David Lykken: The dangers of social media

by MPA15 May 2014
By David Lykken
Special to MPA

The way human beings have communicated with one another has changed dramatically in the past through years with the advent of social media. The conversations that used to occur at the bar or coffee house are now being published on the Internet. People are sharing text, photos, and videos about their lives--sometimes without thinking about how that content may affect their image.
As with all other businesses, mortgage lenders want to ensure that their companies' reputations are maintained across all media. When mortgage professionals share inappropriate content on social networking sites like Facebook, it can very quickly come back to paint the professional's organization in a negative light.
Of course, organizations want to give their employees the freedom to express themselves on their own time, so how do we find balance in determining how mortgage professionals should be allowed to use the social web? Obviously, anything an employee does can always be tied back to the company he or she works for. But, I think the most obvious first step is to ensure that employees don't associate what they do online with their employers.
If they're going to be using social networking sites to share material that isn't appropriate for work, encourage your employers to remove references to their employer in their bios. Suggest that they add a disclaimer such as, "All opinions are my own." Just tell them to be smart about it. It's always better safe than sorry.
David Lykken is 40-year industry veteran who has been an owner operator of three mortgage banking companies and a software company. As co-founder and Managing Partner of Mortgage Banking Solutions, David consults on virtually all aspects of mortgage banking with special emphasis executive leadership development, corporate strategic direction and implementation as well as mergers & acquisitions. A regular contributor on CNBC and Fox Business News, David also hosts a successful weekly radio program called “Lykken On Lending” (www.LykkenOnLending.com) that is heard each Monday at noon (Central Standard Time) by thousands of mortgage professionals. Recently he started producing a 1-minute video called “Today’s Mortgage Minute” that appears on hundreds of television, radio and newspaper websites daily across America.