As published in Scotsman Guide's Residential Edition, January 2010.
In many respects, the business of being a mortgage broker has moved to the Web. Our customers typically look there first for loan products and rates, our partners can connect with us through Web-based software, and our trade publications often arrive via e-mail. As part of this evolution, social media have become the new way to network and to build the relationships necessary to earn new business.
Although plenty has been written about the need to jump into the social-media pool, less material exists about how to tread through the abundance of content without drowning while also creating an important presence centered on business goals. To make the best use of social media, mortgage brokers must discover how to do both of these things while also making their efforts effective in the short and long term.
For the purposes of this article, let's assume you already have accounts on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and the like. If you don't, you're behind the curve. Let's also assume you have a blog that represents an important part of your corporate Web site. With these assumptions made, we can look at some of the most-important aspects of social-media success.
For starters, mortgage brokers must understand that social-media consumers don't respond well to corporate marketing speak. Web marketing goes beyond selling the features and benefits of your product or service. In fact, many conversations that originate online and lead to business don't begin as discussions about products or services. Rather, what's important about these conversations is that they focus on solving customer problems.
Social media provide an easy way for people with problems to find help. In turn, mortgage brokers who can solve problems will find themselves building value-based relationships that lead to new clients and increased loan closings.
In addition to building value-based relationships, brokers must be authentic in their social-media efforts. Without authenticity, you'll likely find it impossible to establish trust and build the relationships integral to business success.
Companies that use mascots or spokespeople to represent their brands online often don't perform as well as those that use real people who actively and authentically engage online consumers. This isn't to say that companies shouldn't have a policy in place that protects the identity and privacy of employees and customers. They most definitely should. But it shouldn't be written in a way that forces employees to become someone they aren't online. People will see through the facade, which ultimately will do more harm than good to the company and brand.
Another important aspect of developing social-media acumen is frequency. A trade publication wouldn't be much good if it only showed up in your mailbox or e-mail inbox every few months or so. There is a reason that some publications are called periodicals; they show up on a regular basis. People learn to expect them and count on the valuable information found within. Your social-media efforts should be no different.
In fact, engaging with social media effectively requires looking at yourself as a publisher. Your audience -- should you be fortunate enough to attract one -- will expect to see your content on a regular basis.
Page: 1 2 3 Next