Using social media to create more opportunities in the era of Covid-19.
Social media is just a passing fad, a flavor-of-the-month phase that will probably disappear in a year or two.
That’s what many people said back when Friendster, the very first social media outlet, was launched in 2002.
MySpace came later that year and soon usurped Google as the most visited site in the US. Next came Linkedin in 2003, believe it or not, and “The Facebook” was soon launched from a Harvard University dorm room in 2004.
By the time Twitter got its relatively late start in 2006, social media had already made an indelible impression on our world.
Today, Facebook alone has almost 2.5 billion users, which equates to about 1/3 of the entire world population! And Instagram (1.2 billion users), Tik Tok (800 million with an increase of +600 million since 2019), and Snapchat (382 million) are all coming on strong to collectively surpass Facebook soon.
Some passing fad!
Of course, if you’re in business and haven’t been living in a cave the last decade, then you’re probably using social media to grow your professional presence already. The “best practices” blogs and “social media tips” have been covered so extensively that there’s hardly anything new to add to the conversation, right?
Not so fast, as these unprecedented times have already shifted the landscape of how we use social media – and why.
In fact, Facebook, Instagram, and What’s App have seen a 40 percent spike in use just since mid-March!
If you’re a mortgage lender or in real estate, the rules of the industry are literally changing day by day (or faster!), so it’s crucial that you keep your social media messaging relevant and on-target.
Today, I wanted to offer some quick notes on how you can use social media to create more business opportunities during the time of Covid-19 and social distancing, which most of us are still observing.
By no means is this list exhaustive. There are thousands of courses on social media marketing in existence, but you may find these notes serve as a great launching point.
Thanks for reading and please contact me if you have any suggestions or questions.
1. The five purposes for social media posts.
What kind of content should you post for your business on social media?
It may seem overwhelming, until you realize that there are only five major purposes for posts:
- To inspire
- To motivate
- To connect and engage
- To educate
- To entertain
2. People are feeling isolated, so connect them through social media!
Everyone is feeling isolated, out-of-sorts, and even a little lonely these days, so you can help alleviate that through social connectivity. Focus on taking as many photos and videos of and with others as you can, including family, friends, clients, referral partners, associates, neighbors, and even the family dog!
Not only will they respond warmly to seeing others, but this establishes social proof, a pivotal aspect of building trust between consumers and professionals or brands (and dogs are really cute!).
3. Celebrate the new heroes.
One thing we can’t get enough of on social media these days is a tribute to our new heroes, including doctors, nurses, healthcare workers, first responders, grocery store clerks, delivery drivers, mail carriers, and so many more. Highlight those folks on your social media platforms to show appreciation and gratitude!
(By the way, we also have a new appreciation for teachers since many of us are homeschooling our kids these days!)
4. Share information, resources, and updates.
The only constant these days is change, so a great way to serve your social audience is by offering useful information. But instead of just posting endless articles, try to offer local news and resources that are credible, relevant to your community, and offer tangible benefits. Info about property taxes, places to volunteer (or get help), closures, events, safety warnings, and other civic resources are especially appreciated.
Likewise, showing support for Mom-and-Pop or local businesses is a great way to impact change, so don’t be afraid to promote your favorite restaurant.
5. Zoom someone!
We talk about the importance of video as a marketing tool, and there’s no better way to do that these days than hopping on Zoom. This is the perfect time to start your podcast or YouTube channel, and you’ll be amazed at how open people are to doing interviews, having a conversation with you online, or even submitting a video testimonial.
6. Make sure it’s not all about you.
What’s the biggest mistake that lenders and Realtors make with social media marketing? Like I documented earlier, they tend to make most of their posts and content about themselves instead of their clients, their community, and their field of expertise! The best lenders and Realtors focus on solving problems and helping others a lot more than selling themselves!
7. Spread the good news.
It seems like every time you turn on the news or scroll through social media these days, we see nonstop negativity or depressing headlines. To help balance that, position yourself as the person who always uplifts and inspires others online (even if you don’t always feel that way).
After a short time, your followers will appreciate your positive messages so much that they’ll actually seek you out and share your uplifting content!
A perfect example of that is actor John Krasinski’s Some Good News video project, which went viral after just one episode with tens of millions of views and shares!
8. Stop relying on other people’s content – make your own!
You may post a few links every week or even use generic content from a paid service, but that’s a far cry from an effective social media marketing campaign.
Your audience will only see links to other people’s articles, blogs graphics, or videos. But if you’re serious about growing your presence online and attracting a far bigger audience (and more clients), you need to create your own custom content in all its forms: blog, email, graphics, video, visuals, and more.
If you’d like some free help or advice, my friend Norm Schriever of REMnorm.com has agreed to offer a complimentary consultation. Just email him and mention this article!
9. What should you post? Mix it up!
Ok, so that’s a lot of social media advice, but what forms of content should we share?
That’s simple, as the answer is: mix it up.
Of course, make sure you post plenty of (short) videos, as those are the most effective for views (video will make up about 80% of all online traffic within a couple of years!) and lend themselves to the newer platforms like Instagram and others.
FB or IG Live, stories, TV-like platforms, and webinars all do exceptionally well these days.
Visuals like photos or graphics are great, as people instantly see them when they scroll down their timelines. (You can choose not to read something but you can’t choose to un-see an image once you’ve scanned it!)
Links to articles, blogs, and news stories play an important role in your marketing mix, but make sure they are credible and come with a good anchor image. I also recommend writing your own blog/article periodically and sharing online.
Finally, the last thing you should do is write a huge body of text in a post and expect people to read it. If you have to write something substantial, break it up with bullet points and even emojis/emoticons.
10. Build your tribe
We’re all craving more interaction and socialization these days, so the best online marketing fosters conversation between as many people as possible who have the same values, challenges, and needs. Focus on building communities for the people you wish to serve – your target market.
From Facebook groups to Instagram Live, webinars to Stories, and plenty of video calling tools like Facetime or Zoom, find ways to connect with and host a larger audience!
What SHOULDN’T you post on social media?
What you don’t say is just as important as what you say. The wrong thing can alienate your audience or even get your accounts flagged for inappropriate content.
Steer clear of hot-button political issues, double-check sources and the validity of anything you post, and never disclose sensitive financial information or personal details that may compromise the safety of you or others.
Other than that, keep your messages authentic and constructive, and you’ll see great results!