We've brainstormed ideas for what to post on social media, so you don't have to!

Here are 15 content ideas for what to post on social media. The idea is to keep your feed varied and relevant to your audience. Make it less about you, and less about them.

1. Industry news

There are now 30 lenders offering cash backs...

2. Answer FAQs

What's the difference between an offset and redraw facility?

3. Explain your services

Ever wondered how much it costs to use a broker?

4. Share a review

Our client Mia was finding it hard to get help from her bank...

5. Introduce your team

Meet Michael, our fabulous parabroker. What's a parabroker, you ask?

6. Thank your customers

We've just celebrated 100 loans settled this quarter. This represents 100 clients who've trusted us to make their dreams a reality. Thank you...

7. Promote a referrer

Shout out to @trustedpartner - every time we send one of our clients their way we receive exceptional feedback on their services...

8. Witty quote

"There's more to life than losing weight and paying bills" - time to get off the treadmill, both literally and figuratively, and set yourself up to actually enjoy life.

9. Define jargon

LVR, SVR, LMI, WTH?

10. Budgeting tips

Do you have a favourite budgeting app?

Here are our picks for where to find good (non-cringeworthy) stock photography.


Rather outsource your content creation to us?

In a world where everyone's talking about personal branding, leads are generated on social media, and content needs to be shared across multiple platforms, you'd be forgiven for neglecting your business website. 

And you're in good company, with the vast majority of brokers relying on their aggregator to produce a cookie-cutter website that does little to attract or win new business.

Here are three reasons why it's crucial to invest in a high-quality website that converts.

To meet customer expectations

When customers do their due diligence on you - as they invariably will - they expect to see a high-quality website.

Don't disappoint them.

A good website will communicate your credibility in an instant, showcasing your expertise and social proof.

Looks matter, and a slick website shows the world you know what you're doing. In fact it takes just 50 milliseconds to form an opinion of a website, and by extension: a business.

To be found by people when they search Google

Make it easy for your future customers to find you when they Google 'mortgage broker in [suburb]'.

A website (provided it's been setup with local SEO in mind) should improve your visibility to new audiences. 

For tips on how to improve your search rankings, check out our three quick and easy methods you can do yourself.

To keep ownership of all content and audience lists

We are big fans of social media for its potential to help brokers (and us!) attract, win and retain more business.

HOWEVER...the aim should be to add your followers to your CRM so you can keep in touch outside the social media platform.

Your website is where you can convert followers to prospects with the help of lead magnets and mailing list signup forms.

Did you know: We produce high-converting, SEO-friendly, responsive websites that are tailored to finance and legal customers - and that breathe life into your brand and help you win more business. Find out more here.

SEO – or search engine optimisation – should be the number one priority of any website project. The ultimate aim is for people to find you online when searching for topics related to your expertise – no paid ads required.

While most SEO enhancements require significant investment and expertise to get right, there are ways to improve your local SEO that don't require any technical know-how. Here, we take you through three ways to improve your online visibility to people in your local area.

We're going to assume you have a Google My Business account (and if you don't, we recommend setting one up immediately. Doing so is free of charge, but it will take a few weeks for Google to verify your address, so it pays to start now).

The key is making sure your Google My Business profile features location-specific content and that you're actively maintaining your profile.

 

Publish posts to Google My Business – with location-specific content

You can publish short posts (fewer than 1,500 characters), videos, gifs, and photos. Besides providing your audience with relevant information, publishing content to your Google My Business profile signals that you're actively delivering value to your audience. Google feeds this information into the algorithm, to the benefit of your search engine results.

Where you can, try to mention your geographic location, so that when people in your area search for terms related to your business, your business listing is shown to them.

 

Respond to reviews – with location-specific comments

Responding to reviews is simply good practice to show your customers you appreciate them taking the time to help with your marketing efforts. As a bonus, responding to your Google My Business reviews can enhance your local SEO. We recommend something like this:

Thank you for providing your feedback on our mortgage broker services in [suburb, state]. We're delighted you had such a positive experience with us and look forward to working with you again.

Best regards, [your name] and the [full business name] team.

 
Publish high-quality content – that's location-specific

We see a lot of websites for mortgage and finance brokers that only publish generic syndicated content, thereby missing opportunities to maximise local SEO. To let Google know that your services are targeted to people in your area, your content must mention your location. This is why our weekly article subscription service allows for customisation to your local area.

Stock photography has come a long way in the last few years. Don't get us wrong, there is still a lot of it out there that will do your brand more damage than good, but on the whole it's relatively easy to find appropriate, brand-enhancing images for your collateral and online content.

When you need stock photography

You won't always have a collection of professional photos of you and your business. Stock photos are perfect for blog posts, social media content, eBooks and newsletters.

Where to find good (free) stock photography
Unsplash
Unsplash stock photos for finance brokers

Unsplash was one of the first sites to disrupt traditional stock photo offerings (like Shutterstock and iStock). Its images are amongst the most authentic, creative, and contemporary.

Pexels

Pexels stock photos for finance brokers

Pexels is another good all rounder that helps you avoid resorting to daggy stock photography. It also has an excellent collection of stock video, and an assortment of curated collections to browse.

Pixabay

Pixabay stock photos for finance brokers

You'll definitely find some treasures in Pixabay's photo library if you search for long enough. Where Pixabay really shines though, is for illustrations and vector files. Check it out for resources to use for DIY marketing collateral.

Negative Space

Negative Space stock photos for finance brokers

Negative Space is best for corporate and architecture shots. It also has a vast collection of typography images (think street signs, and retro and neon signage) and architecture.

Honourable mention to our favourite paid subscriptions

At Social Broker, we have tried and tested many stock photography sites (there are a good thirty or so that we've not even mentioned here). Sometimes the free offerings – as much as we all appreciate them – just don't have what we need, or perhaps we want to avoid using the usual suspects. Our favourite paid subscriptions are with these sites (in order from most loved to less so):

Twenty20

Twenty20 photos for mortgage and finance broker marketing

Twenty20 is our pick out of the dozens of stock photography libraries we've tried. Browse their artfully curated collections for inspiration or to create your own cohesive library of images. Subscribe through Envato for around $300/year.

Adobe Stock

Adobe Stock photos for mortgage and finance broker marketing

Adobe Stock is handy if you're looking for something very specific, due to their robust search and filtering functions. You'll find many 'visual pun' / metaphoric images, which is a style we feel has had its day.

Shutterstock

Shutterstock for mortgage broker photos

Shutterstock has the most rigorous search capability, including being able to specify whether an image includes people and even to filter by ethnicity (helpful for ensuring representation). Plus, it's the biggest stock photo library, so it would be remiss of us to leave it off our list.

How to choose the right photo

Avoid choosing images that look overly staged, cheesy, or scream 'I'm a stock photo!' It's one of those 'you'll know it when you see it' scenarios.

If you're using images that include people, consider whether they look like real people in 2020. Bad stock photography can look dated (usually because it was shot many years ago). Good stock photography, on the other hand, will often feature 'real' unposed people in believable settings and natural lighting.

You also need to ensure the photos you choose reflect your target audience – which we're guessing aren't all as white, straight, conventionally attractive and with an early 2000s sense of style as some of the bad stock photography out there is!

To maintain a cohesive visual identity – across everywhere you publish content – you might want to consider sourcing photos in bulk. This way, you can see how they'll all work side-by-side. So rather than searching for, and choosing just one photo, download 50 at a time to create your own library of images.

Need a hand?

We offer an image curation service. What this means is that we'll spend hours scouring premium photo libraries to find the right images that showcase your brand's values and connect with your audience. Find out more here.

Social media marketing is a bit of a misnomer. It's actually less about promotion and more about connection. We all know about the trust deficit in financial services, and in fact consumers are increasingly cynical to marketing activity across every industry.

We've mapped out five ways to build trust on social media and build your personal brand - which is really just another way of saying 'help people get to know YOU'.

1. Be real

Communicate in an authentic, human way. Your customers are loyal to you (not head office). Show them who you are and provide a sense of what it'd be like working with you. Develop a distinct and engaging voice and stick to it.

2. Be social

Have you ever been to a BBQ and complimented the host on their salad-making prowess only to be met with radio silence? Of course not. Don't forget Manners 101. This means responding to comments and interacting with other accounts.

3. Be generous

Sharing insights without asking for anything builds trust, exemplifies your service-oriented approach and of course shows off your technical expertise. People will very quickly switch off if they see you're continually asking for something.

4. Be consistent

Consistency in your messaging, tone of voice and aesthetic builds a strong brand, which conveys stability and dependability. Don't let this stop you from refining content and allowing for variation between social media channels.

5. Be part of something

No one wants to be accused of virtue signalling, however we all have a role to play in leaving the world a better place. By raising awareness of the causes that matter to you and your community, you can help drive volunteering and donations.

Getting it right on social media marketing is a matter of being sensitive to the challenges your audience is facing, and staying true to your brand values.

By now, you’ve probably already amended your customer communications. You’d have sent a COVID-19-related message to your mailing list to update them of your plans and to assure them you’re here to help. By and large, these emails have struck the right balance of pragmatism and sincerity. This is impressive given there’s no playbook for any of this.

Your focus to-date has likely been on the operational aspects of how your business, team and customers are affected and how to adapt to the constantly shifting situation.

As you start to gain clarity on what undertaking business looks like for you in this strange new world, it’s vital to revisit your social media strategy.

No matter which sector you operate in, social media marketing will increasingly require your business to communicate with candour, level-headedness, and above all: compassion.

When this is all over, people will remember whether you acted like a dodgy salesman or cemented yourself as their trusted provider.

Press pause

If your social media posting is automated, review your scheduled content to ensure that the messaging truly embodies your values and brand proposition – as it stands today.

The collective sentiment right now is vastly different to what it was when you originally created your social media content and so naturally it may no longer be fit-for-purpose. The audience you’re targeting have very different needs and wants than they did pre-pandemic.

#FOMO makes way for #gratitude. #YOLO is replaced by caution. High-quality and value replaces thoughtless consumption. Supporting our local tourism industry replaces aspirational holidays in Positano. Greed hasn't been good for a long time, and financial security is sexier than ever. This is all good news for customer-centric finance brokers, who naturally have the customer's best interests at heart.

It's particularly important to revisit any calls-to-action. If they're sales-based, make sure they don't sound like you're launching a going out of business sale. Sure, your 'ad' about refinancing may plant the seed in the customer's mind that they should look into whether they have the right loan product, but if you've not presented yourself as trusted adviser, they'll simply look for another broker - or head straight to the bank.

Slow it down

Successful businesses adapt, and it makes sense that given online traffic has increased around 60% since self-isolation kicked off, and that digital is now one of the few means to reach people, businesses have become more prolific with social media posting.

It’s so important that your business’ increased social media presence doesn’t come across as panicked, out-of-touch or opportunistic. When you suddenly ramp up from posting weekly to several times a day there’s a risk that you won’t have had a chance to ensure it accurately reflects your intent, values and brand persona.

Get some perspective

Before communicating with your audience, consider what they might be going through. Spending a lot of time with industry peers or on LinkedIn can fuel a sense of urgency. It looks as though everyone else has already started lemonade production and perhaps you’re worried demand will dry up.

A lot of business-minded people are talking about ‘being a victor not a victim’ and ‘riding the wave of opportunity’. This is fine – and we understand the impetus to be proactive. After all, we are all terrified in the face of so much uncertainty, no matter how much we lather on the bravado.

Do step out of this bubble, though. Consider, for instance that 30% of Australia’s workforce are made up of healthcare workers. These people are not on LinkedIn – being otherwise preoccupied saving lives – and no doubt many of them would bristle at the thought of taking advantage of the current situation for financial gain. The challenge they are facing has been likened to “going into battle with paper shields and toy guns”, although to be fair, they are still employed.

Tone is important, but intent is everything

We’re all running businesses, and so there is of course a financial imperative to what we do. We use social media to let people know how our products and services will help them, with the hope they’ll part with their hard-earned cash. No one likes to be sold to, and people will become increasingly cynical of this over the coming months, with businesses making more noise to vie for people’s attention. Getting the tone right is crucial to connecting with people in an authentic and engaging way.

We suggest undertaking a branding exercise to solidify your brand persona as it relates to each social media channel, keeping in mind your LinkedIn voice will likely be different to your Instagram voice. You may have already done this but it’s worth revisiting given the new (and unimproved) environment.

Whatever your brand persona, it needs to align with the experience your customers can expect to receive. A sure-fire way to achieve this is to be clear on your intent. What’s guiding your decision to undertake social media marketing? How does this gel with your overarching purpose?

Bad news is there’s no magic formula for getting it right on social media, and even the most thoughtfully-crafted post can be misconstrued by an audience. Great news is a well-defined rationale or intent statement is the best litmus test for whether you should publish that next post. Treat it as your North Star (and don’t panic post).

Find out more about how Social Broker helps broking businesses develop a distinctive brand the resonates with the ones who matter.

Instagram is the perfect platform for you to connect with a wider audience, but it can be tough figuring out what kind of content to post next. And there’s definitely an imperative to post regularly – because the last thing you want people to see when they click on your profile is crickets!

It's tempting to focus on quantity over quality content for your social media channels. We get it, how else are you expected to get people to notice you?

Now's the time to build your brand and connect with your target audience. This calls for content that's authentically YOU. It's not the time to spam the ether with sales pitches, ads that say 'Call me!' or generic, off-the-shelf updates that do nothing to connect on an emotional level.

To make sure you’re not just posting one sales pitch after another, we’ve prepared a helpful guide. Check out these five content ideas for when you’re feeling stuck on Instagram.

1. Share your expertise

Improve your audience's financial literacy by explaining the ins and outs of finance and mortgage-related concepts. Use plain language, and keep it light, fun, and relatable. Be helpful without being preachy.

2. Showcase your values

Motivational quotes serve a bigger purpose than simply bulking up your feed. Use the captions to link back to your value proposition, and showcase your values, sense of humour, personality, vibe.

3. Explain your services

Let people know what it is you do and how you've helped people just like them. This could be answering commons questions, busting myths, or sharing case studies. Focus on benefits. Stay clear of industry jargon, unless you're explaining it.

4. Amplify social proof

Share your testimonials, Brokermatch, Facebook or Google reviews. Carefully consider how to phrase your caption in a customer-centric way. It should be less: 'Look how good I am!' and more: 'I loved working with this customer!'

5. Introduce the team

Provide insight into the culture of your business by introducing your team and showing some of the behind-the-scenes. To maintain your feed's polished aesthetic, keep the casual, ad hoc photos and videos to your Instagram Stories.

1 in 3 Australians use Instagram, with 9.5M monthly users Australia-wide. It’s the social media platform that gets the most engagement and fortunately it is relatively easy to quickly build a decent-sized audience (in contrast to its sister-platform, Facebook).

There’s immense opportunity for mortgage and finance brokers to build a niche brand on Instagram. However, how can you realistically be expected to create high-quality content alongside mastering the core functions of your role? After all,  you’re in the business of finance broking, not social media marketing.

In response to unmet demand, we’ve developed Social Broker, which provides fully-customised Instagram content to enhance your brand, attract followers, and keep you top-of-mind.

However, if you’d rather go down the DIY route, read on for some practical suggestions of what to consider when crafting content for social media.

Persona

Tone is absolutely everything. It’s about striking the balance between authoritative and engaging. It’s an opportunity for you to showcase your expertise, brand values and your personality. Your audience needs assurance both that you’re competent, and that they’ll enjoy working with you. This is why generic, head office-generated content often doesn’t get the cut-through and often won't be relatable or compelling - simply because it doesn't showcase you.

We suggest defining your persona before creating your content. Write down the attributes you want your brand to personify. Is your brand ambitious, chic, intellectual / conservative, strong, stable / approachable, helpful, direct / confident, witty, playful. Your brand persona should align with the experience that customers can expect to receive from you.

Targeting

While Instagram can help you cast your net wider (than traditional word-of-mouth referrals), try avoid taking a scattergun approach. This means identifying who your target audience is. Are you seeking to connect with a certain demography, profession or buying-behaviour? Be clear on who your ideal customer profile, and then design every piece of content with them in mind.

Messaging

Your Instagram account presents an opportunity to showcase your values, highlight your expertise, educate people, stay top-of-mind and give insight into your personality – so they know what it might be like working with you.

And, to keep you Instagram feed engaging for the long-term, think about what other finance-related topics you could cover. For instance, real estate, interior design, small business/entrepreneurship, financial empowerment for women, growth mindset thinking, financial literacy. The topics you cover will depend on your target audience, and your own expertise and interests. By covering a range of topics you’ll make your account appealing to more people, and improve visibility (via hashtags).

Including a call-to-action in marketing material is something that is drilled into us at every turn. Yet, we need to remember Instagram is a social media channel – so we've got to be social, not 'salesy'. Be very purposeful with your CTAs. Not every post needs to include one, and it doesn’t always have to be a ‘Call me today on 0406 BROKER’. Consider asking questions to build engagement, or provide links to useful tools or articles.

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