Using social channels to generate leads

Mortgage & Finance Association of Australia (MFAA) Interview for article first published online on 7th July, 2016.

Brokers need to think of social media as extensions of their own images, as potential clients are much more likely to find and research you online than meet you face to face.

Local social – the process of directing your social media efforts at your local community to ensure that it’s cost effective, targeted and builds trust and credibility for you and your business – is perfect for brokers, even though not all clients will be within a few kilometres of your office.

“The power of local social is that it doesn’t work the same as traditional marketing. Traditional marketing is about whoever spends the most money wins,” explains Dify Social‘s Steve Hubbard, whose specialty is local social.

“If you apply the same approach on social media [spending the most], you are more likely to upset people faster.”

Hubbard explains that you actually have an advantage over large corporations when it comes to social media because you have the power to promote yourself as a figure who cares about your community.

“Social media is about people; it is not about a brand,” he says.

With that in mind, Hubbard says you should build social media collateral with the intention of building trust and relationships rather than generating leads.

“Ultimately, yes, we want them to pick up the phone, send an email or go to our website. But we need to create that desire,” he says. “Don’t sell on your social media as such. Get their awareness so that they can find out more back at the website.”

When it comes to posts, he warns that they shouldn’t all be about you.

“It’s nice to know you have won awards, or whatever, but what I want to know is what can you do for me?” he says.

“Social media should be about educating or entertaining. Create posts that are of value to your target audience.”

For those posts, Hubbard says it’s important that you maintain a level of consistency, otherwise it can do more harm than good to your brand.

What social media channels work best?

Hubbard recommends aiming for a mix of six social media networks, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedln, Google+ and YouTube, to help build your social collateral.

Facebook and Instagram: “Facebook treats everybody the same and its organic reach has now declined. So if you are just creating posts, only 10 per cent of your followers will see them. But if you spend $5 a day on an awareness campaign, you can get 10,000 people seeing it every week, whether they’ve ‘liked’ your page or not. And by linking Instagram you’ll get a richer engagement.”

Twitter: “We use Twitter to own the space in terms of our geographic location. It means that if you are a local broker you can connect with other local businesses using Twitter. Then we just share from Facebook through to Twitter.”

Linkedln: “It’s fantastic for creating your own personal brand and your own personal position. It gives you this opportunity to have this unbelievably live business card/resume.”

Google+ and YouTube: “Google+ failed as a social media platform, but from a business perspective it’s still important. When putting a business name into Google, if the business is set up on Google+, Google rewards that and the business comes up [closer to] the top. Google also owns YouTube, and ongoing repetition helps you from a search perspective.”​

While all six of these offer their own advantages, keep in mind that your efforts are wasted if your audience is not using the ones that you are using to reach them, so creating audience personas that include their existing social media habits is vital. For example, if your focus is expanding your equipment and commercial finance client base, you might find more success using LinkedIn to target businesses, while Facebook might be better for reaching residential clients.

If you’re a MFAA finance broker interested in exploring social media marketing for your business, call 1300 DO SOCIAL, email or visit: