Twitter is a phenomenal tool of social connection, allowing almost anyone to connect through the internet and exchange anything from thoughts to photos and now video in 140 characters or less. It has been credited as the major influence in the Arab Spring uprising, effectively enabling the public to overthrow the governments of Tunisia and Egypt and spearheading the coordination of uprisings and protests throughout the world. With a celebrity-obsessed medium that has such a vast scale, how can those within the mortgage industry utilize it to reach not just the public, but to develop business to business (B2B) relationships, eventually generating the potential for sales leads?
The relatively simple (and over-simplified) answer to this question is just to be present and to be active. Utilize it. A 2013 study* performed by Twitter and Compete found that “exposure to Tweets drives site traffic, increases brand search and influences conversion.” The key idea here is that exposure equals familiarity and familiarity factors into preference. The goal of any company on Twitter is to develop their brand but also to personalize it. Seeing tweets from a brand makes people 47% more likely to visit that brand’s website. It goes without saying that an increase in interest and traffic from those who see a brand’s tweet naturally lead to an increase in conversion rates. The same study shows that “while 4% of average Internet users completed sign-up on a B2B tech site, Twitter users converted at more than double the rate, 11% to be exact.”
Narrowing this understanding to the mortgage industry provides us with key insights into how to best reach potential leads in the B2B sphere. Loan officers and mortgage brokers are searching everywhere online for potential leads. Twitter provides a great way to reach a large number of people who are already searching terms such as mortgage, loan, reverse mortgage, etc… This is the perfect open medium for B2B lead developers to reach their target audience right where that audience is reaching its own target audience. Building and developing relationships through Twitter can build psychological connections between the potential and success found through the medium and those present within it. If Bob the broker finds borrowers on Twitter and Landmark strikes up a conversation with him about current rates, Bob is more likely to think of Landmark when attempting to select an appraiser for the borrower’s home, because everyone has that Twitter connection in Bob’s mind, and the familiarity with the company or one of its employees is already there.
If we apply the earlier study findings to this concept, we see that Twitter’s best use is through building connections, not through direct selling. The connections and familiarity that is fostered will have a natural tendency to lead to actual sales. The open nature of Twitter also makes competitive analysis much easier, allowing companies to see who is following their competitors, and thus pinpointing exactly who is online and has an interest in similar services. The more companies and their representatives are present and engaging, the more familiarity is built, the more brand awareness is developed, and the more likely it is that they can evolve into thought leaders within their industry, inevitably garnering even more attention and trust.
Check out this blog next week for concrete steps you can take to get started on the road to social media success. Remember, online interaction fosters familiarity, so leave us your feedback below!
*Twitter study: How Twitter Influences B2B Tech Audiences
Written by Seamus McKeon