NMP - July 2018 - 60

special focus on SOCIAL MEDIA a special focus on SOCIAL MEDIA a special focus on SO

Social Media Strategies for the
Mortgage Industry
By Frank St. John

e in the
mortgage
industry know
that it is very
likely that the
biggest
personal investment decision an
individual makes is with respect to
buying a home. While mortgages
has always been a very important
decision, social media channels
such as LinkedIn, Facebook or
Instagram are now the major
influencers of purchase decisions
across industries. An active social
media presence builds trust by
giving potential borrowers some
insight into the culture, values and
identity of the organization they
are going to for this tremendous
decision. As these avenues now
control the way homes are sold or
loans are availed, mortgage
professionals need to have an
astute social media strategy to

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JULY 2018 n National Mortgage Professional Magazine n

NationalMortgageProfessional.com

60

build customer relationships.
The power of this platform is
clearly evident from the statistics
of the 2018 Global Digital Report:
l Every year there is a seven
percent increase worldwide in
terms of Internet users
l Annually, a 13 percent increase
is seen in the number of social
media users
l Currently, three billion people
use social media across the
globe
l Facebook has close to two
billion active users while 1.3
billion people use YouTube, and
Instagram has 800 million users
To leverage these statistics, the
mortgage industry has to focus on
developing a social media content
strategy that helps in forging new
connections, while strengthening
existing ones. The right strategy
helps mortgage professionals:

l Gain an online presence
l Create awareness of brand or
company and raise visibility
l Initiate and build connections
with prospective buyers,
referrals, and borrowers
l Share educational and relevant
information for people looking
for thesex
l Build referrals
l Share internal news of the
company or loan products
l Build trust for your brand or
services
l Gain an advantage over
competitors
l Post or seek customer
testimonials
l Share client closing news,
visuals and so on
Mortgage professionals can
leverage the power of social media
better when they use it as a
platform to build and foster social
connections with customers,
rather than as a direct tool for
sales. In this context, the crucial
aspect to consider relates to how
the users interact on social media
with brands or advertisements.
Knowing what kind of posts or
behavior on social media
platforms resonate well with the
audiences is key to designing the
right strategy instead of going
overboard with hard-sell.
Avoiding the hard-sell and
irritating content
The way a certain message is
delivered reflects on the brand
personality, values and culture
that, in turn, influence users to
follow, unfollow, buy or
recommend. This platform is used
increasingly for customer service
where customers expect to be
engaged meaningfully with realtime responses. The Global
Digital surveyed participants on
the brand actions that were most
likely to result in a purchase and
found 48 percent of users rate
"being responsive" as the most
preferable brand action. At 46
percent "educational content"
and promotional content at 42
percent came next in the list of
preferred brand actions. The
other actions users prefer include
the use of humor, stories of
"behind the scenes," exclusive

content and great visuals.
Trash talking about competitors
scored the least in this survey.
Close to 51 percent of social
media users said they are likely to
"unfollow" a brand and 27 percent
were likely to report, block or flag
the post as spam if the posts or
advertisements were irritating.
Posting interesting, relevant, and
engaging messages that resonate
with the social media users and
target audience is key to building a
relationship with potential
customers. As per another study, 71
percent of consumers are highly
likely to recommend a brand or a
service to someone else if their
experience with the brand is good. It
is also interesting to note that while
more than 50 million small to
medium businesses advertise on
Facebook, none of the hard-sell ads
generated any emotional responses.
Today's customers are able to
distinguish between a personal
recommendation, an
advertisement disguised as a
recommendation, and an ad.
Millenials, in particular, tend to
shun anything that looks like a
hardcore sales pitch. While in
traditional hard-sell, the advertiser
controls the content, influencer
marketing is dependent on usergenerated content. Sustainability
of influencer marketing is
dependent on the credibility and
authenticity of the user-controlled
content. Experts believe social
media content strategy should be
based on the 80/20 rule, where 80
percent of the content is not about
the brand.
Building connections
While earlier, realtors-provided
referrals were the mainstay of
getting new leads, social media
posts where every closing is with
tags of referrals, buyers, agents and
business pages can help spread the
good word in a friendly way.
While the initial connection is a
necessary first step, the mortgage
professionals will need to build on
these connections by connecting
at a personal level with the
potential customers. Homebuyers
or realtors are more likely to do
business or trust a person who
they relate to.
Some Loan Officers seek to
remind customers that they are not
only mortgage professionals, but
are individuals as well by
showcasing a few of their personal
aspects such as favorite color,
cat's name, family and so on. One
mortgage professional believes the
best strategy is to keep 65 percent


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