgage companies and explain what your organization can do to prevent them.
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Online compliance monitoring is the process of ensuring that all online properties relating to corporate brands are following policies, procedures, and regulations. For companies in a regulated industry, it is a critical risk management practice governed by national and state laws and regulations.
When it comes to online compliance monitoring, most businesses focus on their corporate-owned active social media properties on major networks (such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter). But if you are a regulated business and only monitoring your corporate-owned social properties, you are placing your company at risk. And the risks can range from a simple statement of correction, to a fine, or even a major hit to brand reputation. Once a brand has experienced a reputation hit, regaining the trust of the customer is a difficult task that can take years.
So how do you ensure you are covering all of the pieces of the online compliance monitoring puzzle?
4 min read
Before we lay out steps to simplify social media compliance, let's first define it! If you are part of a risk management team in a regulated industry, such as the financial sector, the term "social media compliance" centers around regulatory requirements. But that is only one aspect of compliance. There are other aspects of compliance for both regulated and non-regulated companies.
Social media compliance is a discipline within a broader social media governance program. It is the practice of ensuring that all corporate policies, regulatory requirements, brand standards, and social media standards are implemented and adhered to on all social accounts across all networks. This practice is broader than just regulatory compliance. Sure, regulatory compliance is critical, but brand damage often occurs when other corporate compliance standards are not met. And a regulatory audit might produce a warning for compliance correction (or fine), where brand damage can cost you customers and sales.
Executives must understand that in today’s business landscape, strong social media compliance is not just a best practice, it is an essential part of corporate risk management.
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It's been almost two years since the FFIEC has issued its final guidance on social media for all businesses supervised by the CFPB. We've spent a lot of time talking about how regulated businesses can create social media governance programs and we've offered tips and ideas along the way for attaining social media compliance for mortgage companies.
In our blog post Social Media Compliance & Your Sales Team: 6 Steps to Success, we suggest a process to help secure compliance with your loan officers. Step number five of that process is to "train your sales staff". One of the best ways to train employees on social media compliance is to give them examples and guidelines on what, exactly, you would like them to do with their social media accounts!
Primary Residential Mortgage, Inc., one of Brandle's customers, has created Social Media Guidelines and Requirements for their loan officers to receive step-by-step instructions. The beauty of the document is that it is simple, gives an illustrated example for each approved social media site, and lists the compliance requirements on each page. PRMI is kind enough to let us share this "best practice" example of how to help loan officers with compliance and good brand standards! Perhaps it will help you with your training program for your "social sales team".
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In every industry, good sales and marketing professionals seek external data to support marketing ideas and business decisions. That is doubly true in a regulated industry, like financial services, where a decision could cost the company high compliance fines. So when external data is available, such as meaningful survey results showing social media industry trends, it's a great idea to leverage the findings to update, change, or confirm your existing social media programs.
Recently, Putnam Investments and Socialware conducted social media use surveys among advisors in financial services firms. In this article, I present highlights of the Putnam survey and more detail on the Socialware study.
The biggest data point from the Putnam Investment study that demonstrates why you should ramp up your social media program for advisors is:
- The share of advisors acquiring new clients through social media is up sharply to 79% (from 66% in 2014), with the average annual asset gain from these clients standing at $4.6 million.
The top findings in Socialware's Social Media Trends survey are:
- 48% of advisors are allowed to create their own social media posts, as well as share pre-approved content
- The top challenges center around social media risk management
- 39% of firms still have no ROI metrics to assess social media program success
We hope you find information in this article to help you navigate the chasm of corporate risk and build a bridge to social media success!
8 min read
One of the more difficult challenges for the corporate team responsible for social media governance is the task of monitoring the web presence activities of the sales team. The challenge is even greater when you have a distributed and large sales force. And if you are in a regulated industry (such as mortgage, finance, insurance, or pharma), the job is critical to the regulatory compliance of the company!
I recently got a call from one of our mortgage customers asking if I could recommend best practices to manage a distributed sales team so the company could demonstrate corporate-wide social media compliance. He commented that he felt like he was "herding cats". I was happy to guide him through the process I recommend and I thought others might benefit as well. Additionally, I get to use a photo of really cute kittens in a blog post (attentively gathered for training and monitoring).
In this article, I outline a sound process to help you manage web presence compliance for a social sales staff. Although I do highlight procedures for companies in regulated industries, these steps can be followed by any company so that you can get the most out of your social sales team while managing risks for your company.
As usual in business (and herding), it comes down to the adage, "Make the Plan....Work the Plan". Successful social media compliance is all about implementing best practices for governance, leveraging corporate brand marketing, and training your sales team how to "be social".
7 min read
If my headline caught your attention, then I'm betting you are responsible for advertising and social media compliance in a regulated business. You may be in the financial sector (a mortgage, securities, or banking company) or other regulated industry (like a pharmaceutical or medical business), but the challenge of selecting the right solution for your web and social media governance program is the same for everyone:
What tool do I need to achieve corporate web and social media compliance?
There are three tools you need to consider to run a good compliance process. Once you understand the web and social media tools landscape for regulated businesses, you will know which tool is your priority starting point.
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It’s always a challenge to keep up with the compliance issues, audits, examples, and trends that occur daily in each regulated industry. For the Mortgage Industry, I have a go-to source: Rob Chrisman’s Daily Mortgage News & Commentary blog. Because Brandle solves the challenges of social media risk management and social media compliance, I’m most interested in regulation and commentary around these topics. And when the topic is targeted specifically on social media compliance for mortgage companies, you know that the CFPB is part of the conversation!
In today’s post, Rob presented some interesting information on the CFPB and compliance regulation from an article written by Margaret Wright with CliftonLarsonAllen, LLP. The article was originally posted on Banker’s Advisory Compliance Monitor. This information has motivated me to ask our Mortgage customers: What is your corporate risk exposure regarding social media compliance and consumer complaints?
2 min read
Over the last 6 months we've seen several large enterprises make commitments to incorporate social media into their governance, risk and compliance (GRC) practices. As a result, digital teams are coming to us with mandates and deadlines to inventory, review and remediate their enterprise's global web and social footprint. This appears to be a harbinger of a sea change in how the C-suite addresses the risks and rewards of social media – in other words, social media governance.
6 min read
Your boss has just asked you to inventory all the social media accounts used across the enterprise. On the surface, enterprise social media account management may sound simple to your boss but you know it's nothing but.... That's because social media points-of-presence (POPs) can be created by anyone at any time without any form of control or oversight by you or your team.