Over the last few years businesses have started to use social media platforms as a channel to attract new customers.
So, this week Mortgage Solutions asked our brokers whether social media has helped them win more business, and if so, how?
I do not think it can be disputed that the number of mortgage brokers taking to social media has dramatically surged in the last three years.
Although visual growth on social media has been impressive I am yet to be convinced that this is the most beneficial way for me to recruit new clients at the moment.
I do attract customers through social media but not nearly enough to discard other lead generation activities, particularly word of mouth and not forgetting repeat business.
Social media is a great tool for building trust and recognition, however I find that potential new clients will want to connect with me on a personal level first before doing business. People buy from people they know, like and trust when connecting and engaging on their personal social media platforms.
The concept of social media is still the same in my opinion but volume has risen with technology making social media more accessible than ever. Sales messages have risen immensely which is clearly not the way I would want to try and connect on a personal level.
I do tend to find though that a new client will often check out my various profiles on social media platforms before calling me regardless of how they found out about me. That’s great because it makes my job easier when they do actually call.
Just like many, I am not yet a social media expert but I can only see things getting better with time.
Social media can provide a good channel to reach new clients. At Yellow Stone Finance we have a LinkedIn profile, Facebook page and Twitter account. Each of the platforms helps to reach a different type of audience.
Our LinkedIn profile for example is really good at getting our brand in front of professional clients who might be looking for business funding or development finance. It also helps us to reach broker firms with whom we might establish referral relationships in the future.
With LinkedIn, we tend to share press coverage, our blogs or other information about the business. We take a similar approach with the content we use on Twitter and we tend to use more visual content, such as infographics or pictures, on Facebook.
One misconception is that social media gives brokers an opportunity for free promotion. The channel may be free, but in order for it to be successful, it is worth investing in the content you use to populate your social channels – this might be an investment of your own time, or money to pay someone else to create the content, but it is still an investment.
The great thing is that a good idea can go a long way and achieve a lot of traction. For example, at the height of the media frenzy around a Brexit deal, we ran a royalty-free image of Theresa May, with the “A good deal, is better than a bad deal” and our logo.
This was a simple idea that worked because, while being a bit cheeky, it was also quite neutral and did not say anything negative or derogatory.
In my mind there is no doubt that, used correctly, social media can help brokers to win more clients and grow their business. The key here is using it correctly.
We have all heard horror stories of a poorly considered tweet or social post creating havoc in someone’s career, but this can be avoided if you understand that anything posted on social media has the potential to appear on the front page of a paper and so filter your own activity accordingly.
This does not mean that your profile needs to be filled with entirely professional content.
One of the reasons that social is so powerful as a channel is that provides a platform in which you can share a bit of your personality and build a rapport with followers, and for brokers this can help to build trust with potential clients.
I am quite active on Twitter and have more than 4,000 followers and anyone who follows me will know that I use it to communicate business announcements and share press coverage, but I also talk a bit about my life and interact with people.
I’m not saying I get it completely right, but it does demonstrate that you can show a human side on a professional profile.
So, my tip to brokers would be engage with social media and don’t be afraid to be yourself. With a bit of common sense, it can be a great way of establishing an initial relationship with potential new clients, before you have even met them.