07 Jan 2019

Likes, Links and Loan Officers: Social Media Pros and Cons in the Mortgage Industry

It’s 2019 and many loan officers still don’t include social media in their business strategies. They may have a personal Facebook account, but should they also try to nurture business relationships through social sites?

Yes…

…but.

Be smart using social media and conversion rates can flourish. Used wrong, it can harm your business and reputation.

If you’re on the fence, here are the benefits of social media explained — and what you should consider beforehand.

YES…

Your customers are there

Social media is embedded in American life. In 2018, Pew Research found a majority in every age group, except 65+, are social media users. Among those 30-49, it’s 78 percent. Nearly nine in every 10 adults under 30 use one of the eight major social media platforms. The median user is on three.

So is your competition

Your business rivals are also there, both brick-and-mortar competitors from your community and major online lenders. Do you really want to surrender this pool of potential customers to them?

You can define yourself

Using unique social media content lets you position yourself as an industry expert and build a brand — on your own terms. It gets easier to find you in Google searches and drive potential customers to your website.

It nurtures relationships

Solid, consistent social media activity can reinforce professional relationships, keeping you in touch with acquaintances and past clients. They may not need your services now, but they’ll remember down the road — or if a friend needs a referral.

It humanizes you

Social media can put a human face on an impersonal process, building trust and loyalty. Customers can switch banks without a second thought. It’s harder to leave a loan officer you’ve friended on Facebook.

…BUT

It takes time

Social media connections, like real-world relationships, can’t run on autopilot. Loan officers using it for business must go all in to create unique content, build relationships and engage. Make sure your pages stay as current as possible.

Be cautious, professional and strategic

Professional, relevant and upbeat posts can bolster your brand and business reputation. Offensive posts, including political, tone-deaf or inappropriate comments, can bring you the wrong kind of publicity.  It’s smart to separate your business and personal social media accounts — and be prudent about what you post on the personal side.

Know your platform

Social media platforms have individual strengths, weaknesses and quirks. A successful approach on Facebook may not work on Twitter. Being unaware of a site’s processes and norms can make you look foolish. Some social media platforms are on the wane and others are successful with specific demographics. Are you using the right ones?

Know the rules

Industry regulators have rules on how you do your job. Creating posts without understanding how those regulations apply to social media can create trouble for you and your company.

The Bottom Line:

Social media, explained here, has tremendous upsides as a business tool. Like any other tool, it can build you up or cause tremendous damage. Throughout the month, we’ll share guidelines for using these tools wisely — and to your best advantage. Use the form above to get in touch with us. We’d love to hear from you!

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