Consider, for a moment, your next Facebook, Twitter or other social media status update declaring: “[Your name here] was featured on CNN today!” A seed of excitement that they know someone famous is now planted in the brains of whoever reads that post; that seed will sprout one day and find itself growing into a conversation they may be having with a co-worker, friend or family member of theirs. Picture this person talking to their friend saying, “A mortgage lady friend of mine, [your name here], was just featured on CNN … how cool is that?” Picture their friend being impressed with this information and responding, “No kidding; wow, do you have her number? I need a mortgage, maybe I should call her. You think she’ll take my call?”
The above scenario isn’t too off the wall, and this is the celebrity status image you could build by simply using your social media presence wisely. I have been a social media geek and a public relations agent for quite some time now. In this article, I will share some tips to help you integrate your media exposure campaign with your social media outlets. These tips have stood the test of time for my clients and me, and I look forward to watching as they help you in your mortgage practice.
Establish celebrity status through media exposure
We are all a celebrity in our own way; you need to believe and embrace that concept in order to make social media work for you.
As a mortgage professional, there is something you know that no one else does … that unique knowledge can make you famous. Others may even be exposed to the same education and tools as you, but there is one subject or tool that you understand or use from that information which no one else uses. Your first job in integrating your media campaign with your social media outlets is to find out what that niche is that sets you completely apart from the rest. Once you capture this, you need to go out and capitalize on your social media presence by talking about that topic or niche to your social media database and gaining the celebrity status you deserve.
At the same time, your celebrity status will create and feed upon itself if you go out with your “one thing” and gain media exposure through traditional media outlets, then take that exposure and broadcast it to the masses through your social media platform. Everyone likes to be affiliated with a celebrity, and pretty soon, your social media and traditional media platforms will feed off of each other, creating an unstoppable force in your benefit.
►Quick tip: Start one small step at a time. Talk to a media expert or public relations agent who will help you sort through your knowledge and find out what will appeal to the media and the general market. The media expert will see things that you may not automatically think of and the personalized attention the PR expert provides will give you the confidence you need to jumpstart your celebrity status. Or, start by writing a note to the editor of your local paper about how the mortgage market is affecting your own city. When that gets printed, post it on your social media profiles—the attention you will get from that will inspire you to do more the next time and continue on your celebrity status journey.
Use social media to dispense your opinion on the market
Take a minute and answer the following questions:
►What is your opinion on the current state of the market?
►What are you already writing about, via a blog, newsletter, about the market?
►What is going on in the market today that you personally feel smarter by knowing?
►What tools are you using in your business today that saved you or your clients money?
Now, take a moment and think about how much your social media database would benefit and/or be impressed with the answers you just gave.
When you pause to think about the vast array of knowledge you have inside of you, it is truly amazing, especially as compared to the average person in your social media database. Social media is such a non-threatening, yet relatively untapped, way to get that information out to people. Experts in any industry who are familiar with how the media works are outputting value on a daily basis through all outlets—they recognize it is only by communicating this knowledge to the masses that they will earn the media exposure and presence in the market that will ultimately bring in more clients.
►Quick tip: If you are uncomfortable posting business-related status updates to your personal social media profiles, create a fan page on any of the social media sites. Just don’t become one of those annoying social media users who constantly invite people to their fan page, even after that person has decided not to join.
Post on group walls
Did you know that most social media sites integrate with search engines in such a way that you can use to your advantage? While many are complaining about privacy in relation to social media, and I understand that is a major concern, I have chosen to use social media’s public nature to mine and my client’s advantage.
Not many people know that, frequently, when you post to a group page, and then search your name later on a search engine, your post comes up in the search results. The exposure you gain from this has a number of benefits. A couple examples of the benefits are:
► A prospective client who searches for you online (and, believe me, the majority of them are doing so) will come across your information, see your celebrity status, and that will increase their desire to do business with you; or
► A consumer who has never heard of you before, but is searching for a mortgage professional in your area, will come across your post in those search engine results and that will have a positive affect on their decision.
►Quick tip: For a group page, some of my suggestions would be to post links to places in the media where you have been featured, upcoming events where you will be speaking, and a paragraph from your blog, with a link to the rest of the blog post.
Mix it up
It’s important to note that you want to be cautious about being too “businesslike” in your social media status updates and posts. After all, it is called “social” media for a reason. If you are always posting about why interest rates are low, how you used an industry tool to save your client money, or even that you were on TV yesterday, you will quickly lose the interest of your social media contacts. It’s a very fine line between what qualifies as enough “celebrity status” information and what qualifies as enough “day to day” information in order to keep your databases engaged.
You will need to gauge your particular database to find out what appeals to them; however, just remember, now that you’ve established the celebrity status, you’ll want to mix up your status updates and posts. Just as the masses are fascinated about the details of their most beloved celebrities, when your social media contacts find out they know someone famous (you), they will be looking for the fun details about your life, too. Keep them entertained with stories about other things happening in your life.
►Quick tip: A good way to stay engaged with your social media contacts is to interact with them; you can keep those interactions short and sweet. Make sure you reply to their comments, questions, and most importantly, to their own posts, blogs, status updates, etc. Imagine if your favorite celebrity commented on any of your social media platforms—how would you feel?
Josephine Nicholas runs her own public relations agency, icheadlines.com. She specializes in helping map out individualized media campaigns, and offers a comprehensive array of services to handle the diverse PR needs of her clients. Josephine’s clients have also appeared in other national and local media outlets, including, but not limited to, MSNBC, Fox Business News, CNN, NPR; in The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Financial Advisor Magazine, Financial Planner Magazine, CPA Magazine, and various entertainment and lifestyle outlets. She may be reached by e-mail at [email protected]