Maureen Cioni is the social media manager for Mortgage
Network Inc. The Danvers, Massachusetts-based Mortgage
Network is one of the largest independent mortgage lenders
in the eastern United States. Cioni is a marketing and communications expert with 20 years of experience in the mortgage
industry. She is responsible for promoting Mortgage Network
through social media as well as providing social media
training for loan officers and expanding the company’s web
presence. Reach Cioni at mcioni@mortgagenet work.com.
Master Online Interactions
Follow these steps to develop more business through social media
By Maureen Cioni
With winter ending, mortgage com- panies begin turning their attention towardthespringbuyingseasonand new business-development efforts.
With millennials poised to make an imprint on the
housing market, many mortgage professionals have
put social networking on their marketing to-do lists
Indeed, growing your business with social media is
a smart idea — but it only works if you have a plan.
Achieving success in social media can be as simple as
following a four-step plan.
You should have clearly defined goals to define
exactly what you are looking to achieve. You also will
need tools for measuring and monitoring your progress toward those goals. You will want an effective
means of engaging your audience that builds trust
and portrays you as the most-qualified mortgage
expert in the area. And you will want to make sure your
marketing and social media are consistent.
Before beginning any business-development effort, it’s
important to determine your goals. Social media is no
different. Do you want to focus on bringing new leads
to the funnel? Are you looking for more business referrals? Would you like to have a greater online presence
with more testimonials or industry references? Multiple
goals are great, but you should pursue just one goal at
a time, at least until you are comfortable working on
multiple goals and measuring those efforts.
Once you know what you’re trying to achieve, decide
how you will monitor the progress toward that goal.
Will you use an outside vendor or will you manually
track the progress in-house? Either direction is fine,
especially if you have in-house staff to help you. If you
do it yourself, you’ll need to decide how you will keep
track of results.
Before you get started, take baseline measurements
of how your social media marketing is currently performing — if, in fact, it is performing at all. Then, set up a
schedule of how often you’ll generate progress reports
and who should receive them. Determine what social
media outlets you’ll concentrate on, and which offline
media to use to support your efforts. If you are running
a Facebook ad campaign, for example, why not combine
it with an e-mail campaign? Be sure these lists of outlets
are cohesive, and include them in the reports.
Monitoring social media marketing requires a three-fold
approach: Track yourself, your competition and your
market. Monitor yourself by finding out what clients,
consumers, employees and referral partners are saying
about you online. What is the public perception of your
business? Keeping track of yourself and your company
can help head off issues like online complaints and
can help grow your presence and business when you
share good reviews and comments.
You also want to watch what your competition is
doing online. How do they handle their social media
presence? What are they advertising? How do they
respond to comments? What do you see that is working for them? Learn from their behavior — good and
bad — and brainstorm ways that you can do better.
Lastly, it’s important to monitor the market.
Potential customers are out there looking online for
answers about mortgages, moving, real estate, buying
fixer-uppers and other topics. They may be looking
for advice, education or just the lowest rate. Follow
these questions and conversations. Perform “hashtag”
searches to find popular keywords you can consider
using. Follow the accounts of the most active online
Realtors and offer to answer some of the questions
their clients ask. If you are using a system to help with
monitoring or reporting, you can set it up to capture
keywords used in specific mortgage-related questions.
An effective social media campaign should be able to
stand on its own, but also meld with traditional media and
advertising. A cohesive look and message across all platforms and departments, including social media, is essential. Inconsistent marketing, on the other hand, will make
you look amateurish and does not help build trust.
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