WE'RE HEARING that teaching a 42-year-old to blog is not an easy task. Social media, optimization, viral, are all new buzzwords to me. Everybody is using them in the mortgage industry, some more effectively than others, but why? Social media, especially in the mortgage industry, has been proven to generate a massive response within a community.
First off, social media is a broad term that can have many implications for different industries. However, if used correctly, the definition of social media for the mortgage industry is a channel that provides customer support, a means to gain customer and competitive insight, an avenue used to recruit candidates and a medium to manage your reputation online. A social media strategy should be a vital component of any mortgage company’s overall communication plan.
There are some fundamental tools of the trade, many of which you’ve heard plenty about. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn (among others) have moved from casual curiosity to serious power tools in the areas of marketing, recruitment and lead generation. The numbers don’t lie, there are over 850 million active Facebook users a month and over 42 million “pages” with 10 or more likes.
Social media success won’t come overnight, but when it does come the rewards can be enormous. An investment (of time, very rarely money) in social media is an investment in the future for your branch network as well as your whole company. Take the words of one of our own branch managers: “We created our branch Facebook page 45 days ago and we have received 10 leads off of it and 3 deals are already in process. It is a great tool to use to market to the 'techy' generation. Plus we are encouraging our customers to 'like' us on Facebook and express how they liked the service we provided. I am confident this will lead to future business. Facebook testimonials are priceless.” — Tevis D., branch manager, Envoy Mortgage.
As the ground in the communications game continues to shift rapidly, staying in tune with social media is a free, simple, and dare it be said, effective route to keep up with the mortgage industry’s target market.
David Zugheri is the co-founder of Houston-based Envoy Mortgage and a member of Mortgage Technology's Editorial Advisory Board.