If you think social media marketing isn’t as relevant or important for mortgage brokers as it is for real estate agents and others in the industry, think again.

Key takeaways:

• Mortgage brokers can use social media platforms to build awareness about what they do and who they are, as well as develop trust and a following.

• Brokers should have a basic understanding of what social media is and how best to use it, professionally.

Like professionals in all walks of life, mortgage brokers can use social media platforms to build awareness about what they do and who they are, as well as develop trust and a following. Ultimately, social media marketing can lead to new and more targeted clients. In addition to attracting new clients, social media marketing can strengthen ties to real estate agents and other referral sources in the industry.

Mortgage brokers need to understand how to use social media to employ it to their professional advantage, and to make a time commitment to connect on a regular basis.

Made for loan officers?

In their daily work lives, mortgage brokers are already doing what they would be doing to connect on social media. The profession requires that they help people with financing. They gather information and listen to and comprehend people’s personal and financial backgrounds. Often, they help clients navigate the mortgage application process and make recommendations about what they can do financially to live better lives, according to a recent blog by Travis Balinas on OutboundEngine.com.

Mortgage brokers can do much of the same on social media, helping to answer questions, offering advice, becoming a resource and connecting with people who might use their services or refer others.

Getting started

To get started on social media marketing, mortgage brokers should know four things, according to Balinas.

• First, brokers should have a basic understanding of what social media is and how best to use it, professionally. It’s not a sounding board or advertising platform, according to Balinas. And not all social media platforms are the same. It’s important to understand demographics of platforms, from Twitter and Facebook to Instagram and Google+ before posting.

• Second, content should be individualized, according to Balinas. Own your content. And that content, including blogs and videos, should help link people to your website, where they can learn more.

• Third, tweet and post with caution. Everything you post on social media reflects on you as a professional mortgage broker. If it’s controversial, inaccurate or too self-promotional, it could come back to haunt you. It helps to read what you’ve written and to process it from the reader’s perspective before sharing the post. Ask yourself questions such as:  Is what I’m about to share helpful, interesting, engaging, true or valuable? Is it worth the readers’ time?

• Finally, Balinas said, don’t do the disappearing act. Social media is interactive and people who weigh in, comment, like or dislike often expect to be acknowledged. It’s important to make yourself virtually available, so that you can respond, thank people or acknowledge them in a timely manner, according to Balinas.

 What people want

Having an authentic brand personality connects with consumers, according to the Q2 2017 Sprout Social Index.

The top behaviors consumers look for from brands on social media, according to the Index, are honesty, friendliness, helpfulness and humor. Only 43% ranked being trendy as important.

Remember to include video

Social media is evolving. It’s no longer a post or blog here and there. It’s focused on visuals, including video. Video is almost expected in today’s social media marketing arena. Eighty-three percent of consumers think using video clips on social media is cool, according to the Sprout Social Index.

Mortgage brokers don’t have to hire expensive production companies to create the kinds of videos that are engaging people on social media. What they need is a smartphone, knowledge about what people might need and want and a plan about how to help solve consumers’ problems or fill in those gaps in a short homemade video clip.

Two ideal video venues are Snapchat and Instagram. Both platforms focus on the visual, with users posting short videos and “Stories,” which are live for 24 hours. [Keep in mind only your followers will be able to see your posts.]

Video content for the mortgage broker might include tips for finding the right mortgage, the differences among mortgage types or tips for how to make the process easier. Others might use videos to give viewers a glimpse into a day in the life of a mortgage broker, or as a bio, complete with a personal vignette about why a mortgage broker is passionate about what he or she does.

Even with Snapchat and Instagram, however, the demographics and offerings are different, according to a recent story on Credit Union Journal.

For example, Snapchat offers text overlays, or geofilters, which allow users to expand their reach. Instagram stories don’t produce geofilters but Instagram users can tag a location within the story, according to CUJournal.com.

Mortgage brokers who upload lifestyle-related content in addition to business-related posts on these platforms find the most success, according to CUJournal.com.

Are you a mortgage professional who is using social media to better serve your clients? Comment below!