11 Jan Driving New Business With Facebook
With the MPA Top 100 writing, on average, 7.92 times MORE than the average for the broking industry, I thought you might find it useful to know what role, if any, social media plays in them writing their volumes.
In particular, we’re looking at the usage of the Facebook Business Page as part of their client acquisition and retention strategy.
And in this in-depth analysis, I think you’ll find the results interesting.
For context, I examined their frequency of posting, their types of posts, the level of engagement they received, the number of 5-star reviews, the number of videos posts – and what, if anything, they could have been doing differently or better.
The key findings have been summarized here so you can decide how Facebook fits with your marketing strategy to build trust, create engagement and drive new enquiries.
To start with, I categorised their Facebook Business Pages as either active or inactive.
- Active: Those posting MORE THAN twice per month (46%)
- Inactive: Those posting TWO OR fewer times per month (54%)
So, in this fast-paced digital world we live in, why are 54% of the MPA Top 100 inactive on their Facebook Business Page?
My observations are:
- The bulk of their business comes from client referrals, repeat business & strategic referral partners
- They were posting but stopped posting (or posted less frequently) when the algorithm reduced the organic reach of business pages.
- The platform isn’t how they want to communicate with people and/or they don’t feel it is where their clients will want to engage with them
- They don’t care. Or, said differently, they aren’t focused on building their presence on Facebook as they are focused on other activities for client acquisition, communicating, engaging with people, etc.
Now, interestingly, if we compare the settlement volumes of the brokers who posted 2 or fewer times per month (inactive) vs. those averaging 3 or more posts per month (active), this is how it looks:
In isolation, these numbers would suggest ditching the FB page makes sense as far as lead generation for mortgage brokers is concerned.
But it’s not that black & white. It seldom is, so let’s look at the next layer.
If we remove the ‘top 3’ brokers and the ‘bottom 3 brokers’ from the results, then it changes things dramatically:
And in some respects, this is probably a fairer representation given the top 3 brokers (Justin Doobov, Mark Davis & Josh Bartlett) are ‘outliers’ in terms of their results.
So, this then begs the question of “well, if results are similar whether brokers are or aren’t active on their Facebook business page, should I be putting time and/or effort into this?”
Well, if you are thinking about using Facebook, considering the following:
- Of the 46 brokers who were ‘active’ on the FB Business Page, 20 of them were either Mortgage Choice and/or Aussie franchisees, most of whom were going with the ‘head office social media service’ without doing anything extra (meaning they weren’t really doing much themselves)
- This means only 26 other brokers in the MPA Top 100 were ‘active’ on social media
- And even then, for many of these 26, it wouldn’t have been an overly time-consuming task given that most content would have been
So, does that mean Facebook isn’t the right strategy for your business?
Some brokers, both those in MPA Top 100 (and outside but knocking on the door) are clearly using Facebook exceptionally well. For them, Facebook is clearly more than just a platform to ‘do some posts’.
It’s part of a larger strategy that involves:
- Staying front-of-mind (as much as algorithm will allow)
- Building trust & credibility through education & value
- Offering freely of their knowledge
- Celebrating client success stories
- Providing the opportunity to generate inbound enquiries
- And, crazily enough, just being human and actually being ‘social’
For many of these brokers, the strategy is clearly working.
Take Leon Spadavecchia from Financia in Adelaide for example.
Their FB Business Page encompasses a range of posts that:
- Educate clients
- Demonstrate their competence
- Make them come across as likeable and personable
- Celebrate client successes
- Celebrate staff members with posts such as ‘employee of the month’ => see post below
Interestingly, the engagement (# Likes, Comments or Shares) with some of Financia’s posts are much greater than some pages that have 5, 10, 15 or 20 times as many followers.
Which begs two more questions:
- Do more engagement mean better results?
- Do more followers mean you’ll generate more enquiry?
As it happens – I wrote a previous blog that addressed there two questions which you can refer to here.
But in summary,
- Yes, I think there is a correlation between more engagement and better results – though, rather than trying to hit a ‘home run’ every time with a highly ‘likeable’ post, there is immense value in posts that demonstrate your knowledge, position you as an expert. Fewer people will like, comment or share these posts, but they should be considered a vital part of your Facebook posting strategy
- No, more followers doesn’t necessarily mean more enquiry. It depends on the source of the followers. There are plenty of companies who’ll happily sell you 500 likes for around $15 to $30, but does that mean 500 ‘fans’.
Buying Likes vs. Earning Likes.
One brokerage in the MPA Top 100 singlehandedly accounts for 51% of the cumulative # of Likes from all MPA Top 100 pages. But, it’s an almost sure bet that they bought the bulk of their 52,822 ‘followers’.
And it shows.
They have less engagement than Financia, who has one-fiftieth as many likes (1,070).
So, 52-times MORE ‘likes’, but LESS engagement. How can this be?
As referred to above, the source of the followers means everything. You can source or buy all the likes in the world, but it won’t necessarily correlate to results.
When a business has a huge following, and almost nobody liking or commenting on their stuff, it looks weird. It’s a little like saying to the world “check out how many people like us”, but nobody is really that keen on sticking their hand up.
At worse, it can potentially run the risk of looking false – which can impact trust levels.
So where does all this leave you – and what should you be doing?
Done well, your Facebook business page can still be a great source of lead generation for mortgage brokers.
Some brokers, like Ruan Burger (Time Home Loans, Brisbane), are using it effectively to build great credibility with over 100 x 5-Star clients reviews.
That way, new clients who go onto Facebook and research Ruan before making contact will have great confidence in what others have said.
Your page can be a great way to engage, to share, to build credibility, to get existing clients to come back, to keep you front of mind, and to drive new enquiries.
If your business is still in a growth phase, it can certainly play an important role in building your profile, enhancing your likeability and establishing your reputation as a credible and competent broker.
But it will take effort – either from you and/or from a person who helps bring the pieces together.
Though a completely outsourced option can be an easy ‘hands-off’ approach to posting, it rarely means ‘better’.
It’s called ‘social’ media for a reason, and chances are, that it can provide great value for you too if you use it as such.