It is not a problem limited to Mortgage Loan Officers. In fact, it is a very common problem for a lot of people and organizations trying to drive business through social media. The problem we are talking about is this: social media is not driving any business. Well, in truth, it is. In fact, 92% of professional marketers say that social media is important to their business. So, let’s rephrase the problem: social media is not driving business for you. Now let’s talk about some common reasons why this may be the case.
I have a page. Where’s the stampede?
Let’s just get it out in the open right now. It’s not enough to be “on social media.” The concept of “if you build it, they will come” is best left to the movie. It did not work for websites and it doesn’t work for social media either. At its most basic, social media success requires four key things:
• Frequent posts. People are not on social media all the time and even when they are your posts are competing with dozens, hundreds, or thousands of others for screen time. How frequently you should post varies by social network, but, with a few exceptions, you should be posting to most of them multiple times a day.
• Consistency. This goes hand-in-hand with frequency, but you have to be consistent in posting. If your followers are not interacting with your content regularly, the algorithms used by most social networks these days will decide to stop showing your content to them.
• Quality. Quality is subjective, of course, but there is a catch here. Quality does not always mean being deep, informative, or highly valuable. Remember the goal of your post: to get your audience to engage; whether that engagement comes as a click-through, a share, a like, a comment, a retweet, or some other interaction. A quality post is anything that induces some action.
• Interactivity. Social media is a two-way communication channel. People are more apt to engage with a brand, which is, in part, what you are building, if they know that brand will respond. If someone likes a post, thank them. If they comment, reply. It’s been said once or twice that the mortgage business is a relationship business. Relationships involve two-way communication.
Time for a shameless plug. The first three items listed above are the most common reasons why LO’s never get their social media marketing off the ground. It takes time to figure out what to post and then to log on multiple times a day to post. It just so happens, LOassist can take care of those first three items for you. Check out our social media content posting packages here.
Someone forgot to bring the social.
Since we were talking about content and “quality,” let’s talk about what is not quality content: promotional content (a.k.a. advertising). Yes, it is okay to post some promotional content every so often. Even better if you can frame that promotional content in a way that doesn’t present itself as promotional content (take this blog post, for instance.) But it is called “social” media. If every conversation you had with a friend started out with “Hi Bob, rates are really low! I can refinance you down to X percent and save you hundreds of dollars every month,” how long do you think Bob would be your friend? Treat social media as a conversation with friends and you will do much better than if you treat it like a highway billboard.
Thinking your social media following is going to explode in a couple of months is like your borrower thinking you really don’t need all that paperwork.
A general key to success in most things is having expectations grounded in reality. Social media is a long-term strategy. Many Originators will routinely argue the benefits of “increasing awareness” or “getting the name out there” through radio or billboard ads with no expectation that it those things will directly result in new mortgage applications, but are critical of social media if they do not see the applications rolling in from perfect strangers as a result of their Facebook page. This despite the low-cost, low-risk nature of social media marketing.
Let’s be realistic. Your following will build exponentially, meaning very slowly at first and then more rapidly as your following increases. But this will take years. Will you get some applications that you can trace directly to your social media pages? Sure. More often than not, however, social media will work with all of your other activities to drive sales both directly and indirectly. Remember the statistic above about how 92% of marketers think social is important for their business? Well, only 43% of marketers say they can accurately measure ROI on social media and it is likely that most of those marketers who can are retailers who sell things directly on Facebook. If marketing professionals in businesses large and small cannot source sales directly from social but still almost unanimously understand social’s value, perhaps there is a little room for the benefit of the doubt.
If you are looking to make social and digital media a successful part of your marketing strategy but don’t know where to start, we invite you to check out our services. LOassist can manage nearly all of your social media and relationship-maintenance email activities. If your employer allows you to have your own website, we can create and execute a fully-integrated digital and content marketing strategy across multiple social media platforms, a website, blog, and other digital assets to increase your reach and penetration in your market.
Feel free to tour our website or, if you would prefer, you can contact us at (888) 351-2053 or firstname.lastname@example.org.