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To Post Or Not To Post?

The content is critical for keeping business moving

Mary Kay Scully headshot
Insider
Mary Kay Scully
Post or not post?

We’ve talked about social media plenty of times: how to market yourself effectively, how to provide value, and the list goes on. However, now I want to talk about what you’re actually sharing on social media. The content you provide — and don’t provide — is critical for keeping business moving and even keeping you and your customers safe.

Prevalence Of Social Media

Social media is everywhere for everyone, but I don’t have to tell you that. In 2021, 72% of U.S. adults used at least one social media platform, according to Pew Research, and 70% of U.S. adults used Facebook daily, according to the same study.

Social media is a great tool for reaching a large audience, but it can be a double-edged sword. The good things you do and say can be seen and shared easily, but it is just as easy for content to be ill-received and hurt your reputation and/or your business.

I’m not just saying don’t post questionable or controversial content. Even well-meaning posts can cause a stir sometimes. Always check with your compliance folks on your company’s social media policy. A simple post about a rate change could be considered an ad from a compliance viewpoint.

Providing Value

We’ve already talked about how important social activity can be. It helps you share important information quickly and easily to a large group and it helps you keep your name in front of your network. However, you don’t want to be top of mind with your network for the wrong reasons.

With this in mind, make sure your posts are meaningful. In the November issue, we talked about being intentional with your connections. The same goes for social media. Even though you may be posting for the masses, the content you put out there can affect different people in different ways. Even the cadence of your posts matters. Too many can be overwhelming to your followers and might cause them to scroll right past you if you’re appearing too often.

Keep your audience in mind with every post you make. Not everyone may want to hear your political opinions. Negative rants may give others a negative perception of you, even if your rant is justifiable. And does anyone really want to see a picture of your lunch? Probably not — no matter how good it was.

We often treat social media like we are talking to our closest friends (and maybe your friends do care about what you had for lunch), but the reality is, one post can easily reach thousands of people. If you wouldn’t stand on a stage and proclaim it to a crowd, it’s probably not something that belongs on your social media, either.

Promoting Safety

With that same sentiment in mind, be extra careful of customer information you may be sharing. It’s fun to post about your customers’ successes, but don’t overshare. No one needs to know that you helped John and Jane Smith buy the house at 202 Main Street. Why? Cyber criminals can take the information you put online either about yourself or about your customers and take advantage of it.

Wire fraud is becoming increasingly common among borrowers who are about to close on a home. Scammers can pose as a real estate agent or a lender in order to steal closing costs. The Federal Bureau of Investigation reports that over 11,000 people were victims of wire fraud in the real estate and rental sector in 2021 with losses of more than $350 million, marking an increase of 58% since 2019.

Be mindful of the names, addresses, or other personal information you share — and think about how it could expose you or your customers to fraud or any other potential harm. No post is worth the time, money, and headache that comes with recovering from fraud.

Have I scared you enough?

The bottom line is social media can be a powerful tool to reach a large audience. It is your responsibility to use it wisely. Be mindful about the content you’re putting out there and make sure you are providing value to your followers, whether you have 5 or 5,000.

This article was originally published in the NMP Magazine December 2022 issue.
Mary Kay Scully headshot
Mary Kay Scully

Mary Kay Scully is the Director of Customer Education at Enact, leading the development of the company’s customer education curriculum. The statements in this article are solely her opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of Enact or its management. 

Published on
Nov 30, 2022
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