Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, Vine. The list goes on and on and on. And just when you think you’ve heard them all, another one pops up (Meerkat anyone?). Not only are there many networks, but each one is unique in how it works, what types of content you should share, and even the demographics of people who use it.
With all of these different variables, it can be mind-boggling for mortgage professionals to know which networks work best for their industry and clients. There will be some differences in which ones work best for your business depending on your target market and your ultimate goals. Let’s explore the most popular social media networks that work best for mortgage professionals as well as some ideas for each.
First up is the behemoth social media network: Facebook. Facebook is a great network for mortgage (and most industries) for a few reasons:
- Everybody and their mother is on it.
- They have a great platform for sharing multiple types of content.
- Their ads platform is great for reaching your target market.
The key to being successful on Facebook is to actually post interesting and unique content. You need to break through the white noise of boring, lame content and be the source of information. This means posting things that people can’t get anywhere else. Photos of YOU and YOUR BUSINESS. Videos from YOU and YOUR PARTNERS. Don’t just post a new CNN Money article everyday. As a consumer of content on Facebook, that’s not only boring, but I can get that content from.. well.. CNN Money!
Who’s On Facebook
You’ve probably heard people say, “Facebook is dead! Don’t waste your time.” Someone probably says this because their 15 year old son said that Facebook was so 2012. And in some respects, it’s true. Facebook is quickly losing steam with the younger generation. Facebook has simply gotten older over the past few years. In fact, the fastest growing demographic on Facebook in 2014 were people aged 65+. However, 87 percent of online adults aged 18-29 still use Facebook, according to Pew Research Center.
Stand Out on Facebook
Another reality that you will have to deal with on Facebook is engagement. Engagement refers to the number of people who see, click, read, like, share, or comment on your posts. It’s hard to get your stuff seen on Facebook, let alone for people to actually interact with it. And for good reason.
Think about how many friends you have on Facebook. I have 1,202. Now think about pages you like. I like 401. Imagine if Facebook fed me every piece of content from every one of those people and pages. It would be a madhouse. Because of this, Facebook has an algorithm that filters out only the most relevant content to display in my news feed. And quite frankly, I’m glad.
So what do you do to stand out on Facebook? Here are some ideas I have that I like to share with my clients.
- Create great content. The first and most important thing (which bears repeating) is to create great content. Great content is much easier to engage with than crappy content, right? It’s so simple we often forget this. Take time to create something that’s worth your followers’ time. If it took you 30 seconds to find, copy, and repost, it’s probably not a winner (with exception, of course).
- Let your team know about it. The best people who can share your stuff is your team—it’s important to them, too! Make sure everyone knows about new posts as they happen (at least the most important ones).
- Share with your raving fans. Reach out to some of your raving fans via email and share content offline. If I have something important I want shared on Facebook, I’ll send some of my clients a direct link in an email, making sure they see it.
- Share posts from your referral partners. If you want your referral partners to care about your business, start by caring about theirs. Follow their Facebook pages and share their relevant and interesting content. Then, start pointing out great info that you’d like them to share as well. They’ll be more than happy to.
- Post native video. Natively posted video is blowing up on Facebook right now. And people love watching little video clips. It’s fun. So, record a little video and post it on Facebook. It doesn’t have to (and shouldn’t) be very long—just fun and engaging.
- Pay for it. The bottom line is that Facebook is now a publicly traded company and they need to make money. They do that through advertising. So, if you really want something to be seen on Facebook, put some moola toward it. The great thing is that a little bit of money can go a long way on Facebook. $5 or $10 will get you a few thousand views. One big thing with using ads is to make sure you choose your demographics properly. Don’t just shotgun your money to everyone and anyone. Narrow your focus to a specific area or a specific set of people. You can even upload a custom audience of your client’s email addresses and only show ads to them!
YouTube, also known as the second largest search engine, is, in my opinion, very underutilized by mortgage professionals. Video is an excellent way for someone to get to know you—maybe even trust you—before you ever meet in person. You’re not hiding behind a carefully crafted blog post or email. And, since non-verbal communication makes up 93 percent of all communication, video is a great way to bridge the gap.
Who’s On YouTube
In short, everyone. Not only is YouTube the second largest search engine, it also receives more views than Facebook. More than 85 percent of adult Internet users said they were regular visitors of YouTube.
YouTube Video Ideas
I think there are a lot of great things you can do with video and mortgage. Professional videos always do better than ‘amateur’ videos, but you don’t need to be a video genius to take a decent video for YouTube. Even your iPhone will record high-quality videos from its rear-facing camera.
Here are some of the best ideas I share with my clients interested in YouTube videos:
- How-To Videos. Obtaining a home loan is a complex process. Many people don’t know how it all works. Use video to engage them in the process. You can provide dos and donts and give cameos of the people who are involved.
- Meet The Team. Speaking of the people who are involved, a great video (or series of videos) is to introduce people to the members of your team. They can share a little bit about their history in the business, what they love about their job and working at your company, and how they are involved in the loan process. These videos would be a fantastic welcome series for new clients.
- Listing Videos. A wonderful way to not only support your referral partners, but also get some more exposure, is to co-create listing videos. Many Realtors aren’t doing listing videos even though buyers want them. You can help represent the house and provide some financing information while you’re at it.
- Neighborhood Videos. In addition to providing videos about a particular listing, why not help buyers learn more about neighborhoods in your target market with video? Showcase local business owners and gain bonus points (and potential referrals).
- Professional Interviews. Bring in a knowledgeable CPA or tax attorney and interview them about homeownership topics like tax deductions and real estate investments. Be the person who knows all the people.
- Client Testimonials. Social proof is extremely important in today’s world of advertisements and marketing jargon. Borrowers trying to cut through all the BS look for social proof to help guide their decisions. Having a quote from “Katie W.” on your website is one thing. Having an in-person video testimonial from Katie Walker in the flesh, is quite another. There’s no denying that social proof.
Here’s the thing about LinkedIn. While it does have a news feed like Facebook, nobody spends any time there. When’s the last time you browsed your LinkedIn news feed? When’s the last time anbody even said that? The news feed is not where you should be spending your time. There are two places you should invest your time: your profile and Pulse.
Your LinkedIn Profile
When someone’s searching for you online, your LinkedIn profile will almost always be a top search result in Google. What kind of an impression are you leaving for your potential clients when they hit your page? You should give them a taste of what it will be like to work with you. Have a strong summary. Fill out your profile’s sections completely. Add work and non-work related items to help round out your profile. And please, make sure your information is updated! There’s nothing worse than an outdated LinkedIn profile.
LinkedIn Pulse started out as a way for influencers to share original content on LinkedIn. Now anyone can post content on LinkedIn Pulse. What’s great about this is the potential for your content to be viewed by any of LinkedIn’s 270 million users. They do a good job of promoting trending articles throughout the site and through email.
Secondary Social Networks
Now, I think anyone can succeed on any social network with the right strategy. But I also think it’s important to start somewhere you know you have the potential to succeed. For many of you just starting out, or for those of you who haven’t seen any real success from social media just yet, I’d stick to the above networks to start. If you’re looking to branch out a bit, take a look at the below social networks for ideas.
There are two things that make Twitter difficult for mortgage: 1) you have to be on it all the time, and 2) most mortgage professionals on it are creating huge piles of crap, making it even harder to cut through the white noise and provide actual value.
I love Instagram. It’s so easy to use, it’s easy to find things to see and people to follow, and it’s pretty. The problem is that it works best with a product or something that can actually be photographed—that is the whole point of Instagram, after all. Mortgage documents aren’t exactly photogenic. One way that I think it could be utilized is if you are the preferred lender on a construction project, or if you work with a lot of construction loans or renovation loans. This gives you a product to photograph—the houses themselves.
Snapchat is really the young social network of them all. The younger generations like it because they can send stuff that gets deleted in 3-10 seconds. (Cue inappropriate photos.) However, I think it presents a fun opportunity for marketers to give very quick, 10 second daily updates to their clients on things like where rates are headed.
Hopefully I’ve given you some good advice to help you choose which social media networks to tackle first as well as what to do on these social networks. I’d love to hear about any successes you’ve had in the comments!