Social media is a powerful marketing tool for any mortgage or insurance professional looking to establish an online presence and build their brand. While other businesses and service professionals can take advantage of social media, mortgage and insurance professionals benefit greatly from social media’s power to generate referral business and partnerships.
One of the primary goals of marketing your business on social media is to gain followers. This includes your current clients, past clients, prospects, referral partners, and potential referral partners. There are a number of benefits to growing your following on popular social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. As you increase the number of followers you have, your visibility, exposure, and reach will grow as well. Your name and brand will be in front of, and on the minds of those who follow you and are viewing your content. You will be able to showcase your expertise to a larger audience, which opens up more opportunities for your content to be shared. Social media platforms are also a great place to share industry news, opportunities to save money, and to present business opportunities and solutions. Big name companies like to overwhelm consumers with generic advertisements on social media. As a local mortgage or insurance professional, you can present content that speaks to local consumers, in a personalized manner.
Let’s take a closer look at these benefits and how you can utilize social media to build your brand as a mortgage or insurance professional.
Social Media Increases Visibility, Exposure, and Reach of Your Brand
Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram are all valuable platforms for increasing your visibility, exposure, and reach. These social media sites are great tools for reaching your specific target audience, humanizing your business, establishing quality connections with potential clients and referral partners, and establishing yourself as a thought-leader in your specific industry. It is important to maintain an active presence across the most popular social media sites as they attract different types of users. For example, LinkedIn is a professional audience which is ideal for connecting with referral partners. Facebook content can be targeted to both clients and potential referral partners as the audience there is a mix of both.
To increase your visibility, exposure, and reach across these popular social media sites, you will want to focus on the following:
- Ensure you are posting frequently and at ideal times based on the platform you are on. Doing so will give you the best chance of having your content seen by your target audience. Posting infrequently or outside of recommended times can cause your content to go unseen.
- Make use of hashtags to make your content easier to find. Hashtags are great for categorizing and labeling content for those seeking industry-related information. They are perfect for getting content in front of users who may not be following you yet.
- Use appealing and attractive visuals in your content. Posts that take advantage of quality visuals are much more likely to be viewed and will stand out in the crowd.
- Always be engaging with your followers and with those who are commenting on your posts. Actively comment on the posts and content of others in your industry as well. This humanizes and gives personality to your brand. It also builds trust with users knowing there is a person behind the brand. Imagine a user was to comment on a Facebook post about VA loans, asking for information on obtaining their Certificate of Eligibility. Mike the Mortgage Broker sees this and replies with a thorough, personalized message to the individual. In one response, Mike is able to showcase his expertise as a mortgage professional, humanize his brand, and establish trust with a potential client by solving their problem and actively engaging on social media.
Create Easy Referral Opportunities Through Social Media
When you are consistently active on social media, you will keep your name in front of users on a regular basis. When you keep your name and brand in front of users, you will remain in the back of their minds. Let’s use billboards as an example. If you are going on a trip you don’t regularly take and see a billboard for the first and only time, you might think about it for a second, but you will likely forget it forever. However, on your drive to work every morning, you pass the same billboard for an auto insurance provider. When you decide you are ready to shop for a new auto insurance plan, that billboard is likely to stand out in your mind given how frequently you see it. Social media has the same effect. If you only post on occasion, you will likely be forgotten. However, if you post on a consistent basis, you will be on the minds of your followers, even if subconsciously.
This is also very important when it comes to referrals. Even if a follower doesn’t need your services at the time, they are more likely to recommend you to a friend or colleague when you remain on their mind. Referrals from past clients are common, however social media sites are great for a type of referral known as reputation-based referrals. Consider Mike the Mortgage Broker again. If Mike consistently posts and engages with followers on social media, those followers will likely remember his name. Perhaps one of those followers sees that a friend of theirs has a question about an FHA loan. Knowing that Mike has been a trusted source of information and that he is regularly active, that follower refers their friend to Mike for advice. They may have never done business with Mike, but he has proven his expertise and they are confident in referring their friend to him.
Roughly 4 billion people world-wide are on social media. In the United States, people spend on average, 2 hours and 3 minutes per day on different social media sites. 38 minutes are spent on Facebook alone. Millennials spend even more time on social media. On average, 2 hours and 30 minutes per day. Users in the 16-29 age range spend almost 3 hours per day on social media. A business needs to be where their customers are, and social media is clearly one of those places. In fact, 18% of users between the ages of 25 and 34 won’t even refer a service provider if they are not on social media. This age bracket is an emerging market with endless referral opportunities as most are likely not past or current customers. Social media platforms are where you will want to connect with this demographic.
Become An Industry Expert on Social Media
Posting regularly on social media is important, but equally as important, is the type of content you are producing. Social media platforms are an excellent place to display your industry expertise. This can be done in a number of productive ways:
- Create unique and informative content that highlights your industry knowledge and experience. Content can include market updates, important tools and resources, breaking news, and easy-to-understand breakdowns of industry information. Social media allows you to put this content directly in front of your target audience. In addition to adding to your own feed, you can post to industry-specific groups and use appropriate tags and hashtags to ensure that your target audience can find your content.
- Respond to as many questions and comments on your social media pages and your content that you can. People often have specific questions unique to their situation, and answering those questions promptly displays a deep and thorough understanding of your industry.
- If you are active on social media, you should be viewing the content of others in your industry as well. This can be a great opportunity to comment and leave additional information, or to provide clarification on topics that may seem confusing to readers
One type of content that is very important to stay on top of is timely information such as industry news or updates. News is time-sensitive content that you want to present immediately. Social media is a fast-paced environment, making it perfect for this type of content. Content such as industry updates, new opportunities for saving money, or new business solutions, are examples of content that is considered time sensitive. When you are one of the first in your industry to post this type of information, it has a much greater chance of being shared amongst your followers and target audience. If Mike the Mortgage Broker regularly posts industry updates as soon as he becomes aware of them, he will become a main source of information and industry news for potential clients and referral partners. Potential clients and partners will go to him with questions and to check in on industry updates. If Mike is slow to post, a competitor has likely already posted the same information. At this point, although Mike is posting the same information, it is unlikely to be shared, or even viewed. Keep in mind that you don’t need to share every little industry change as this can feel like spam to viewers. Focus on big updates or changes that are most important and that you feel your audience needs to know.
Beat Out Marketing Efforts from Your Biggest Competitors
Big name companies such as Rocket, GreenLight, Geico, and Progressive all have marketing budgets exponentially larger than the individual mortgage broker or insurance agent. They spend millions on advertisements designed to overwhelm and outcompete individuals and smaller companies. These smaller companies and individuals simply can’t compete in the same ad space due to costs. Fortunately, big-name companies make mass-appealing generic content to appeal to the largest audience possible. Social media is where these smaller companies can combat this type of impersonal advertising.
As a smaller local broker or agency, your content can speak to your local community and be personalized to the specific type of clientele you typically interact with. You have the ability to establish personal connections with individuals which builds trust. Big name companies are known only by their name. An active presence on social media lets viewers put a name and a face to your business and your brand. Social media is also free. You do not have to spend millions to reach your potential clients or referral partners. You only have to commit your time. If you were to gain one referral partner through social media efforts alone, the value is immeasurable. This one partnership can open doors for endless opportunities.
Increase Your Social Media Following for Results Today
Social media is one of the most valuable tools any mortage or insurance professional has available to them. It is a free resource that any service professional can use to showcase their industry expertise, present valuable news and industry-related content to viewers, keep their name in front of and on the minds of their audience, deliver local and personalized content in the sea of impersonal big-name advertisements, and increase their visibility, exposure, and reach. Focus on gaining new followers to maximize the number of potential clients and referral partners your content will be in front of. If you are struggling with your social media efforts and need a guiding hand, the team of experts at 220 Social can walk you through social media best practices and help you see the true value in social media. Reach out today to see how the team can help with your individual social media goals.