It’s 2015, and no one can deny the power of social media. Everyone should know by now that you can’t not be on social media platforms and that you should be using this opportunity to grow your business profits.
Theoretically, this sounds great, but since everyone is trying to create a strong social media presence at the same time, you might think it’s pretty hard to stand out. My answer to that is both yes and no — while facing a lot of competition in your field is certainly tough, the silver lining here is that the more active your competitors are, the more you can learn from them and beat them at their own social media game.
Making sure you’re up to par comes first; but then, you should start to lead and not just follow. So here are 5 ways to do just that using social media and your website.
#1 Brag about the right things
Tooting your own horn in social media is certainly not a good thing, but there are things about yourself which you can share to increase your credibility.
One such item is your mortgage broker bond. Unfortunately, since the financial crisis of 2008, many people have become a bit wary of mortgage brokers, so explaining that you have purchased a mortgage broker surety bond might help. Mortgage broker bonds are a type of surety bond, which guarantees protection to the customer if the broker uses fraudulent practices.
Beyond showing off your bond, you can do many other things to boost your credibility. If you have clients that have been happy with your services, ask them to write a review on your Facebook or Google+ pages. Not only will this be seen first thing when someone opens your page, but it will also help your rankings.
#2 Have an active blog which provides value
The benefits of blogging have been widely discussed and yet many businesses fail to appreciate the importance of having an active blog. Some choose to only occasionally post directly on their Facebook or LinkedIn walls, but that’s not enough.
A blog that’s on your website will not only increase your visibility in search engine results, but will effectively draw people who are actively interested in your services. As a mortgage broker, you can imagine what many of the pain points of your clients are. Well, they are likely to be searching for the answers online, so the strategy is easy — populate your blog with articles discussing their concerns and they might just come across your blog and discover your business.
Once you have grown a big social media audience, your own blog posts are the best thing to share with them, rather than only posts from other sources. Make sure your blog posts provide real value and aren’t just meant to promote your business.
#3 Don’t forget LinkedIn communities
Even though LinkedIn is traditionally associated with job searching, networking, and B2B communication, it isn’t a place you should overlook since your potential clients are there, as well.
LinkedIn communities are a great way to reach a good number of people and establish yourself as a thought leader in the mortgage brokering field. It’s even better if you can grow your own community. Being a community manager allows you to send a direct message, called a LinkedIn Announcement, to everyone in it.
This has proven to be a very successful strategy for businesses wanting to promote a product or a service. Unlike Facebook’s algorithm which is basically designed to make you pay if you want to reach even people inside your group, LinkedIn is more generous and gives you that great privilege for free.
As usual, be wary of being overly promotional – people can choose to unsubscribe from receiving your announcements if you just spam them with branded content.
#4 Curate across all social channels with the right tools
No matter how good your content is, people seek for variety when they browse their social networks. This means that you should subscribe to different news sources which your target audience might also be reading and select relevant articles to post on your wall.
The easiest way to do this is by creating a Feedly account, which lets you put all of your favorite news sources in one place so you can check new headlines easily every day. You don’t have to be constantly online to repost articles — just select the ones you like and schedule them through Buffer. You can add up to 10 channels here for free.
Finally, if you want to be really precise and post at a precise hour when your target audience is most likely to be online, be sure to check out Followeronk, which gives you exactly that information.
#5 A bit of humor to lighten up your page
Providing useful advice through original blog posts and curated articles is great, but let’s not forget that people spend a big amount of their leisure time on social networks, looking for something fun, rather than serious.
Come up with something light and funny to post at least once a week – this can be a joke, a cartoon, a video, a quiz, etc. This type of content generally prompts people to engage with it, so even if it doesn’t lead to direct conversions, it’s still good for your social media presence and brand image.
Tragic events, on the other hand, should never be used by brands as a tool for self-promotion as this is perceived to be in extremely bad taste. The few brands that tried “newsjacking” sensitive events, definitely came to regret it soon after.
As a mortgage broker, what issues have you stumbled upon when it comes to social media? What would you recommend to your fellow brokers? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Lachezar Stamatov has rich experience in blogging about all surety bond related topics with a focus on small business and the mortgage industry. He is a frequent contributor for JW Surety Bonds.