Armed for the Wild, Wild West

SEP 12, 2013 6:55pm ET

In our last blog, we examined the social media culture in the mortgage industry. Comparable to the Wild Wild West, the WWW has become the modern western frontier, filled with bandits and cowboys running the town without a sheriff in sight. This was all until the FFIEC came to town and vowed to whip the frontier into shape. Your employees, not just your originators, are disguised as these bandits and cowboys. This is the cold truth: your employees control your company’s online reputation and yesterdaywas the day to act.

Trust, this exposé did not sit well with us at first. We spent weeks with our company’s general counsel, chief risk officer, head of compliance and multiple managers to discuss the severity of the situation. Let me save you the time, trouble and headache…to protect your company’s online reputation, you will need to be loaded for the shootout.

Naturally, being prepared to secure the Wild Wild West means you will need to be well-armed. Bringing a knife to a gunfight, or put simply, entering keyterms into Google in hopes of finding noncompliant activity, just won’t work. Here are three weapons of different firepower that your company can use to protect and discover compliant activity.

.22 Revolver = Hootsuite, SocialMention and TwentyFeet
There are numerous free and low cost tools you can use to measure your social media activity. These platforms, among many others, will allow you to collaborate with fellow teammates, schedule meetings and assign tasks to your team (Hootsuite), track and measure exactly who is talking about your company or any topic related to your industry (SocialMention) and lastly, aggregate your social media activity from various platforms so you can get the full picture of your online presence (TwentyFeet). These tools can get the job done but with limitations.

.223 Rifle = Konnect Social
If you’re lucky enough to have a team of marketing gurus (like myself), then the next sharpshooter I’d purchase is a social media monitoring software that your team would manage. This poses a huge benefit for many companies, as you’re able to tailor the reporting and functionality needs. Konnect Social is a unique platform that covers discussion forums, mainstream news, blogs and all social media platforms including YouTube and Google Plus. However, as mentioned previously, the gun is only as sharp as its shooter.

12 Gauge Shotgun = Radian6/Buddy Media, Engage 121, Hearsay Social
Originally created for nationwide franchises, these powerful tools allow brands to create templates for their franchisers, or in this case, branches. Buddy Media, operated by Radian6, Engage 121 and Hearsay Social are tools that allow the less knowledgeable managers utilize a template when setting up their Facebook page or a content library for approved, compliant Facebook Status Updates. Gone are the days of posting Facebook Status Updates without permission, these programs allow the admin to “approve” the status update before it’s published. Does the thought of an originator sending rates to a borrower via Facebook message make your skin crawl? These tools even allow the ability to monitor the private communication from a Facebook page.

David Zugheri is the co-founder of Houston-based Envoy Mortgage.

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