Just being online isn't enough anymore

Brokers, if you're not on the social media bandwagon - now's the time to jump on and make it easier for clients to refer you.

Director of Discovery Finance Group, Joshua Vecchio has written over $250m, using techniques and tips being shared on his website Top Broker.

Look let’s face it: We all live in a digital age.

Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Tinder and being connected 24/7 are the new normal and we are all well and truly aware that if you aren’t online, then you aren’t going to get found – but being online isn’t enough anymore, content marketing is the new paradigm and even more important than being online is being authentic and going back to the basics of being a human on social media, rather than being a Robot!

Being human on social media may sound fairly logical but it is even backed by research, with a recent study in the Netherlands finding that after polling over 2,000 customers who had interacted over social media with Dutch Airline KLM found that even a small level of “humanness” within its voice made them more likely to form a positive impression of it.

I know from experience this is true even with day to day posts so here are my top 7 Simple Social Media Ideas for brokers to help engage your audience and get people interacting with your content.

1.Turn Off the Robot
I may be repeating myself but it is so important and amazing how many people forget it: the more human you sound online the more customers want to interact with you. The simplest way to think of this is to communicate online in the same way you would speak with your customers over a coffee – No jargon, no spam or blatant advertising – just simple, clear and honest messages. Human first, broker second.

2.Post at the best possible time 
While there may not be a blanket best possible time for every possible person to post updates, data analytics firm SumAll found there were optimal times to post on various platforms to ensure maximum engagement with your audience – For Twitter this was 1-3pm, Facebook was 1-4pm, Instagram was 5-6pm and Pinterest was 8-11pm. Food for thought, and possibly worth investigating further to work out what your clients want and when they want it.

3.Send the right message to the right social media platform 
Social media can appear confronting – there are so many different platforms it’s difficult to know what is what, and using every platform might not make sense for brokers. In short every social media platform serves a different purpose and it is critical to understand this to make sure your marketing is effective. You would be already familiar with Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn but here is an idea of a few of the newer platforms and who/what is shared on there.

•Instagram. Who: Lifestyle, food, fashion and personalities. What: Share Visual content and short videos.
•YouTube. Who: Brands with video content or anyone giving explanations or sharing expertise. What: Short (less than 90 seconds) video content.
•Google+. Who: Brands already using other social media. What: More formal than Facebook, can help with SEO on Google.
•Pinterest. Who: Fashion, Food, design, travel and DIY. What: Visual content.
•Yelp. Who: B2C companies (like brokers) and traditional outlets. What: Local based business specials and reviews. 

4.Quality over quantity
It’s not necessary to post on your social media channels every day, however it still is important to get your message out on a regular and consistent basis. To keep it simple again here as is usually the case, it’s best to go for quality over quantity. People go to mortgage brokers to gain value and help understand the complicated world of home loans – so show some personality online and keep your customers engaged, rather than spamming today’s cheapest home loan rate!

5.Keep it visual 
When Facebook initially launched it was about telling a story, and since then Facebook and the wider social media platforms have moved towards showing a story. Keeping it visual and using images can be a good way of jazzing up the information you share, so consider using Canva to create visually striking images to make clients want to share your blog posts. You need to also ensure the pictures are sized to work in with mobile phones, which brings us to our next point.

6.Mobile Friendly 
It’s been said over 70% of Facebook’s traffic is coming through mobile devices – who hasn’t checked Facebook while you were on the go? What this means for you is your content needs to be optimised for mobile, particularly if sharing any links for example your own blog articles or content – these links should be mobile friendly and easy to view through a mobile device. The ideal size for pictures on mobile newsfeed is 560 X 292 pixels and it’s also worth remembering any headlines or teasers should also be shortened to fit on the mobile display.

7.Winning Formula 
We’ve all heard it been said before, there is no need to reinvent the wheel. If you’ve previously been successful in your social media efforts, then it’s as simple as repeating the steps that created that success. If that doesn’t work try something else, continue to look at ways of tweaking content and measure performance.

For Mortgage Brokers social media is a fantastic tool to can increase your visibility, as well as engage current and future customers. As I’ve mentioned above, the biggest key is being a human online and having an honest and clear message when communicating over social media. If you can do this successfully your clients will happily share and refer more of their friends to you which will ultimately build your business both on and offline!

This article originally appeared on Top Broker, a growing online space where tips and strategies are shared by Australia's top mortgage brokers.