Are you actively using Facebook to market your commercial mortgage origination business? Or do you focus your social media marketing efforts on LinkedIn and simply share blog posts and post relevant news articles to your basic Facebook business page?
If you’ve been neglecting the world’s largest social network, you’re missing out on exciting new opportunities to reach your target audience and generate new leads. Facebook recently reported that there are more than 65 million business pages in existence today, and the service has provided a number of tools that are designed to make it easier for marketers to be successful on the platform.
Here are 3 Facebook tools that are especially useful for mortgage originators. Shake the cobwebs off your business page and try incorporating them into your marketing mix today.
Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently called video a “megatrend” and referred to his social platform as being “video first.” In fact, they report that over 100 million hours of video are watched every day on Facebook.
The social network wants all users – not just advertisers – to create and share videos. In order to accelerate this initiative, Facebook has made it easier for videos to be seen on users’ feeds. This is big news – especially when you consider how traditional display ads, vacation photos, and shared articles compete for attention on a typical feed every day. The upshot here is that marketers who create videos are currently far more likely to have their message reach an audience than those who don’t.
There are several paid and organic tactics marketers can use involving video:
Create a video advertisement
Facebook video ads are similar to the display ads you may already run on the platform. The difference is that these ads are more likely to be seen by your target audience. Mortgage originators can take advantage of video ads to either create a memorable visualization of their services/benefits or build their personal brand by recording themselves.
Here are a few quick tips to help you get started:
- Establish an objective – Facebook allows you to optimize your ad by designating an overarching objective. Options include brand awareness, lead generation, website conversions, and more.
- Keep it brief – If you want to keep your audience’s attention, try to limit your videos to 15-30 seconds.
- Make the first 3 seconds count – It’s highly likely that the majority of your viewers won’t stay for your whole video. So make sure the first few seconds of your ad create a positive branding impression.
For more on how to create video ads – including budgeting and ad specification info – visit Facebook’s video ad page.
Stream video with Facebook Live
You don’t have to spend money to take advantage of Facebook’s video capabilities. Facebook Live gives you the opportunity to stream video to your followers, much like YouTube.
Professionals in the real estate industry are using Facebook Live to conduct property walk-throughs and host Q&A’s with potential clients. If engaging with your audience on Facebook is already part of your marketing strategy, transitioning to live video may be a natural next step to increase engagement.
Before you go “live” for the first time, make sure your audience knows when you’ll be broadcasting. You can create a written post on your business page to spread the word. Then, take some time to plan your broadcast. Facebook Live is just that – live. If your objective is to describe a new mortgage program you’re offering, create an outline beforehand so you remember to hit major points throughout the broadcast.
2. Lookalike Audiences
Who doesn’t want access to new leads? If you’re struggling to get in front of new prospects through your regular channels, it could be a good time to incorporate Facebook’s Lookalike Audience feature into your acquisition strategy. This relatively new feature allows you to use Facebook to identify new audiences based on characteristics of your existing database.
Here’s how it works:
First, you’ll need to decide which of your existing audiences you want to copy. Facebook gives you the ability to base your new Lookalike Audience on your existing customers’ email addresses, your website visitors, or fans of your Facebook business page.
Let’s say you want to identify investors who are similar to your existing clients. Simply create a custom audience within Facebook by uploading an excel file full of email addresses belonging to investors you’ve closed loans for in the past. Facebook then matches those addresses to those in their own database of accounts.
Next, select “Lookalike Audience” from the “Create Audience” tab in your Ads Manager. All you really need to do is decide how big you want your Lookalike Audience to be. Just keep the following tips in mind:
- The accuracy of your new Lookalike Audience will depend on the size of your original custom audience. So try to identify as large a group as possible at the beginning.
- When determining the size of your Lookalike Audience, the reverse is true. The smaller the desired audience, the more closely each member will resemble your current clients.
- Facebook won’t tell you exactly who the matches are, but they will reveal the percentage of database members who matched Facebook’s records.
Once you’ve created your Lookalike Audience, you can market to them through the usual forms of Facebook ads. The difference is that you’ll now feel more confident that your ad dollars are being spent on prospective borrowers that more closely match your target audiences.
3. Carousel Ads
Mortgage professionals have long used closed loan images or “tombstones” to highlight the types of deals they close and promote the fact that they are actively doing business. Thanks to Facebook’s Carousel Ad structure, you can create beautiful closed loan advertisements and promote up to 10 deals at a time.
If you regularly use Facebook, you’ve no doubt seen carousel ads on your feed. You’re shown a thumbnail image or video, and you can swipe right to see additional images or videos in panels that each feature a different call to action.
It’s easy to imagine how you could take advantage of this format to show off your recently closed loans. Here are a few tips to help you get started.
- Match your carousel ad’s audience demographics to the location of the closed loans to increase engagement.
- Take time to learn Facebook’s recommended specifications and best practices for this type of ad. You could save yourself from having to reformat all of your property images down the road.
- Reserve a final image panel for your logo and a specific call to action. This will reinforce your company’s brand and give your audience a next step to take should they wish to learn more about your services.
Mortgage originators have been promoting their closed loans online for years – you can use carousel ads to stand out from the pack and reach your audience where they spend so much of their time online. To learn how to quickly create carousel ads, visit Facebook’s ad guide page.
If you’re looking to do more with your Facebook business page, try working some of these tactics into your social media marketing strategy. You may find that they make it easier for you to reach your target audience and generate promising new leads.
Looking for commercial mortgage marketing tools you can use to grow your business? Create your Silver Hill Funding, LLC online account to get instant access to the following:
- Silver Qualifier Mortgage Calculator – Determine rate, margin, and estimated monthly payments for your clients’ deals*
- Silver Hill Marketing collateral – Jumpstart your marketing efforts with unbranded flyers, postcards, and communication scripts
- Easy access to the forms you’ll need – Become a Silver Hill-approved broker and stay up-to-date on all application and transactional documentation.
**Results of this calculator and any generated term sheets are intended for estimation only. This is not an approval or commitment to lend and only intended to provide a broad estimation. Actual payments and interest rates will be calculated by Silver Hill after submission of a loan application and all other required documentation.