We are social creatures, and the nature of the ‘Net’ has only increased this truth. In one Internet minute we collectively download 47,000 apps, send 204 million emails, log more than two million Internet searches and buy $83,000 worth of Amazon products. How can this digital delirium benefit reverse mortgage professionals?
- Know your market. According to a We Are Social future factors report, the global social picture as of mid-2013 shows that despite the foregoing assessment of Internet usage, social networking penetration worldwide stands at just 24%, whereas mobile penetration is an astounding 91%. This means someone in a remote country who may lack even the basic conveniences we take for granted is likely to have and use a mobile phone. How true is this for the senior population you serve?
- Build connections, not contacts. Yes, contacts lead to sales. But We Are Social emphasizes that the future equation is People + Portable + Practical. In other words, it’s more important to build communities than platforms, connect with people where they are (at the mall, in the bush…), and add value at every opportunity. While the Bushman might not need a reverse mortgage, you never know who he knows on the other side of the planet that may. Mobile phones are powerful connectors, and all it takes is one text…
- Create engagement across multiple devices. We love our phones, our laptops, our tablets, and whatever else is coming down the technology pipeline. How can your business create experiences that drive engagement across multiple channels? What is the best way to reach seniors and/or their key family members in your area? How can you nurture shared interests and build community?
- Offer “content tapas”. Brief bites for potential prospects to consume on the go can attract interest even better than detailed brochures or websites. It might be a simple phrase that indicates how your business will serve them: “How to keep Mom financially secure” with your phone number.
- Sustain conversations to build social value. Consistent commitment lets your audience know that, like a reverse mortgage, the loan officer they connect with will be there with them for the long haul.
- Extend CRM to embrace social media. Customer relations must become an integral aspect of your social strategy. This includes optimizing e-commerce sites to harness social recommendations. People buy from trusted referrals, and increasingly, these testimonials can be found online.
- Recognize the value in social sharing. Kin to the above, phenomena such as “Pay with a Tweet” are booming as brands build incentive for social shares. How many more potential prospects can you reach with a positive Facebook post, LinkedIn endorsement or Tweet about your reverse mortgage business, versus traditional marketing/advertising?
- Keep it in the family. Use social networking to share and collaborate across your business. Be a company that is social, not simply a brand that does social.