As a small business owner, you want to get out in front of people as much as possible.
While it would be great if you could clone yourself to handle all the networking, the science doesn’t support it, and as we know from Hollywood—it never works out well.
Luckily, social media provides a powerful way to connect with clients and grow your base with less potential for Parent Trap shenanigans. Not only can social media be free, but it also provides a place to get to know your clients, provide information about yourself, gain brand awareness and loyalty, and advertise.
Here, AWMS answers some common questions that brokers have about social media.
What should a broker post on social media?
You probably have personal social media accounts, and you know what to post intuitively. Pics of your family, your adorable dog, and cat videos. As a broker, it’s not so easy.
When planning your use of social media, ask yourself the following questions:
- Who is my audience? Your audience might be your friends and family who follow you on social media, or they might be your existing clients and professional network. Different platforms are built for distinct audiences. More on that below.
- What is the goal for my social media presence? Decide if you want to promote your expertise, let people know about good rates, keep existing customers in the loop, or just publicize the goings-on and culture of your office. All of these are valid goals that can help your business grow in different ways.
- What do I want them to do? Do you want them to like your content, follow you and stay in touch, or interact? Decide what it is you want them to do and make sure it aligns with your overall business goals.
What platform should I use to promote myself as a mortgage broker?
It seems like there’s always a new social media platform popping up, but just because something exists, that doesn’t mean you should use it. In answering the previous questions—what is my goal, who is my audience, and what do I want them to do—you should have a relatively clear idea of your main audience and objectives. You should use the social media platforms that align best with what you’re trying to achieve.
- LinkedIn: LinkedIn is a professional networking tool that helps people find jobs, connect with others professionally, and share insights about industries. A majority of users fall between the ages of 18 and 54, with the largest demographic between 25 and 34 years old. If your goal is to connect with others professionally, network, and highlight your expertise in your industry, LinkedIn is the best to use.
- Facebook: Facebook is probably one of the most well-known social media platforms; it allows users to connect with people they may know across the world. More than 70% of users are between 18 and 44, although the largest demographic is the 25-34 age range. Because Facebook is one of the most widely used social media platforms, it can be a great way to connect with clients, share information, and build brand loyalty. When considering whether to use Facebook, it may be beneficial to look into creating a Facebook page or group to help separate your personal information from your professional.
- Instagram: Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, is a video and image-sharing social media platform. If you often have eye-catching photos, Instagram could be a good choice, but it’s harder to link to web pages, events or articles is without a third-party app like LinkTree. The largest audience for Instagram is within the 25-34 age group.
- Twitter: Unlike the other social media platforms mentioned so far, Twitter’s largest audience is between the ages of 35 and 49, followed by 25-34 and 18-24. Twitter users often use the platform to broadcast opinions, although the 280 character limit makes it more difficult to share long-form content.
- YouTube: YouTube is not only one of the world’s largest search engines, it is also the fifth largest social media platform. On YouTube, posts can be liked, promoted, and commented on. YouTube is a great place to post educational or entertaining content, but creating video content to populate your page will take lots of time and effort.
- TikTok: One of the newest social media platforms, TikTok allows users to share short videos and is often used to create comedic or instructional content. While there are definitely opportunities within TikTok, especially as the usership grows, almost 50% of the users currently are age 29 and younger. The interface also makes it more difficult to interact with followers.
Whichever platform you choose, social media content can help you to connect with your audience, relate to issues and events that are important to them, and build brand awareness and loyalty through interactions.
How often should I post?
- For LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram, It is best to post at least once a week, but more if you have the time and energy. The sweet spot for posting ROI usually falls between 2 and 4 times a week on these platforms, but you should avoid posting several times a day, unless it is a special situation, such as posting live from an industry event.
- When it comes to Facebook and Instagram (which is owned by Facebook), remember that your posts won’t always be available to your audience on their feed. Because of the way in which Facebook algorithms pull information to someone’s feed, posts on or from company pages don’t always show up because Facebook is hoping the business will sponsor the posts they want to show up on your audience’s feed. This is one of the reasons you should consider boosting your posts to increase their reach.
- Because content is always being added to Twitter, it’s suggested that you update daily if you choose to use Twitter.
What should I include when I post?
Posts should always include:
- At least a sentence of copy that your audience will relate to.
- An image; this image can be automatically pulled in from a link by the platform or uploaded by you.
Posts could also include:
- A call-to-action that relates to what you’d like the audience to do; eg. “Learn more about the loan approval process…”
- A link to an article, website page, video, or other media that you found helpful. Including links on your post can help increase your website or video traffic and promote conversions.
How do I use hashtags on social media?
- Hashtags are a great way to draw in and engage with new audience members. These hashtags should be relevant to your audience, brand, and the actual content you’re posting. For example, you don’t want to use #catsofinstagram on a post about wholesale mortgages even if it’s a popular hashtag; you do want to use #mortgage on a post about wholesale mortgage solutions.
- Using Hashtags on Twitter:
- Twitter has a character limit, so you want to use hashtags, but you don’t want an abundance of hashtags to take away from the copy itself. A good rule of thumb is to use fewer characters for all of the hashtags than you do for the copy itself
- Using Hashtags on Instagram:
- You can use as many hashtags as you’d like on Instagram, but it is suggested you don’t use too many. 5-10 maximum hashtags are a good limit. They can also be posted in the comments rather than the caption itself to declutter your caption copy.
- Using Hashtags on Facebook & LinkedIn:
- Hashtags work well with LinkedIn and Facebook as well, but they aren’t used as often by the audience than they are on Instagram and Twitter. Using 1-5 well-considered hashtags works well for LinkedIn and Facebook posts.
Remember, social media is a great tool for connecting with your audience, getting your name out there, and telling people about the work you do—but like any marketing strategy, it’s not a silver bullet and it can’t replace face-to-face networking and other tried and true methods.
If you’re looking for more tips, here are a few resources:
Foundr Magazine: The BEST Social Media Strategy for EVERY Business in 2021 (Top 4 Tips)
Jerry Potter: 5 Easy Tips for Writing Social Media Posts
Neil Patel: How to Start Social Media Marketing (4 Essential Tips for Beginners)