Enjoy access to a free NMLS renewal class when you attend an in-person event.
The number is staggering and potentially career-ending for mortgage lenders who ignore it: 1,440,000,000. That’s the total number of monthly active users on the social medium Facebook.
That number alone is reason enough to use it regularly in your business. But Facebook can also help turn you into an expert in your community. Just by sharing knowledge and relevant news about the mortgage industry you can become the go-to source for all things mortgage related in your area–a perfect way to capture the attention of prospective borrowers.
Plus, Facebook advertising also gives you tons of targeting layers like age, location, recent life events and interests. Plus, it constantly adds new targeting filters and functions that help you reach even more niche prospects who closely meet your customer criteria. Talk about pinpointing a target audience.
Another Facebook mortgage ad tool is “Website Custom Audiences” that lets you create Facebook ads that target users who have visited your Web site. Several apps specifically for Facebook have emerged. Consider these:
►Heyo.com: Helps you host contests, showcase promotions and highlight special offers.
►Woobox.com: Lets you easily create quizzes and other fun tools for engaging content.
►Pagemodo.com: Helps you make your Facebook business page both sleek and stylish and tabs allow for easy lead capture.
But the latest offering is just as cool. It’s called Facebook Live and it lets you stream live video on the Internet. I recently wrote about Periscope, another live video streaming app, but when you use Facebook Live, you’re automatically featured at the top of Facebook users’ news feed. What’s more, statistics show that live video is viewed more than recorded video.
How can mortgage lenders use Facebook Live?
►Webinars: Host live Webinars targeted to potential borrowers. Plus, they can submit questions just like a real-life seminar.
►Mortgage Talk Show: Offer the latest news in the industry. In short, become the Lester Holt or Diane Sawyer of mortgage lending in your town with your own “TV” show!
Facebook offers these tips for using Facebook Live:
►Promote: Tease upcoming Facebook Live broadcasts for more viewers.
►Plan better: Take the time to plan what you want to do in the video, whether it’s a few key talking points or to have a few questions ready ahead of time in a Q&A, in case incoming comments slow down.
►Invest in some equipment: A shaky live stream turns off viewers so consider a tripod or other stabilizing tools, especially if you’re taking viewers on a tour of an open house. And check the shot before going live.
►Get the lighting right: If you’re indoors be sure you have plenty of good lighting and avoid a lot of light directly behind you because it’ll wash you out.
►Sound good: A common mistake for beginners is overlooking sound. Consider an external microphone to make sure your viewers can actually hear you.
And if the Facebook Live option makes you a little nervous, you can also stream pre-recorded videos. Hey, that has worked like a charm for TV for decades. Some businesses promote their Web series to “air” on Facebook Live at a certain time like TV shows. After they are streamed, Facebook Live videos function as normal Facebook videos. Some business owners believe videos may perform better if they begin as live ones.
NowThis, a news company that publishes entirely on social platforms, experimented by streaming a 38-minute compilation of its favorite viral videos via Facebook Live. The stream received more than 20,000 views and 500-plus comments, according to Facebook’s counters.
Yes, all the new-fangled Internet tools, apps and options for mortgage lenders can be a bit overwhelming. Just take it one step at a time and you’ll slowly be right there in the business-winning mix.
Bubba Mills is CEO of Corcoran Consulting & Coaching Inc. He may be reached by phone at (800) 957-8353 or visit CorcoranCoaching.com.
This article originally appeared in the July 2016 print edition of National Mortgage Professional Magazine.