Post on LinkedIn, they said.
You'll get loads of business, they said.
But did it happen?
If you're like most mortgage brokers I speak to, the answer is no.
So why is that? LinkedIn is the largest of all the social networking sites, so why aren't mortgage brokers getting business from it? After all, a huge percentage of people who are on LinkedIn will either be homeowners or be looking to buy a place. Or they'll know someone who is.
Well, I think the answer lies in the fact that most mortgage brokers don't know how to post things on LinkedIn that will create engagement. And so, a lot of the time, they end up just talking to themselves.
What is LinkedIn engagement and why is it important?
In the context of social media platforms like LinkedIn, engagement is when someone else likes, shares or, best of all, comments on one of your posts.
You may not realise this but, because of the way LinkedIn's algorithm works, not everyone of your LinkedIn connections is going to see everything you post on the platform. Instead, LinkedIn assesses the "importance" of each thing you post and, the less important it deems it, the fewer people will see it in their newsfeeds. And one of the ways LinkedIn gauges how important your posts are is to look at how much engagement they get.
So, if you want your posts to get a bigger reach, you need them to get more engagement.
Also, if a post has high engagement then the people who see it in their newsfeeds are more likely to want to comment on it and get involved in the discussion. Which creates even more engagement. And, before long, you have a nice snowball effect going on.
How can mortgage brokers get more LinkedIn comments?
Well, the answer to that question is simple - stop being boring.
Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying mortgage brokers are boring. But a lot of them do post very boring content on LinkedIn even though, in real life, they're probably very interesting people.
Here's a typical LinkedIn post from a mortgage broker, and it's a post which got no comments at all:
There are two major problems with this as a social media post:
- It's 100% a sales message. And that's a bad thing because no-one likes being sold to and because there's no guarantee that the person reading the post is even looking for a mortgage at the moment.
- This post doesn't start a conversation. Imagine someone walked up to you at a networking event or a party and started the conversation by launching straight into a description of the new mortgage deals that had launched that morning. What would you say in reply? Probably something like, "That's very interesting but I've just remembered I need to go to the toilet. Do excuse me."
This kind of approach wouldn't get you much engagement in real life and it's even less likely to do so on a social media platform where people don't even have to pretend they need the toilet in order to get away from you.
And that's why I always say:
If you wouldn't do it at a real-world networking event,
don't do it on a social networking site either.
So, here are ten ways you can make your social media posts more interesting so as you get more engagement and, ultimately, more exposure for you and your business.
LinkedIn engagement tips for mortgage brokers
1. Ditch the risk warnings
I often see social media posts from mortgage brokers where they have added the standard "Your home is at risk..." wording at the end of the post.
If you're often having to put that on your posts, or if you're forever waiting around for your compliance department to approve things before you can post them, then that's a sure sign that you're posting the wrong kind of stuff.
Posts about actual mortgage products are rarely interesting (see the example above).
So post about non-mortgage topics whenever you can. You'll avoid some compliance headaches and, more importantly, you'll be posting things that are more interesting for your audience.
Here's an example:
Notice how this post is not about products (mortgages) - it's about the outcomes that a mortgage gives (i.e. new homes). And this is important because it is outcomes that clients are interested in, not the products that produce those outcomes.
But, although it's not about mortgages, it still allowed Suzanne to subtly highlight that she's a good mortgage broker who makes more effort than some of her competitors. And that's the type of thing that matters to potential clients who may see this post.
Also notice how much engagement the post got as a result of being outcome focussed, with 15 people commenting and 38 liking it.
2. Use images
Before someone can have any chance of engaging with your content on LinkedIn, they've got to actually see it.
People's newsfeeds are full of posts and are constantly updating. So if you want your post to jump out as someone scrolls down their LinkedIn feed looking for something interesting to read then you need to make sure it has some visual impact.
And that's where eye-catching imagery comes in.
A strong, bold, and on-brand image like the examples below will stop people in their tracks and mean they are more likely to read your post and then engage with it:
Creating images like this for your mortgage broker LinkedIn posts is easier than you might think. If you want to learn how to do it, check out this recording of the Canva training workshop I hosted in my mortgage broker marketing Facebook group recently:
3. Make it easy to read
This a simple but important tip.
It's harder to read things on a screen than it is on paper, especially if the screen in question is a mobile phone.
So make sure you write in short paragraphs and short sentences.
Leave plenty of white space between paragraphs to make everything easier on the eye. If you don't, then people will be put off from reading your post.
4. Be personal
People do business with people - especially with people that they know, like and trust.
So my advice is always to post from your personal profile rather than from a company page, especially if you are a sole-trader mortgage broker or you're running a small business where you yourself are the company's main USP (unique selling point).
Also, don't be afraid to let your personality and the non-work side of your life come through in some of your posts. People are more likely to respond to those kind of posts than they are to the ones which 100% business related.
I guarantee that post wouldn't have got 55 likes and 19 comments if it had been purely about mortgages.
5. Ask questions
Sometimes all you need to do in order to get people to engage with your LinkedIn posts is to open the door for them to do so.
And the best way to open that door is to ask a question.
You could write a post saying what you think about a particular topic. For example, suppose a new lender came into the market tomorrow offering 100% mortgages. You could write a post saying whether you thought that was a good or bad thing and then, at the end, say something like:
What do you think about the reappearance of 100% mortgages. Let me know in the comments.
Just by adding that extra line at the end of your post, you will get more comments and more engagement.
Another approach is to make your whole post a question, as in this example which got 95 comments as a result:
6. Use polls
You can take the question concept even further by running a poll.
This is often even better than asking a question because it gives people a really easy way to provide their answer.
I recently ran a poll asking mortgage brokers whether or not they charged fees.
179 people voted and 77 of them also left a comment. This high level of engagement meant that my post was seen over 9,000 times.
Polls can be used to start a conversation, to do market research, or simply to find out more about what your audience thinks on a particular topic.
7. Tag people in your posts
You should use this tip sparingly so you don't end up looking like you're spamming people, but one way to increase engagement on your LinkedIn posts is to tag people who you think may have something to say about the topic you've posted about.
You can do this in the main body of the post or by adding a comment on the post yourself, like I did in this example:
To tag someone like this, just type a @ followed by their name.
8. Share your opinions
It's much easier for people to engage with your posts and comment on them if they know what your views are on the subject you've posted about.
If you make it clear what your views and opinions are, someone reading your post will either agree with you or disagree with you. But, either way, it means they are more likely to write something in the comments.
So if you are, for example, writing a post about some new product or new development in the world of mortgages, then at least try to make the story your own by saying what your opinion is on whatever news it is you're sharing.
Here's a great example of post where the author expressed an opinion - in this case about whether people should carry on wearing face masks once they're no longer a legal requirement. At the time of writing, it's a very topical issue and one which everyone has an opinion on. So it's no surprise that after just one day the post has attracted 408 comments.
9. Be Client-centric
Whenever you're writing a post on LinkedIn, put yourself in your client's shoes. Ask yourself what problems, challenges, or pain points they have and write about those issue from their perspective.
So, for example, instead of writing a post that starts:
There are lots of mortgage lenders who specialise in mortgages for people with adverse credit and I can help you find the one that's right for you.
turn it around and talk about the client's problem first of all - like this:
If you've missed payments on your mortgage or other loans in the past, you might find it hard to get a mortgage. We know it can be tempting to apply to as many different lenders as possible to try to find one who will give you a mortgage, but that can actually harm your credit rating even further.
Then, having given the reader a bit of useful information and a top tip, you can move on to talking about how you can help solve this problem by assessing the situation and going straight to the lender that is most likely to say yes. You could even include a case study or story about how you had success doing this for another client recently.
10. Comment on other people's posts
What goes around comes around. So if you comment on other people's posts this increases the chances that they, in turn, will comment on yours.
Also, commenting on other people's posts is a great way to gain more visibility and get your own name out there but without always having to think of new things to post yourself.
Remember that post I mentioned just now about the face masks? I commented on that post and my comment got seen by a whole load of people - 14 of whom decided to like it - because the original post was such a popular one.
Again, this isn't rocket science. It's just a case of doing the same things in the online social media world as you'd do in the real world of networking and socialising.
I hope you've found these tips useful. If you have, or if you have any tips of your own to share, let me know in the comments.
I'm currently working - free of charge - with a small group of mortgage brokers to help them increase the reach and engagement of their LinkedIn posts. If you'd like to apply to be part of this group, book a call with me and we can have a chat about it.