Whether it’s to connect with prospects/referral partners, improve their knowledge/skills or simply share best practices with colleagues, mortgage LOs are quite active in LinkedIn Groups. There are two types of Groups on LinkedIn – Public and Private. While both restrict activity/post visibility to members, there are some key distinctions between the two in terms of ease of access. Public groups allow anyone who wishes to join by simply clicking the “Join” button. For Private groups, individuals must request an invitation to join from the group’s admin. Within the Private group category, there are two classifications – Listed and Unlisted – and these designations refer to whether the group is visible on a member’s profile.
Much like any other social media channel, mortgage LOs use their profile pages to share original content with clients, prospects and partners or repost relevant content from other trusted sources, like news outlets or partners. LinkedIn supports video and hashtags, enabling loan officers to share similar content across multiple social media platforms (e.g., Instagram, Facebook, etc.). In addition, LinkedIn offers two ways to share written content. Posts are intended to be shorter in form, and these typically appear as part of an individual’s feed. The current limit for posts is 3,000 characters, though posts are typically truncated to around 200 characters when displayed in the news feed. On the other hand, articles function more like a blog, allowing users to publish longer-form content that includes a headline and cover image.
Given that this was (and still is) one of LinkedIn’s primary differentiators in the social media landscape, many mortgage LOs have leveraged LinkedIn to forge connections with clients, prospects, and partners. Paid LinkedIn subscribers can send “cold” direct connection invitations using the platform’s InMail function, which allows them to include a longer, more personalized message with the invitation to connect. However, all users can send a direct connection invite to someone on LinkedIn and include a short personal message with the invite if they so desire. A relatively new feature of LinkedIn is the option to Follow an individual. Someone may opt to Follow instead of Connect if they are interested in seeing the individual’s content in their feed but do not have (or wish to have) a personal connection with that individual.
Unlike other social media outlets, LinkedIn offers mortgage loan officers a more direct way to establish connections with clients, prospects and partners, making it an essential piece of their overall social media marketing strategy. However, with LOs leveraging LinkedIn for business development purposes, compliance teams must monitor these accounts as part of a comprehensive social media oversight program, as the content shared through this medium is subject to all relevant marketing/advertising rules. Another key consideration of this platform is the intrinsic nature of it’s B2B connections. Financial institutions should be mindful of how RESPA might paly a role in connections and conversations with other settlement service providers on LinkedIn.
For those needing a quick refresher, our Social Media: Consumer Compliance Risk Management Guidance resource page offers a comprehensive overview of maintaining a compliant social media marketing program.
Social media is a free tool utilized by millions of sales folks worldwide to promote brand...