Now, in the first of what will be many articles about social media for small business, we will be focusing on how it can be used for specific types of small business. In this case mortgage brokers.
Generally, mortgage brokers, such as the edge mortgages, fall into the professional services category (well, I would like to think they’re all professional ) and some of you know that any “professional service” small business is just that “little bit” more challenging when it comes to using social media to get their message across.
Things like internal red tape, compliancing laws, potential franchise silencing and the fact that most people won’t think about hopping onto Facebook to find their next broker, all lead to the fact that as a whole, professional services, and for this article, mortgage brokers, don’t consider social media as something helpful to their business and in some cases, a waste of time.
So let’s see what we can do to bunk this trend, I love a challenge!
Now if you don’t know what a mortgage broker is, they are basically middlemen/middlewomen between you and your next home loan lender. You would go to a mortgage broker, tell them how much you have and how much you need, and after some research and laptop crunching, they will say “ok, your best bet is to go with (insert bank, financial institution, etc. here)” They will then get all the papers in order, send them around the place, (hopefully) get you approved, and you’re left with a couple of dozen signatures to sign and hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy your next home. Brilliant!
So how are we gonna use social media for these people??
One of the keys to social media for mortgage brokers is content. Regular, high quality, useful content. For the broker, the easiest way to do this is, is to focus on the greater picture, so not just home loans and lending. So for all you mortgage brokers out there, “take a step back” and give your clients information about finance, the real estate market or tips on buying your next, new, or first investment property.
With this in mind, let’s talk about the social media platforms.
Start a Facebook page for your lending business if you already haven’t and start getting people to like it. Doing this will expose people to your business and brand and each and every time you post an update, it will appear on the walls of the people that have liked your page.
You can use Facebook to randomly post updates about interest rate drops (yay!) or increases (boo!) and also news about the real estate market in general (remember, “take a step back”).
Facebook will serve as the “hub” in this case, with content from your Blog and YouTube channel being automatically available from this one spot, so ideally what you want to do if get as many people to like it as possible.
Twitter for the inexperienced, will initially be a method with which you can get your message out. You can automatically tweet out each new blog post you publish and by using well placed hashtags (#) it could be placed in front of the right people. #homeloans #mortgages #firsthomebuyers are all examples of the common phrases that should be included with each tweet. After a little more use, you can use twitter to research the market by searching specific hashtags, and by conversing with potential clients in the “twittosphere”
Think of this as a professional Facebook and begin to “Connect” with as many people as possible. You can also automatically publish your tweets into LinkedIn, which will then get your message in front of a potentially different audience. Being a more formal social network, the content within is taken a little bit more seriously and so if you’re established in it, or even if you’re just starting, find some clients that you have done work with before and ask them for a “recommendation.” Online “ego boosts” are highly regarded here.
A great way to get new clients, generate traffic, and to improve your search engine rankings, is to start posting up videos. If I were a mortgage broker, I would invest a lot time into this. You don’t need a professional camera, and you don’t need a film crew, and you can start within minutes.
Record yourself talking about interest rates, stick a camera in front of your next client meeting to allow potential clients to see how you do business and talk about how much money you can save them. Do a “top 10 things to look for in buying your next house”, or talk about how to buy your first investment property. Video, video, video, just do it, and do it now!
A picture tells a thousand words, so video should tell a million.
Blogs are brilliant and are the perfect search engine food for Google, Bing, and any other website you may use. The combination of high quality content that’s regular and “on topic” means that the more you type about it, and the more often you do it, the better your chances are to be featured on page one for search terms such as “home loans (state)” “mortgage broker (state)” etc.
This great content will help you establish authority, and your clients and potential clients will be re-assured that they are making the right choice in picking your business.
Some great article titles I would like to see. “how I saved a family $1500 a month” “my first million dollar home” “who says you need $50,000 for your first home?” etc.
Let your creative juices fly and start writing some great content to get your share of the home loan market.
It’s also important to remember that content written in most areas will eventually find its way to Facebook. So if its setup correctly, your blogs will be posted to it, your YouTube videos will be featured on it, your twitter tweets will also appear on it. So don’t think that you need to update the world, just the one or a couple of sites. So get people to like your Facebook page!
There is much MUCH more to social media for mortgage brokers, so this just serves as the starting point. If you’re a mortgage broker and have any specific questions about your social media for your small business, please drop me an email.
So thank you reading the first of many, Small Business Focus articles, and if you’re a mortgage broker with some questions, please write them below.
Also, if you want to be informed of the latest posts and news about social media, please subscribe to my RSS feed, or join me email group with big bright pink box in the top right hand side.
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