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4 Ways for Loan Officers to Prioritize Connection Over Engagement

In an essay published last week, Om Malik, Silicon Valley journalist and investor, wrote an article called, Social Internet is Dead – Get Used to It.

It’s great, you should check it out.

In his essay, he talks about how the social media that was originally conceived as a way to connect with one another is essentially gone.

Think of your MySpace, Friendster, early Facebook and Instagram.

He discusses that over time, as that original vision needed to drive revenue, it was slowly replaced with what we have now – an algorithm designed for engagement over connection.

He writes that now “the primary task of these platforms is not about idealism or even entertainment — it is about extracting as much revenue as possible from human vanity, avarice, and narcissism.”

That could easily be true and I think if you look around your social media you’ll certainly see some of that.

But I don’t think that needs to be the case.

Connection Over Engagement

At SocialCoach, we help you take social media and help turn it into a revenue driver for you and your mortgage business. That’s certainly not a fact we shy away from.

But where the tendency can be to lean into wringing your social media contacts dry for every lead possible, we take a different approach.

We firmly believe that through consistently posting authentic content that positions yourself as not just an expert in the mortgage industry, but also as a real person with a life outside of mortgages, you can connect with an audience and drive business.

And that as you do those things and connect with your audience, they will naturally engage with you and your content, leading to opportunities for more business.

So here are 3 steps to make sure you prioritize connection over engagement:

1. Create Your Audience

Your audience (and those who don’t even know you yet) are looking for answers. This will help put it in perspective: 

According to SEMRush, just under 15,000 Americans search “what is a mortgage?” monthly. Now think of how complicated the mortgage vocabulary is. 

And there are plenty more questions to answer:

You can be the one helping to explain these concepts clearly and easily on social media, providing the mortgage content that your audience wants to see. So whether you do decide to start creating content on TikTok or you decide to try posting your first mortgage Instagram Reel, getting started is half the battle.

2. Remember the 70-30 Rule

When you’re marketing on social media, it’s really tempting to just sell, sell, sell. You want more business and it’s hard not to just make every post asking people to call you.

But keeping the 70-30 rule in mind will help you be able to cultivate and grow an audience that you can sell to.

It’s simple:

70% of your content should be designed to inform and engage your audience

Explain mortgage terms, concepts, process and more. Make mortgages simple. 

Respond with a TikTok, Reel or other short-form video to questions, engage back with your audience.

30% promotion

This is when you can talk about your mortgage products and services.

But be tactful here as well. Is there a way that you can talk about these products and services while also embedding your pitch into an informational post?

3. Start a Conversation

In nearly all aspects of digital marketing, one of the most common recommendations you will hear is to engage back with your audience.

What is unique about social media is that it can be a communication platform that allows you to easily answer questions that your followers might have.

If you get a comment on your post, reply to it with a response. See if you can find ways to keep the conversation going naturally.

Maybe share links to resources that answer the question.

If you get a question on one of your TikTok or Reel videos, respond with another video answering that specific question.

If the question is more complex, recommend that the individual send you a personal message or DM.

We've seen plenty of business opportunities create themselves in the comment threads of videos. Don't miss the chance to create a conversation and build a relationship there.

4. Build Trust with Your Audience

You grow an audience through authenticity and being yourself.

If all you have to offer on social media is pitches for your followers to use your services, you are going to lose those followers quickly.

And I mean QUICKLY.

Take a look at some of the best mortgage TikTok accounts and how they engage with their audience through authenticity.

But you can help your audience connect with you and trust you by sharing that education we talked about earlier and sharing about yourself.

Mixing in more personal, real content will help your followers to connect with you beyond mortgages. That’s what builds a lasting and engaged community on social media.

You also build trust through compliance.

In his recent appearance on Quick Hits with Ben Treadway, Corey Shelton of Atlantic Coast Mortgage shared a great insight when he said that “compliance is just honesty.”

If you are honest with your audience, you’ll naturally be compliant. 

But on top of that, honesty with your audience will also build trust. And I don’t have to tell you that’s a crucial component for doing business.

The more that your audience trusts you, the more they will care about what you have to say. You will see your followers and engagement increase as you find ways to share more of your personal life along with your mortgage content.


By understanding your audience, making the right kind of content for them and putting a focus on authenticity, you’ll see those connections and your follower count increase.

If you’re wanting help with your social media, SocialCoach can help you every step of the way. Click here to get a demo of SocialCoach and learn about how it can streamline your social media while maintaining your compliance.