This compares to one hour and 41 minutes five years ago and reflects a healthy – or not so healthy – yearly increase.
As with many things in life, social media has its pros and cons depending on what your motivations are. It’s fair to say that the ability to share opinions, content, visuals and events in real-time has transformed the way we live and how we do business. From a marketing perspective, social media can play an integral role for many firms, especially consumer-facing ones.
But how can social media benefit the intermediary market?
Join the conversation
For mortgage advisers or lenders, this is certainly not the platform to wax lyrical about how great you and your company are. The slogan of Twitter is “join the conversation”. When using social media this is something you really should keep in mind. Simply put, it should be viewed as another way, or route, to build a relationship with your audience.
The value of listening
An often-underestimated element of social media is the ability to see what is going on around you, evaluate the noise and most importantly to listen to your potential and existing clients base.
You can do this by following your clients on LinkedIn and Twitter. Create private Twitter lists of all your clients and run a daily check on what they are talking about and the things that are affecting their daily lives.
Find your competitors on social media, see who is following or engaging with them and see what type of messages they are sending out. This helps you keep track of what they are doing right and – as importantly – what they are doing wrong.
Engage with clients
If you see your clients commenting on an issue you can help with, do not hesitate to engage with them and start a conversation. This can lead to more enquires, or even more business. For example, if they change jobs then congratulate them on LinkedIn. If they have a new baby, congratulate them on Twitter or Facebook. This creates a way of staying in touch without being intrusive.
Share relevant articles from the media on your account. This helps to educate your followers without being ‘preachy’ and works to highlight the areas of your business where your expertise lies.
Keep up to date with the latest industry news
This goes hand-in-hand with the previous point. Follow all the trade press media outlets – especially Mortgage Solutions, for obvious reasons – as these will keep you fully up to speed with the latest news and views in and around the industry. This is useful for sharing with your followers and incorporating links into any newsletter, website, blog or regular communications you have with your clients.
On LinkedIn, join groups of other mortgage brokers. This is a great way to start discussions and really get under the skin of what is happening across the industry. If you feel comfortable you can also create your own content, which you can share on this platform and on other social media platforms.
The key to social media success is not to treat it as an afterthought. It should be integrated into any marketing strategy and/or campaign then not cast aside and forgotten about. If you enter the world of social media don’t do it half-heartedly, it is better to not have a social media icon on your website if you aren’t going to use it wisely and frequently.