Maintaining an active presence on social media is all but critical in today’s digital era, especially for businesses that thrive on building and sustaining relationships.
Ask any marketer and they will tell you the critical role that social media plays in connecting and engaging with customers. The mortgage industry should be no different, especially among loan officers who are looking to build their brand, create value and engage borrowers.
According to information presented at a Mortgage Bankers Association conference, only 20–30% of loan officers are considered “highly active” on social media nationwide. This presents a significant opportunity to leverage these viable platforms to reach new prospects.
While it’s important to consider the differences between using social media professionally to promote a brand and/or organization and using it for personal reasons, creating your professional presence doesn’t have to be complicated. There are some key principles loan officers should consider when developing a productive, manageable social media presence.
Whether you’re a social media rookie or an experienced pro, it is important to start by checking your company’s social media policy to understand any guidelines your leadership has defined, due to the various risks involved. It is a federal recommendation that companies maintain social media policies that address compliance demands and support healthy online reputations. You may be surprised by what you learn—especially if there is a policy in place that prohibits social media engagement.
Once you get the “all clear” on your company’s specific policy, it’s time to determine the kind of content you want to make available. This part may seem overwhelming and you may question where to start. We recommend beginning by defining your goals. Do you plan to share knowledge to showcase your expertise? Perhaps your customers are raving about you online and you want to share their success stories? What tools and resources are at your disposal that set you apart from the competition? Once you have clear objectives, determining your content should come easily.
Regardless of the type of content you share, your messaging should be centered on establishing meaningful connections. After all, you are online to build a network rooted in trust and credibility! Coupling either original or sourced content with a friendly message can ultimately help you drive more business and reach your sales goals.
Here are a few tips that will be helpful to your social media networking and engagement efforts:
- You can’t go wrong with educating the consumer. Substantive articles, home-buying tips, and relevant current events from credible media outlets will help you build rapport. Make it easy for your followers to collect information from a single source: you.
- To have the greatest possible reach, post your content across multiple social media platforms. According to a recent Pew Research Social Media Fact Sheet, the most popular social websites are YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Each of these platforms offers unique value to customers, so its beneficial to under the pros and cons of each platform.
- Volume, volume, volume. Ensure visibility of your content by posting often. Avoid posting information that is not valuable just for the sake of posting, but rather, use variations of your previous posts. Test your message and associated images to see what best resonates with your audience. Information is readily accessible through social media, so don’t let your content get lost in the noise.
As with anything, the key to social media success is a research, commitment and thoughtful planning. The only way to grow your presence and build a credible brand through social media is to make it a priority.
Whether you’re a newly licensed loan officer who is just beginning to explore the social media landscape, or a seasoned veteran who wants to maximize digital opportunities, be sure to have a plan that incorporates the basics. If you master the art of providing value without selling, you’re sure to find success.
Black Knight offers a social media marketing app that is free to properly licensed mortgage loan originators (MLOs). Available on iTunes and Google Play, this intuitive app makes it easy to post personalized content to all of today’s most popular social networking channels. In addition, MLOs can seamlessly connect to meaningful content and share RSS news feeds, reviews and corporate-sponsored content with their prospective borrowers. Social media is one of the most powerful business development channels available to loan officers. Download your free social media productivity app now to grow your presence, turn engaged prospects into clients—and win more business.