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   ARTICLE   |   From Scotsman Guide Residential Edition   |   November 2012

Are You Using Social Media to Its Fullest?

Bolster your marketing efforts with better use of social media

It’s difficult to express just how significantly smartphones have altered the way in which people communicate. And, with the rise of smartphones has come the rise of social media. Although social media has been in the works for a while, it wasn’t until recently that sites like Facebook and Twitter became integral parts of many businesses’ operations — mortgage brokerages and banks included. Even so, some mortgage professionals have yet to take advantage of these important mediums or have yet to take advantage of them to the fullest.

More than 72 million people in the U.S. viewed social networking sites on their mobile devices in August 2011, a 37 percent increase from 2010, according to a report from ComScore. In addition, consider the fact that many people check sites like Facebook and Twitter not just once a day but several times throughout the day. That’s what makes social media so effective in sharing information about your company’s products and services while simultaneously building relationships with your customers.

When it comes to social media, however, it’s not just about the messages you provide; it’s about the image you create for your organization. If your business isn’t on Twitter, for instance, it may give potential customers the impression that your organization is not up-to-date with the newest trends. According to a survey conducted by BRANDfog, 82 percent of social media users said that they were more likely or much more likely to trust a company whose CEO and leadership team engage with social media. Related, 94 percent said that CEOs can enhance brand image by participating in social media.

Similarly, mortgage professionals should never underestimate the ways in which Facebook can bolster their organizations’ reputations in the eyes of existing and potential consumers, who can use Facebook to connect with businesses on a more personal level. Consider, for instance, using your company’s Facebook page to make weekly posts about individual employees, providing employee-written content and a personal photo. This can give your company a face that the everyday user can relate to, and it will give your business a more approachable, human feel.

As is the case with Twitter, more and more consumers simply expect businesses to have Facebook pages. In addition to the positive company image a Facebook page can provide, another use of this tool is to let a business stay informed about its competitors’ activities. Researching the content that competitors are posting on their respective Facebook pages can reveal information about their marketing approaches and, ultimately, can result in a business knowing exactly what their competitors are up to.

In this respect, Facebook business pages can be especially useful, considering that — unlike a personal Facebook page — business pages can be viewed by anyone. In addition to the research capabilities they provide, however, Facebook business pages can be important tools in that some consumers may visit them more actively than a business’s specific website. Because hundreds of millions of people visit Facebook each day, it seems safe to say that having a business page on Facebook can equate to reaching a larger audience and growing company awareness.

Even now, social media sites continue to grow in popularity every day. And, with further advances in technology undoubtedly on the way, these numbers likely are poised to grow even higher, making these sites all the more vital for a successful origination business.


 


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