Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared in the October edition of MReport.
In the last several months, it’s become more crucial than ever to find meaningful, effective ways to connect with your real estate agent partners and customers without face-to-face interactions. For nearly every industry, technology has become the primary method for facilitating business—and that’s not likely to change any time soon.
Specifically, building a strong social media presence will be essential for all companies and businesses. As you grow in your career as a loan originator, creating engaging and informative content for your social media channels is no longer an option … it’s a necessity.
If you’re fortunate enough to work for a lender that provides a full spectrum of digital marketing and social media services, creating effective online content can be as simple as opting into your marketing team’s social automation.
Yet, even if you benefit from the services of your marketing team, it’s necessary to stay active on social media by personalizing the content to fit your local area, your personality, your customers and business partners, and your unique business goals.
If social media is new to you—or if you use it in your personal life and are unsure of how to best utilize it for your loan origination business—you may want to focus first on Facebook.
As the most used social platform, Facebook has more than 2.45 billion active monthly users, according to their 2019 Q3 report. The majority of those users (74%) scroll through Facebook on a daily basis.
Another interesting fact to consider is that 74% of Americans with a household income of more than $75,000 (known as “high-income earners”) have used or currently use Facebook, as reported in a 2019 Pew Research study. Considering that the National Association of Realtors (NAR) found in 2019 that the median household income of first-time homebuyers is $74,900 and the median household income of repeat buyers is $101,600, this is the perfect audience for a loan originator.
So, if you’re ready to increase your presence on Facebook—and build your loan origination business—consider these six tips for getting started.
1) Be Selective About What You Post
While staying active on Facebook is an essential part of creating a strong audience, the goal is no longer to post content non-stop. Instead, focus on the quality of your posts, and try to get as much interaction as possible from a single post.
To discover which of your posts are garnering the most interaction, simply navigate to your Facebook page and click on “Insights” in the top menu. There, you can explore your page’s metrics, how people are engaging with your content, and which of your posts have been the most popular. Over time, you can determine the type of content your audience enjoys most, allowing you to push out more posts targeted to their preferences.
2) Tell Your Audience How to See Your Page First
If you have superfans (people who frequently like your posts or comment on them), these can be the ideal people to educate about the “See First” feature.
Direct fans to navigate to your Facebook page. Under your cover photo, they will see three buttons (“Liked,” “Following,” and “Share”). They can then select the down arrow next to “Following” and click on “See First.” Once this feature is selected, they will always see yours posts at the top of their newsfeed.
This may be particularly helpful for your real estate agent partners or in-process customers, who would like to receive the most up-to-date information and content from you.
3) Encourage Fans to Engage With Your Posts
Not every post requires a call to action, but you can increase your engagemwill ent by ensuring that many of your posts include language that encourages a fan to act. For example, adding “Send me a message to learn more” or “Be sure to share this with anyone you know who may be looking for a home” encourage your fans to engage with your post.
Once you feel confident, introducing polls or “this or that” scenarios can increase your engagement even more. Just make sure that the content isn’t purely for fun, but also relays important, relevant information.
4) Share Interesting Videos
As people scroll their Facebook newsfeed, videos typically stand out to them. If you make your videos engaging and relevant, your target audience is more likely to stop, watch, and maybe even unmute your videos. To make your videos appealing, try using captions, animations, and other engaging visuals. Captions are particularly important, because 85% of Facebook users watch videos on mute, as indicated in a SproutSocial study.
Also, if you record and publish videos on YouTube, take the extra step of publishing them on Facebook too (as opposed to just sharing your YouTube video on Facebook). This will give you the best engagement results.
5) Broadcast on Facebook Live
If you’re not already doing so, it can be helpful to broadcast live video on Facebook Live. Sharing authentic, “behind-the-scenes” content can attract your viewers and help you expand your organic reach. Plus, Facebook users are four times more likely to watch live-streaming videos rather than pre-recorded videos (according to the previously mentioned SproutSocial study).
When it comes to the content of your live video, keep the content light but relevant. For example, you might record a brief “behind-the-scenes” video as you head to your next breakout session at your company’s annual sales conference or a fun “get to know my team” video in your office. For more detailed topics, such as mortgage-specific content, stick to pre-recorded videos, so you can carefully plan what you’d like to say and edit out any mistakes.
6) Dedicate Time to Creating Your Own Content
Sharing posts and videos created by other people or organizations can be a great way to supplement the content on your page, but creating your own authentic content will give Facebook users something to share themselves. When you post your own unique content, it also allows your fans to learn more about who you are, where you’re located, what you do, and why you enjoy doing it. People like to follow “real people” who are professional yet relatable.
Understanding how to effectively use social media is often a process of trial-and-error, but once you discover which content is most successful with your fans, the results will be worth the effort. Plus, creating engaging social media posts is a fun way to share your knowledge and your personality—and, most importantly, it positions you as a mortgage expert who recognizes and addresses the needs of your clients.