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He said, she said … one size does not fit all. In today’s robust world of technology we all utilize its many paths differently. Understanding one’s Technology IQ helps us focus in our client’s needs better. Not all clients have the same Technology IQ. Millennials vs. Baby Boomers are going to have different skill sets and different way in which they focus of their media resources. As a “sales representative/loan officer,” it is important to identify with multi-level users. Without this understanding it is easy to attract only one type of client, but as we all want to grow our business exponentially the best way to do this is to diversify yourself and what social media do you use to market yourself and your programs.
It’s easy to fall into comfort levels of what is comfortable to us, but we need to shed the comfortable floaty, and open ourselves to others needs and fears. Here are some statistics:
►Females use social media less than men for business reasons, whereas women use social media to share more personal information than me, revealing more about their personal lives according to Iris Vermeren, a community manager at Brandwatch.
►As of January 2014, 74 percent of all online adults use social networking sites. For adults ages 18-29, 89 percent of them use social networking sites. For adults ages 30-49, 82 percent of them do. For adults ages 50-64, 65 percent of them do, and for adults ages 65 and older, 49 percent of them use social networking sites (Data Trend, Pew Research Center).
►Facebook—72 percent of adult internet users and 62 percent of the entire adult population.
►Pinterest and Instagram usage has doubled since 2012.
►Messaging apps appeal to smartphone owners.
►For most social networks, the 25-34 age group has control, but not by much. Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest fall into this category. Millennials ages 18-24 consist of the most users on SnapChat, Vine, and Tumblr. LinkedIn is the odd-one out, with 35-44 year olds leading the way (Tyler Becker, wrote the book The Nine Major Social Networks Broken Down by Age).
►Of those living in the United States, here is a breakdown of the percentage of adults using Facebook by region by Michael Patterson, on Sproutsocial.com:
►72 percent of adults living in the suburbs use Facebook.
►71 percent of adults living in urban areas use Facebook.
►69 percent of adults living in rural areas use Facebook.
With all of the above statistics readily available in abundance one must plan their marketing strategy to touch all avenues they plan to derive business from. Remember, we don’t want to put all our eggs in one basket, because it works, it’s easy or it’s who we identify with. When developing a marketing strategy, you may market more heavily in one are, so perhaps you infuse 70 percent of your marketing capital into your marketing comfort zone, but by keeping 30 percent available to diversify, it may open new doors, introduce new contacts, and bring in different demographic segments adding to your client portfolio.
For example, I may focus on commercial lending, but I will also touch on residential. I may key in on baby boomers because they may have deeper pockets to finance commercial deals. But if I eliminate the age group of 44-35 and millennials under age 24, I could sell myself short.
I want to focus in on what each category feels is their comfort zone of receiving marketing information; whether it is Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, word of mouth referrals, in person snoozing, whatever it takes I need to full fill the needs of my clients. For example, my 28-year-old son owns a flooring company: Fortress Flooring. The best way I can help him promote his business is to post pictures on Facebook of his work, and share with family and friends his good work. Of course I can hand out his business card as well, but most people will call me and say, “Hey, what’s your son’s name, and number.”
On the flip side in my tax business I have a client, who is a physician who asks me to help her with her investing strategies and planning. It’s not my expertise, if I post on Facebook or Twitter a referral for her, she’ll never see it. She doesn’t have the time to use social media in that manner. The best way I can assist her it to set up a live meeting with my investment broker, and actually meet her there. Make a personal introduction, and let them strategize and plan their needs and simply either leave or stay as a tax adviser for their plans. Both people are important clients, to me, but the best way to help promote them or service their needs is entirely different.
However, if my son is getting calls from my efforts of promoting his business, does that give him a stronger incentive to refer his clients to me, for commercial lending or tax planning? What about my tax client, the doctor, will she appreciate my time and effort to help her get what she needed, even though I couldn’t provide the service? Of course, and I participated, adding to the comfort of entrusting personal information with someone she just met.
The same is true for marketing your mortgage business, how you connect with your hair dresser, vs. how you connect with your best friend’s sister is a totally different approach. Both are important contacts, the hair dresser could use a marketing hand out, a do-dad or such to hand to her clients to open a conversation about you while working on their hair; using Facebook or twitter would not be advantageous in this situation. Yet connecting with your best friend’s sister could easily be accomplished through, phone, e-mail or Facebook.
Here’s another example, I recently went to an international seminar to make a presentation on Mobile Pay services, such as Google wallet and Apple Pay. I attended another speaker’s presentation which was on an app for rural doctors, who for example there would be one doctor for every 2,500 people. The app was to be used for helping doctors monitor blood pressure, blood and such without having to physically see each client. This was a fairly large deal for the presenter and his group, yet they had blinders on. As I sat in the audience I thought about my eighty year old mom who could use such an app … or the home healthcare nurse who visited my mom at her home. The same app could be used for the elderly who either understood technology, or could be used by their home health care providers … They had never thought of tapping into that market, so they became super charged with the potential to market to a whole new segment of the population that wasn’t a rural market but and elderly market. Brainstorming and sharing ideas allowed this organization to move into another category of potential clients. I think that can happen to all of us, by sharing our information one way, and then branching out in other segments we will find new customers. Not one size fits all!
Take the lead! It’s your turn now … join in our media discussion, via online connection to article, Facebook, Twitter and e-mail. We want your voice to be heard. We will share your stories, ideas and suggestions, giving you credit for your participation. Let’s grow together! Submit responses to: [email protected]
Laura Burke, MBA, MS, MIS, CFE, EA is an author, and trainer with 20-plus years of experience in the mortgage arena. She was recently one of six members chosen for the IRS IRPAC Advisory Committee, where she will serve a three-year term. She may be reached by e-mail at [email protected] or [email protected].
This article originally appeared in the June 2016 print edition of National Mortgage Professional Magazine.