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Surviving the Social Media Sphere

Tom Pasckvale
Nov 21, 2016

In today’s challenging and competitive mortgage industry, social media is not an option–it is a requirement to survive in the business world. According to a recent study by Nielsen Ratings, the typical American adult spends an average of 10 hours, 39 minutes each day using smartphones, tablets, TV, radio, computers and video games. That is a full hour more than last year, with smartphones accounting for most of the increase. An estimated 81 percent of American adults use a smartphone regularly with the number growing more than 20 million in the past year.

In fact, there is a diagnosed disease called the Fear of Missing Out (FoMO: A pervasive apprehension that others might be having rewarding experiences from which one is absent). People wake up, and they check their phones. They go to the store, and they check their phones. They meet up with a friend, and they check their phones. They go to the bathroom, and well you get the point. The average person checks their phones approximately 14 times a day. Thriving in business is different today because easily accessible information is at a person’s fingertips. People are learning about world events based on what is trending in their feeds (How did you learn of Prince’s death?). A business must too be trending online in order to be present.

Whether it is Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, all of the above, or another up and coming app, social media is not going anywhere. In fact, it only shows signs of growth. Approximately 70 percent of Americans use social networking sites. In a 2014 survey, the Pew Research Center found that Facebook remains by far the most popular social media site with 162.9 million Internet users. While its growth has slowed, the level of user engagement with the platform has increased. Other platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn also saw significant increases in the proportion of online adults who now use those sites.

Your social media profile is more than just a window into your personality and your job. It can drive people to your Web site or other online assets; it can promote some of your best content; and it can lead to new clients and sales. When you reach out to a new contact or prospect, the first thing they’re going to do is look you up online. Your profile needs to be both impressive and discoverable.

From the get-go, strategic promotional planning should incorporate tactics for communicating your marketing message through social media. Once content is produced, it can easily be distributed on a regular basis that builds your social media platform. In addition, scrolling through various industry publications websites and news headlines can be shared on your page in an instant. Good content can be found in a multitude of places like the National Mortgage Professional Magazine’s Facebook Page … something is sure to catch your eye and be worthy of sharing.

Integrating your message through the various mainstream channels is even easier. With tools such as HootSuite or Buffer, your updates can be synchronized or select the options to automatically post Facebook updates to Twitter and your message can be funneled to multiple spots at once. Although the intentions of each channel varies, your message may require tweaking according to each sites restrictions and best practices.

It takes a person approximately seven to 10 times seeing your brand before they recognize it. Research proves messages are more effective when repeated. In fact, today you might need more than those ten times just to be heard through all the clutter in people’s newsfeeds or fields of vision, especially as Facebook is constantly testing their algorithm. An algorithm is a set of rules that precisely defines a sequence of operations, which basically prioritizes what you see in your Facebook newsfeed. What you say in these messages matters.

Once you start to leverage your content and enable push marketing, the question becomes “How often is too often to share with your audience”? You want to connect with followers without driving them away. You want to strive for the perfect balance of sharing and listening. Optimizing your social media schedule is a must so here is a recommended guide for posting online:

►Facebook: Two times per day
►LinkedIn: One time per day
►Twitter: 14 times per day
►Google+: Two times per day

Consider this guideline as a starting point for customizing your own schedule. Posting once a week on Facebook is too slow and may cause you to lose connection with your audience. Yet posting more than twice a day may cross the line and become annoying. One of the key elements of using social media effectively is consistently posting to your company profiles.

For mortgage brokers, it is important to entertain your key audience regardless if they are purchasing a home, refinancing or interested in a reverse mortgage. Sharing a picture of those who closed on a home is also a great opportunity that adds credibility. Posting company highlights, charitable events and holiday greetings are all well received. Understand that each potential touchpoint has the opportunity to extend and build our brand identity. To accomplish this, you can produce Q&A segments or consulting opportunities. It’s about education, keeping it fresh and being personal with your followers. Facebook’s live streaming is hot right now and is gaining popularity in the real estate industry where open houses and live tours are being featured.

Once your page is established and your marketing messages are flowing, mortgage brokers can utilize Facebook’s ad manager campaign (Pay-Per-Click or PPC). This tool can help you accomplish such goals as building brand awareness, increasing conversions on your Web site or increasing engagement. The program will prompt you through the various objectives you would like to achieve based upon the budget you want to set. Once an advertising budget is set, costs are deducted as shoppers click on the ads. Click through rates can be measured and words optimized for maximum efficiency. With interest rates still hovering historically low, you may wish to test an ad or perhaps boost a message to generate more buzz.

Maintaining your accounts over a period of time will lead you to success. Just like any other strategy, it needs to be nurtured and analyzed with positive results bound to be seen. With the amount of competition amongst mortgage companies, keeping your pulse on what is trending is critical to the success of your company.

Whatever you do, be sure to analyze the results and test various messages so you can improve upon your marketing. Done correctly, you will see a return with your digital marketing and social media investment. With so many audiences at your disposal, we need to break down their messages and filter them through to the right audience through the right channel. Segmenting your content will force you to use better data/analytics when choosing the right groups to target, which also allows you to tailor messages with greater relevancy/specificity for your audience. One of the most powerful outcomes of social media marketing is seeing those who have refinanced or purchased a home through you share their personal experiences with your service, too. You definitely don’t want to miss out on that.



Tom Pasckvale (NMLS#: 22859) is a managing partner at Top Vine Mortgage Services LLC in Watchung, N.J. He may be reached by phone at (844) 545-9251 or e-mail [email protected].



This article originally appeared in the July 2016 print edition of National Mortgage Professional Magazine.

Published
Nov 21, 2016
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