As an industry that has been criticized for being slow to adopt and embrace digital in the past, we certainly rose to the occasion and “pivoted” like so many others did over the past year.
For some lenders and servicers that meant leaning into digital marketing to reach their target audiences – from industry peers to referral sources to borrowers. However, many are still sitting on the virtual sidelines and are having trouble deciphering where to begin.
For those just dipping their toes into digital marketing, social media remains one of the strongest sources to reaching the masses in the most cost effective, targeted way. Here are a few tips to consider when developing your digital brand:
Map it out.
Do your research, first. This is perhaps the most critical step in the process. If you are not self-employed, make sure you check to see if your company has a social media policy to ensure that you are remaining compliant when conducting yourself in the digital space.
If you have the “green light” to post on your social channels as you wish, you should then conduct some research to decipher which channels your target audience is most engaged in and what type of content is resonating with them.
It could be LinkedIn, Instagram, Tik Tok, Clubhouse, Facebook, etc.; but should never be “all of the above,” unless you have a robust marketing team in place that is committed to overseeing all of this 24/7 (more on that below). Next, identify influencers in your industry and follow them/turn on post notifications to see how others are engaging with your target audience, too.
Pick a lane.
Any seasoned marcomms professional will tell you – you can’t be all things to all people. Pick a lane and stick to it.
Managing social channels, planning and posting content and keeping up with trends is a lot of work – if you are doing it effectively – so you need to ensure that your efforts are sustainable in the long run. Like anything in life, spreading yourself too thin will likely translate to dismal results and low engagement.
Whichever channel you choose, make sure that your profile is up-to-date and free from error (spelling, grammatical) and scrubbed of any content that would be deemed inappropriate or unprofessional to a potential client.
No one likes a copycat and, often, the sequel is never as good as the original. While it is more than OK to draw inspiration from others on social, applying a “copy and paste” approach cannot only get you in hot water with the content creator but can also put you in violation of the Copyright Act.
Hitting the “share” button, however, on a creator’s post and adding your own personal commentary, while attributing credit to the original source, is always suggested (and appreciated). Consider what you can bring to the table and lean into what makes you unique.
It’s best to not overthink content and to start small.
For example, block time out in your schedule to content plan – reading articles, drafting posts, etc. – and keep that time sacred. Then, decide which days you’ll post and stick to it. Next, water your network and watch it grow: liking, commenting on and sharing posts from others in your network is a great way to grow your reach and following – consider it a “virtual back scratch,” as they will likely engage with your content, too.
Like anything in life, consistency is key and while social media marketing efforts can be hard to quantify at times (if you aren’t driving leads or implementing paid content, especially), consider how social can create a “halo effect” around your personal brand in tangible/intangible ways.
Lean on tools and tech.
From social content scheduling apps to content creation tools to slick photography filters, there are tons of online resources available to you to help you level-up your content game. The best part? The majority are free or low cost. You can even create a templatized approach by creating a content series where you are leveraging the same, or similar, content styles repeatedly.
As you post and see what works for you, a “wash, rinse, repeat” approach to some aspects will help you save time and create automation in your routine.
Caitlin Green is senior vice president, head of marketing & corporate communications at ServiceLink