How to use social media effectively

by MPA21 Jul 2015
You’ve probably heard social media is good for your business; if approached correctly it can be. Unfortunately, many mortgage brokers don’t really understand how to use the various social media platforms effectively.
As an active social media user, I see so many mortgage brokers wasting time on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ daily. Social may be free, but your time is valuable.
Here are six ways mortgage brokers fail at Social Media:
Not understanding Twitter
Twitter is about building relationships and conversing with your followers; you can’t just tweet out randomly and then disappear. Way too many mortgage brokers just Tweet things like this; Best mortgage rates as of TODAY!: 5 yr fixed – X.XX% 5 year variable – X.XX% (Prime -.XX%) Call
me today!
If you only Tweet rates and don’t make an effort to actually connect with people on Twitter, you’re wasting your time. Instead of only blasting one-way tweets about mortgages, follow and converse with your followers using an @’reply. People do business with and refer business to people they know, like and trust. Use Twitter to become that person.
Twitter can be a source of powerful information, if you know how and where to look. I use Twitter to find articles and follow people I can learn from. It takes time to find them, but the sleuth is worth it.
Twitter Search is amazing and underutilized by mortgage brokers.
Not understanding Google+
Know your audience. Google+ isn’t Facebook or Twitter. Google+ allows you to easily share with the circles you create and you shouldn’t share everything you post to the public. If you’re new to Google+ take the time to set up your circles so you can share more selectively and you’ll find that sharing content within circles that are interested in what you post will garner more comments and shares. If you want to talk about the mortgage business exclusively, join a community! Communities are great ways to find like-minded individuals to converse with. You don’t just have to join business communities either; look around and you’ll find many others that may interest you.
Don’t start a Google+ business page. Only spend your time on Google+ building your personal account. Facebook business pages are seen as spam to most people outside the mortgage industry since most Facebook pages are just filled with mortgage brokers blasting their rates. Google+ users don’t want to be spammed by pages like they were on Facebook so most people don’t bother to like business pages there.
Facebook users ruined business pages and now Google+ Pages have to suffer for that. Use Hangouts. Some of the best content is shared on Google+ over Hangouts. Connect with fellow mortgage associates and learn from each other.
Only blogging on Facebook
Stop it! Use Facebook to link to a blog post on your personal website. You know what happens when you write an eloquent post on getting pre-approved for a mortgage on Facebook? Facebook owns it! What happens if Facebook changes its terms of service or shuts down? That amazing blog post you wrote is gone!
If you are sharing your content on social media, it should always direct back to your domain and blog, not a website your brokerage gives every agent – not a free blog service, but one you own. That way you are always in control of your content and you’ll also be indexed by the search engines so people can find you in other ways than just on Facebook.
I recommend using self-hosted WordPress. Don’t use a cookie-cutter brokerage website. It makes you look like every other mortgage broker working for that company and if you ever change brokerages you lose what you’ve built. Own your domain name and own your content.
Only talking about yourself
There is nothing wrong with letting people know what you do, who you are and what you have accomplished but don’t beat it to death. If you only spend your time on social media bragging about how busy you are, what awards you’ve won and why you think you think everyone should get their mortgage through you, stop it.
Become an expert. Give people quality content and educate them about what mortgage brokers do.
Be a real person and give people a reason to be interested in you. Engage and build relationships.
Then, when you share your business content people will be more receptive. People do business with and refer business to those they know, like and trust. (Sensing a theme here?)
Only sharing your content
One of the best things about social media is it allows you to easily share content… but don’t only share your own. Everything you post shouldn’t have a link back to your website; social media is about sharing content, not just broadcasting yours.
Share content you find interesting and educational more than you share your own. Always mention the source and link from your website if appropriate. People appreciate it and will likely share your content if you have shared theirs. You’ll find your own content spreads faster on social media if you’re not the one spreading it. When creating content to share, make it so people WANT to share it.
You’re never there.
If you’re not willing to be present on social media, don’t bother having a profile. However, you don’t have to be on every profile.
You also shouldn’t automate social media. Nobody wants to follow a robot. (See #5)
How often do you check your email and voicemail throughout the day? Your Twitter account should get the same attention.
This is a slightly amended version of an article written by Scott Dawson, broker with Verico Paragon Pacific Mortgages and social media aficionado. It has been shortened to make it suitable for web publishing.


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