Most brokers failing to use social media effectively

by Madison Utley09 Dec 2020

When it comes to staying front of mind with customers, there are the obvious and basic tactics of email, phone calls and other templated approaches; however, as one seasoned industry player sees it, there is a crucial next level of maintaining contact with borrowers brokers can only rise to if they utilise social media to its fullest potential – and hardly anyone is doing so.   

Dino Pacella, Marketplace Finance national manager of partner acquisition and long-time industry advocate, recently sat down with Australian Broker to talk all things social media: what’s not working, who’s getting it right, and how people can up their game.   

As Pacella sees it, the least effective approach is using social media as little more than a way to brand oneself, without looking to create valuable content or cultivate genuine engagement.

He explained, “There are creative ways brokers can stay front of mind with social media, but I don’t think many are taking it to the next level. People can brand themselves and brand their businesses across different platforms, and do so consistently so they’re staying front of mind, but how is that actually generating a new audience?”

Instead, those who have risen through the ranks to become the clear social media standouts of 2020 have done just the opposite, rethinking what is possible with their platforms. 

“Some brokers are doing co-branding online, and it stands out tenfold. It really becomes social as it’s with partners, and it’s actually adding value to their clients. It’s not about using social media purely for business marketing,” Pacella said.

“Unfortunately, that’s what we see with a number of brokerages: turning social media into branding the business rather than [focusing] on the people within the business. When, at the end of the day, what staying front of mind with clients is all about is making them as comfortable as possible and using your social to showcase your credibility and expertise.”

As an example of what’s working well, Pacella cited brokers who have been running livestreams and live webinars on a consistent basis across a range of different topics, some of whom even have chat rooms set up where clients can directly liaise with them; they’re also then able to take the genuine content created in these formats and share it publicly to further their audience and their network.

Pacella added, “It’s about talking conversationally, with a real human element, and addressing the flow on effect of how doing certain things with your loan will impact other parts of your lifestyle. Does it affect your entertainment? Your children’s activities? Brokers who are doing social media well add in that real human approach and make sure the content is really engaging.”

To Pacella, this digital face time is invaluable.

“Some beautiful examples I’m seeing are the brokers who are partnering with solicitors, insurance companies, commercial brokerage firms and other experts. It’s about taking advantage of your strong network so when people come to you as a resi broker, say, you can also provide them information around insurance requirements, a fantastic solicitor, buyer’s agent – all these things that add value," he said. 

“There are a few very well-known brokers that do it well across different platforms: the promotion of the livestream, bringing experts onboard that can really enhance your brand reputation, pulling off pieces and creating different social content off the back of those streams, promoting the feedback you’re getting, sharing those links with your audience and network – suddenly, it’s gone from 20 people who know what you do to 200.

“I could probably only rattle off 10 brokers who do it well out of the 17,000 in the industry. I think there’s a huge gap.”