by Blake Baxter
Published July 30, 2020
Maintaining an active presence on social media—although voluntary—is essentially required in today's digital era, especially for businesses that thrive on building and sustaining relationships. Ask any marketer and they will tell you the critical role that social media plays when connecting and engaging with their customers. Let’s apply the same principle to those operating in the mortgage industry, specifically loan officers that are looking to build their brand, create value, and engage with borrowers.
According to information presented at a Mortgage Bankers Association Conference, only 20 to 30 percent of loan officers are considered “highly active” on social media nationwide. This presents a significant opportunity to leverage these viable platforms when prospecting for new borrowers. So, if you find yourself in the majority of those that are not fully engaged within these digital channels—then this blog is for you!
There is certainly a different approach to consider when using social media professionally to promote a brand and/or organization, versus when using it for personal reasons. That said, creating your professional presence should not be complicated and there are some key principles that will guide any loan officer to create a productive, viable social media presence.
Whether you are just getting started or if you are a social media veteran, it is important to check your company's social media policy before posting anything at all. It is likely that your company's leadership has already addressed how they would prefer consumer-facing employees to leverage social media, due to the various risks involved. It is a federal recommendation that your company has a policy to not only address compliance demands, but to also assist in maintaining a healthy reputation. You may be surprised at what you learn—especially if there is a policy in place that prohibits social media engagement.
Once you get the "all clear" on your company's specific policy, it’s time to determine the kind of content you want to make available. So, where do you start? We recommend defining your goals as a solid first step. Do you plan to share knowledge to showcase your expertise? Perhaps your customers are raving about you online and you want to share those success stories? What tools and resources are at your disposal that set you apart from the competition? Once you have defined a clear objective, the content you decide to promote should come easily!
Regardless of the type of content you wish to make available, your message should be centered on establishing meaningful connections. After all, you are online to build a network rooted in trust and credibility! Using original or sourced content, coupled with a friendly message, will ultimately help you drive more business and reach those sales goals.
Here are a few tips that will be helpful to your social media networking and engagement efforts:
- You can’t go wrong with educating the consumer. Substantive articles, home-buying tips, and relevant current events from credible media outlets will help you build rapport. Make it easy for your followers to collect information from a single source—YOU!
- To have the greatest possible reach, post your content across multiple social media sites. According to the most recent Pew Research Social Media Fact Sheet, the most popular social websites are YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Each of these platforms has an inherent value when trying to connect with customers, so understanding the differences of each can be beneficial.
- Volume, volume, volume! Ensure visibility of your content by posting often. Avoid posting information that is not valuable just for the sake of posting, but rather, use variations of your previous posts. Test your message and associated images to see what is resonating with your audience. Access to information through social media is readily available, so don't let your content get lost in the noise.
As with anything, the key to success is a solid plan, commitment, and thoughtful planning. The only way to grow your social media presence and build a credible brand for yourself, is to make it a priority. It won't happen overnight, but it will happen.
Whether you're a recently licensed loan officer that is new to the social media landscape, or a seasoned veteran just ready to take advantage of the digital opportunities that are available, be sure to have a plan that incorporates the core basics. Remember, provide value without selling and be diligent in your approach!
Optimal Blue offers a Social Media Marketing app that is 100% FREE to properly licensed MLOs! Available on iTunes® and Google Play®, this intuitive app makes it easy to post personalized content to all of today’s most popular social networking channels. In addition, MLOs can seamlessly connect to meaningful content and share RSS news feeds, reviews, and corporate-sponsored content with their prospective borrowers. Social media is one of the most powerful business development channels available to loan officers today. DOWNLOAD your free social media productivity app now to grow your social media presence, turn engaged prospects into clients—and win more business.
Sources & References
 Mortgage Bankers Association Legal Issues & Regulatory Compliance Conference