The idea of loan officers using social media seems like something that would be for just personal use. We could never really see ourselves following a broker on Twitter or “liking” their Facebook page. Why would we want to opt-in to see more self-promotional spam about “lower interest rates” or “this just in from the Fed”?
Bonus Content: The Marketing Survival Kit.
Don’t underestimate the amount of life knowledge most loan officers have to know to do their jobs. When you apply for a loan, they have to scrutinize and learn about almost all of your background, personally and financially, and then help you get the money you need. A lot of times, they’ll make recommendations on how to navigate the world of shopping, saving, and investing just to make sure you’re making good life choices. Now that’s a person we could follow on Twitter!
Unfortunately, most mortgage brokers seem to struggle with the concept of using social media to help further their business. While some of them do use various social networks, they do so ineffectively and end up wasting their time and their followers’ time.
So while social media is free, as a loan officer, your time is valuable. Here are 4 things to help put social media into perspective before you get started.
1) You Need To Understand Social Media
You can’t control it, or gain any benefits from it if you do not understand it. Do not fall into the same pitfall as most other mortgage brokers. Social media is not a personal message broadcasting channel and it’s very easy to tune out what you don’t want to hear. You need to first understand how social media works, and learn to use the various tools of each social network to your advantage. They do not all work the same way. Twitter is not Facebook, and Facebook isn’t Google+. Find the best channel(s) for you and learn through looking and listening before jumping in headfirst.
2) It’s Important To Own Your Own Content
Loan officers often share a trait with most small business owners: online naivety. If you’re using social networks to promote your business, always remember to completely own the content you create. Do not blog directly on Facebook, or anywhere else, but always link it back to a website that you personally own. A good tip here would be to start a blog on your website and write a new post once or twice a week and then share it to your social networks. This is important for getting traffic back to your website.
3) You Are What You Tweet
The one common feature of all social media platforms is that they allow you to “share.” Whether this is a photo, text, link to a website, blog, or video, what you share is meant to help your audience and be a reflection back on you and your business. But before you actually go ahead and hit ‘send’, ‘like’, ‘tweet’, or ‘+1’, sit back and evaluate what you’re about to share. It should be helpful and educational, yet interesting and engaging, and it should not always be all about you or your business.
4) Social Media Is…Well…Social
Perhaps the biggest mistake that most loan officers make is that they’re almost never available online. They do maintain a presence online, but they’re not interactive. You don’t need to spend hours a day waiting for someone to talk to you. You do need to make yourself available. If someone @replies to a tweet on Twitter, you should thank them. If someone writes a good or bad review on your Facebook page, you should interact with them and show that you’re listening and that you care.
As a business owner, loan officer or other, you can help your business grow and be more profitable and successful through social media. But you need to learn how to do this first and understand that you do have the ability to influence others through content that is intelligent, creative, engaging, and most important of all, not completely self-promoting. Promote yourself and your business by helping, not selling, and you’ll be on your way. Don’t want to do this yourself, or need assistance, OutboundEngine is here to help!
Updated:10/16/17; Originally Published: 10/21/13