Our society is plugged in 24/7. Did you know 72% of millennials take their "friends " (read: social networks) opinions into account when making purchase decisions, which also holds true for 41% of older consumers. They trust the opinions offered by those in their social networks. However many of our mortgage lenders don't have the needed digital skills in their wheelhouse.
One million new active mobile social users are added each day. That means 12 new people every second get connected via social media platforms. As an industry we have yet to leverage social media to its fullest. We haven't trained our teams how to engage on social media with our customers and our partners. Many don't know where to start and if it worth the time and effort. When done right, social media provides loan officers with valuable touch points with their Realtors, builders and customers.
How can we help our teams leverage social media to improve their business and spend more time making personal connections with realtors, builders and customers? Three words: Content. Connection. Conversation.
As mortgage lenders engage in social media, there are creative ways to create social media content that resonate with home buyers and loan officers, while meeting compliance requirements. Before the first post is made, think about the channels you are going to use--Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram--and what resonates with each of those audiences and how you plan to bring the content to life through photos or videos.
Here are few ideas to get you started on the type of content you may want to use: customer testimonials, company news, industry articles, seasonal tips for homeowners, charity events, new hires, local real estate news. Think about how you can use your content to provide relevant and interesting information to your current customers, prospective customers and clients.
One of the greatest assets of social media is the ability to create an online community. As you develop your content, think of it in ways that create and/or deepen a connection with customers before, during and after their loan. Create your social platforms as a resource for them and their friends. Empower your customers to share their positive experiences which will help your referral base grow.
Leverage connections with your real estate partners. Think of ways to co-develop content with your partners in the industry and share on both of your social platforms. This will help strengthen your relationship with your partners and provide your networks with valuable information that keeps the lines of communication open during all stages of a client's life cycle .
As you think about your strategy it is important to remember that social media is not an email blast, or one-way exchange but a conversation. Think about in in thirds--one-third of original content you've written, created or curated; one-third of content sharing content from those in your network; and one-third engagement with your community.
You may be wondering, "how do I even start a conversation?" It goes back to your content ideas. Ask a question, share a post from a partner, answer a question. Make sure that you always answer any direct questions on your social media channels in order to stay in control of the conversations on your pages.
Social media is no longer a "nice to have" in our industry. Maximizing social media is a competitive advantage. By thinking about content, connection and conversation, mortgage lenders can strategically invest their time for maximum return, resulting in a positive digital footprint to reach a broader audience and increase their mortgage business.
Article by Christy Soukhamneut published in Mortgage Bankers Association.
May 19, 2017