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Building Relationships with Social Media with Model Match's Eric Levin

This article is from a Quick Hits conversation between Ben Treadway of SocialCoach and Eric Levin, Co-Founder nad EVP of Client Development at Model Match. Click below to watch the video conversation. 


Putting Out the Right Content

Ben: I wanted to ask you a couple of questions about social media, about branding data, all that kind of stuff that comes along with what you do on a daily basis.

So just to begin, When you look at social media, when you look at data, when you look at, you know, the people that you rub shoulders with branch managers and leaders how were you, how are you, or how does model match help with helping these branch managers kind of get the right type of content to attract the right type of talent or business development opportunities? How are you helping them with that?

Eric: Yeah. Great question. You know, I had a conversation with the leader the other day where I know this very good leader, super successful, but, but they're a little bit of a plateau right now in their overall business development and their strategic growth.

And I had just noticed that I saw no LinkedIn presence, no social media presence. And this is a really smart person who I was sitting here having a conversation with, and they were educating me on things that I needed education on. And my simple comment was, "you should take exactly what you just said to me and you should create a video and you should post it on social."

Now this was somebody who said, "I don't really use social" because this somebody had honest concerns about how social media is impacting the brains of young people right now. This was an older individual, but once we were done talking and they understood that.

My comment was more about your ability to start to engage with people that might be like minded and can get value from your education that eventually you might find yourself partnering with at some point, the trigger went off, and they said, "you know what, I can do that. I can grab an iPhone, I can put that out in 30 seconds.

post it to social and then engage with those people that engage with me on social. So at a minimum, that's generally what I'm looking at and then sharing with folks. You know, I get the value of getting to hear them speak these things one on one with me. So many times I think, boy, that should live on a video somewhere to educate somebody else.

Tracking Engagment to Build Your Brand

Ben: Speaking of engagement, obviously it's important to, to put content out, but when you get engagement, when you put your videos out and you get engagement, how are you tracking that?

Or are you tracking it at all in a way that you can actually utilize that data or that engagement to build your own presence or, or build your presence of your company?

Eric: Yeah, you know, I get very jealous when I talk to people like you and Joe Wilson and Josh Pitts and others that are really good at these sorts of things and track metrics and track engagements and connect the dots to be able to show you the effort that you're putting in is having an outcome, or these things are the reason why you're not having an outcome.

I'll be very honest with you. I don't do a good job of tracking those metrics, but I will tell you what I've learned. Mostly what I use is LinkedIn. I will self admit that I need to expand my reach into other social outlets.

How Engagement Online Impacts Real-World Business Relationships

Eric: But take LinkedIn as an example:

I do sort of look at engagement minimally at the comments. If someone comments back, I'm always going to use it as an opportunity to comment back at them again, either thank them for their comment or ask them another question.

You know that comment string could actually turn into your post versus the actual post itself because something else can then turn into a whole new topic. So I'll throw it back.

Here's the other thing that I've found: And again, this isn't me tracking metrics. It's more of an intangible that I sort of get out of it -- I will go places sometimes, maybe a conference, maybe a speaking engagement for a customer, and there will be people that will come up to me and talk to me as if they know me and I don't know them.

I've never met them before, but, but they feel like they know me because they actually are watching the videos and they're paying attention to some of this content.

So it creates this next level of connection that I would have only gotten by picking up the phone. In this case, I can scale it through social posts, but I do need to do a better job of tracking those metrics and utilizing those metrics.

So when we think of Model Match as a company, right? And you work with business development opportunities, whether that's recruiting new loan officers or realtor partners, I think you bring up a really good point where people can get to know you without actually knowing you in person.

Using Social Media for Business Growth

Ben: So when you're, when branch managers are coming to you, asking for help with their business development, growing their branch. Do you see that social media is a, is a really important piece of that, especially when we talk about LinkedIn and recruiting online?

Eric: A hundred percent. I do. And I think we could even look for the sake of this conversation.

Of course, we wouldn't remove the term social media, but it is a form of digital marketing, is it not?

I mean that's what you're trying to figure out. How can I take the hours that I have in the day and create multiples of those hours? And so if I post something to LinkedIn or any or Instagram or Facebook or whatever you're using, or all of the above and and whatever I just posted creates some educational opportunity or value or humanity --

"I think I know Eric now", or "I think I like Eric because of something he said or something that happened."

Building Relationships of Trust Through Social Media

Eric: You know, back in the day before this, what we had to do is we had to take the time to pick up the phone or drive to somebody's office and take the time for them to get to know us like us and trust us.

And it wasn't until we hit the trust where we started doing business together, right?

Well, I think video content, digital marketing, social media, when it's done the right way, it allows me to get to know people, and then that last little piece is the one on one where we trust each other and now we can go do business together.

Social media has created the opportunity to create efficiencies of your time and multiples to scale yourself in that process.

Scaling Conversations at the Speed of Social

Ben: I love it. When, when I look at people that are really good at social media the way that I judge whether or not, I think that they're great is how often I'm willing to look at their content continuously, watch the entirety of a video, comment back on that video.

When I comment, I do expect to have something come back to me, right? I want to have a conversation with this person. And so when you're, I mean, speaking of Model Match, just what you guys do when it comes to building a branch or engaging with people, it is super important to have that back and forth conversation because we can have that conversation or we can get together for lunch and have the same conversation that we could have done at our, at our house.

And, you know, I think it's super important to have the engagement outwards, but also have the engagement inwards as well. And it just feeds off each other. The content that you put out, I think is, is top notch, especially when you're just out on a walk.

You know, I think of the one that you did when you're on vacation in Utah, just, you know, walking on the, on the street and that, that content is more personal, more engaging than most other content out there. And so I just want to give you a props for the content you're putting out.

Final Thoughts

Ben: I think you're doing a really good job, but any last words, any last advice for anyone when it comes to whether it's engagement or just being personal on social?

Eric: Yeah, well, first and foremost, be a human being. Be a human being.

Don't be a robot. Don't read from a script. Don't try to be somebody else. Be yourself.

I mean, look, at the end of the day, people want to partner with people. I mean, I think the mortgage industry continues to prove this. You know, 10 years ago, there were comments that, there's not gonna be loan officers in this industry anymore.

Everything's going to be run through, you know, push button, get mortgage kind of concept. Well, here we are and technology has advanced dramatically yet the percentages of loans that are actually closing that didn't involve some human interaction is incredibly small. It's still incredibly small.

People want to know that I'm talking to somebody that I like and that I trust.

And so when you think about that, when you put out content and you, you make a great point. There, there is, there are things that I've put out that I thought to myself, Oh my gosh, this is the, this, this person I was talking to just gave the golden nugget.

And the connections or the views that I get seem super small, but then I'm underneath a tree giving a 20 second little commentary on something that just happened that I thought might be good to put out and birds start fighting above my head and I get more comments on that than I do on the thing that I thought was earth shattering.

So be consistent, be predictable at some level with your schedule and be a human being.

And by the way, I'll throw out one other thing, and I know I'm being long-winded right now. One of the things, and I truly believe in this, I think you create value for yourself.

And here's what I mean by that coaching. When you coach others, You tend to learn something yourself or you remind yourself of something that you're probably not doing or you could do a better job of. I find that when I post to social, it actually helps fill my own gas tank for the work that I have to put in for the rest of the day.

I feel like I give myself a little bit of juice or I remind myself of something that I need to be doing a little bit better. So if that's all you get out of it, that's worth it all by itself.