You’ve probably heard that social media is good for your business. If approached correctly it can be. Unfortunately, many mortgage brokers don’t really understand how to use the various social media platforms effectively.
As an active social media user I see so many mortgage brokers wasting their time on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ daily. Social may be free, but your time is valuable (Tweetable).
Here’s 6 ways that mortgage brokers fail at Social Media:
1) You don’t understand Twitter
Twitter is all building relationships and having a conversation with your followers. Since Twitter is a conversation you can’t just tweet out randomly and then disappear.
Way too many mortgage brokers just Tweet things like this;
Best mortgage rates as of TODAY!: 5 yr fixed – X.XX% 5 year variable – X.XX% (Prime -.XX%) Call me today!
I can tell you right now, if you just Tweet rates and don’t make an effort to actually connect with anyone on Twitter you’re wasting your time. Instead of blasting one way tweets only about mortgages you’re better off following and conversing with your followers using an @’reply. People do business with and refer business to, those people they know, like and trust. Become that person.
Twitter is a also a great source of information and it can be very powerful, if you know how and where to look. I use Twitter to find articles and follow people that I can learn from. It takes time to find find them, but once you do what you can learn from others is awesome. Twitter Search is amazing and underutilized by mortgage brokers.
2) You don’t understand Google+
Google+ isn’t Facebook or Twitter. Know your audience. Google+ allows you to easily share with the Circles you have created. You shouldn’t be sharing everything you post to the Public. If you’re are new to Google+ take the time to setup your Circles so you can share more selectively. You’ll find that if you share with Circles that are actually interested in what you’re sharing you will have more comments and also have your content shared more to others.
If you want to talk about the mortgage business exclusively join a Community! Communities are great ways to find like minded individuals and have genuine discussions. You don’t just have to join business communities either. Look around and you’ll find so many others that may be of interest to you.
Don’t start a Google+ business page. Only spend your time on Google+ building your personal account. Facebook business pages are seen as spam to most people outside the mortgage industry since most Facebook pages are just filled with mortgage brokers blasting their rates. Google+ users don’t want to be spammed by pages like they were on Facebook so most people don’t bother to like business pages there. Facebook users ruined business pages and now Google+ Pages have to suffer from that.
Use Hangouts. Some of the best content is shared on Google+ over Hangouts. Connect with fellow mortgage associates and learn from each other.
3) You only blog on Facebook
Stop it! If you’re not creating quality content on your own website and then sharing it on social networks you are crazy! You know what happens when you post a nice post on getting pre-approved for a mortgage on Facebook? Facebook owns it! What happens if Facebook goes away or changes their terms of service? That amazing blog post you did is gone!
If you are sharing your personal content on social media it should always direct back to your domain and blog which you own, not website your brokerage gives every agent, not a free blog service, but one you own. That way you are always in control of your content and you’ll also be indexed by the search engines so people can find you other ways than just on Facebook.
I recommend using self hosted WordPress. Don’t use a cookie cutter website that your brokerage gives to all it’s agents. It just makes you look like every other mortgage broker working for that company and if you ever change brokerages you loose what you’ve built. Own your domain name and own your content.
4) You only talk about yourself
There is nothing wrong with letting people know what you do, who you are and what you have accomplished. It’s just not good to do it all the time. If you only spend your time on social media bragging about how busy you are, what awards you’ve won and why you think you think everyone should get their mortgage through you, stop it.
Become an expert. Give people quality content and educate them about what mortgage brokers do.
Be a real person and give people a reason to be interested in you. Engage and build relationships. Then, when you share your business content people are more likely to be receptive. People do business with and refer business to, those people they know, like and trust. (Sensing a theme here?)
5) You only share your content
One of the best things about social media is it allows you to easily share content. This doesn’t mean that you should only share your content. Every thing you post shouldn’t have a link back to your website. Social Media is about sharing content not just broadcasting yours.
Share other peoples content you find interesting and educational more than you share your own. Always mention the source and link from your website if appropriate. People appreciate it and will be more likely to share your content if you have shared theirs. You’ll find your own content spreads faster on social media if you’re not the one spreading it. When creating content to share make it so people WANT to share it.
6) You’re never there.
If you’re not willing to be present on social media don’t bother having a profile. You don’t have to be on EVERY platform out there. When people say they don’t have time for social media it’s usually because they are trying to be everywhere at once. Don’t spread yourself too thin. Pick one or two and spend your time there. Find the one that you enjoy spending time on and forget about the others. My favorites are Google+ and Twitter. I hate Facebook.
You also can’t automate social media. I’ve seen mortgage brokers that setup their Twitter feed to repeat the same messages over and over with a link to their website. This completely defeats the purpose of social media. Nobody wants to follow a robot. (See #5)
How often do you check your email and voice mail throughout the day? Your Twitter account should get the same attention. I once saw a Tweet from a bank mortgage specialist that stated something false about our industry. I @’replied along with a couple of other mortgage brokers and a CLIENT who follow me. You’d think this person would have responded with SOMETHING? Nope nothing. What if this person was @’replied by someone looking for a mortgage?
If you are sending a Tweet be prepared to have people respond (positively and negatively) and be ready to respond back. If you aren’t getting any @’replies from the Tweets you’re probably sending out the wrong messages. (See #1)
The rules of social sharing
Before hitting send, tweet, share, like or +1, ask yourself this:
Is what I’m sharing helpful and educational?
Have I spent enough time building a relationship to whom I’m sharing?
How much of others content have I shared today?
If I send this now am I able to engage with any follow up?
Have I only shared mortgage related content today?
Remember, it’s social media, not selling media. Be yourself, don’t just talk about work and have fun.
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.