Pop quiz: Is it who you know or what you know? When it comes to social media, it’s both.
When you’re first establishing your network, it’s about who you know—connecting with friends, family and business partners. But, when it’s time to grow your network and make new connections, it’s about what you know.You need to know what tips and tricks to use that will allow you to extend your reach beyond your already established connections. And you need to know what content to post that will allow you to engage and make an impact with your audience.
For mortgage brokers, it may seem especially challenging because mortgages on their own don’t seem exciting enough to generate a following. But it can be done. By thinking outside the box and focusing on achieving your goals, you can grow your network and boost your business.
Connecting Business And Personal
When you start out using social media, many people who already have a personal page think they have to abandon their personal page to focus on their business page. But having both actually offers several advantages. Not only will it increase your reach, but it will allow you to post different content. You can even link them together so that people are able to see your business page on your personal page. One easy way to extend your reach is to share some of your company’s content through your personal page. This way, you are ensuring that the content you are posting on your business page is reaching an audience that you have already built through your personal connections.
It’s also important that you completely fill out the profiles on both of your pages. Include your location, phone number, business hours and a link to your website. Potential borrowers are not going to take extra time to figure out how to connect with you, so be sure to provide as much information about you and your company as possible.
Start With Who You Know
Now, it’s time to build your network. No matter what social media platform you’re on, there are a ton of easy ways to connect with people.
If you already have a personal page, you already have an audience. Start by asking your friends and family to like your company page. If you have coworkers or employees, ask them to do the same. Now, you’re able to extend your reach to an even bigger audience. Your employees should be brand ambassadors and can be great vehicles for sharing your content.
Another way to connect people to your social channels is by adding links to your social pages on your promotional materials, website and email signature. Building a following will take time, but starting with people you already know is a great way to create a foundation for making connections.
Join Community Groups
Facebook and LinkedIn groups provide a great way to connect with people who have common interests, work in the same industry or believe in the same cause, and can be excellent tools to connect with new people. For brokers, valuable connections can be made through real estate groups, industry organizations or even relevant hobby groups.
It’s not just about joining the group, you have to engage init. Be sure to follow what the members are talking about and join in the conversations. Being active in your groups will make you more visible to the members. And don’t be afraid to post and share your company content if it’s relevant to the group’s messaging. But be cautious about being too self-serving.Your posts should come off organically and not feel like you are selling.
Use Hashtags Effectively
Hashtags are a great way to get your content and page discovered by new people who may not have seen them otherwise. They also allow you to find content, people and businesses that are relevant to your industry. By including hashtags, you are able to grow your reach and your audience.
In order to use hashtags effectively, it’s better to keep them simple and not too specific. Using terms like “Mortgage,” “Homebuying,” “Real Estate” or “Home” are generic, but relevant, and can capture large audiences by adding them to your posts.
But don’t overdo it. When using hashtags, it’s important to keep them to a minimum. And you don’t need to use a hashtag in every post. You wouldn’t want your audience to unfollow you for using so many hashtags that it no longer feels genuine.
Get Influencer Help
An influencer is someone within a specific industry that has a large following and that people actually listen to. In the mortgage industry, this could include CEOs of mortgage companies, presidents of industry organizations or leaders at popular industry technology companies.
Influencers have an irrefutable impact when it comes to pushing products and services to audiences on social media. Ask them to partner with you for a Q&A session, blog post or live video. Then, whether they post it or you share it and tag them, you will boost your reach and credibility.
When choosing an influencer, it’s important to keep three key things in mind. The first is their relevance. You want to choose someone who is going to be relevant to your target audience. The second is reach. Be aware of how many people you have the potential to reach based on your audience and theirs. Lastly, consider the amount of resonance the content will have. You want to make sure that the audience will be engaged with the content and that it will have a connection that they will remember.
Think Outside Of The Box
Not every connection you make has to be a lead. It’s also good to focus on growing your network to other professionals that could eventually become a source for referrals. A great tip is to make connections that may seem unconventional.
Certified public accountants and financial advisors are great connections because they know their clients’ budgets, work with them on financial planning and could potentially bring in a borrower that is looking to get a new home or refinance in order to save money. Divorce attorneys are another beneficial connection. They are guiding people during times where they are making changes in their lives. And when one person needs a new home, and the other potentially needs a cash-out refinance, they can easily recommend you as someone to go to.
Also, consider growing your network with all the people you come in contact with throughout the homebuying process. Of course real estate agents come to mind, but also try to connect with appraisers, title agents, home inspectors, builders and general contractors.
It’s important to remember when building connections for potential referrals that it’s a two-way street. If your connection becomes a consistent referral base for you, you should also be referring new clients to them. That way, you’re building a relationship that is beneficial to both parties involved.
Create Content With Content
Another way to drive followers is by generating content that is engaging, varied and relevant to your audience. Adding content that is valuable will allow you to become a go-to resource for information and will create deeper connections to your network. Don’t forget to show your human side, too.
Engaging content can be anything that results in a reaction from your followers or your team. For example, hosting a social contest where your network has to do something, such as liking, posting or sharing your content. Now, your followers are participating in what you’re offering. Another example of this is posting pictures of your clients’ closings and testimonials and tagging the borrower, real estate agent and anyone else involved. People love being celebrated and, by tagging them, you’re engaging with them while reaching their networks as well.
When thinking of content that is engaging, don’t forget to engage with your own team. This can be done by sharing a company milestone or event that includes pictures of your team and tagging the people involved. Or, highlighting a team member for achieving something great. Engaging with your team is a great way to make them feel important and they’ll be more likely to share the post to their network.
Not only should your content be engaging, but it should also be relevant. Relevant content is anything that has a shared interest between your business and your audience. For example, many new homebuyers aren’t familiar with a lot of the terms we use in the mortgage industry. Use that as an opportunity to build trust and become a resource by posting content about mortgage terms or processes that can help simplify them and educate your audience.
Other relevant content can include job postings. Your next team member could be someone you already know or somebody they know who is looking. Also, sharing real estate listings can help out your referral network or help a borrower find their dream home.
Lastly, and one of the most important things, is to create content that is varied and attention-grabbing. Great content comes in all forms— text, images, infographics, memes, video, published articles. All of these work, just don’t forget to switch it up. Think about what form of content works best for the message you are trying to deliver. Is it something quick that can be captured in a photo? Is it something a bit longer that would be better digested in a video? Be sure to know how to deliver your content so that it provides the best value to your network and potential connections.