When I speak to insurance agents about prospecting, creating relationships, and so forth, many of them are self-proclaimed “old-school” agents. They do networking through BNI groups, chambers of commerce, Rotary clubs, in-office visits, and the like. Those are great ideas for networking, and I tell those agents that they should continue those activities in conjunction with a strong online presence.
Most of them simply admit that they don’t really know how to create an online presence, much less use social media effectively. Some feel overwhelmed, and downright afraid. We all know what that’s like:
When you start to learn about online presence, you realize it's important to work on. Today we’ll focus on a few pointers with social media, and how to use it appropriately, as I’ve seen far too many agents use it incorrectly.
Here are three basic (and very easy) tips to improve your agency’s social media plan:
1) Determine your target market
In any marketing campaign the first step is always to determine your target market. Are you going after home and auto? Life? Health? Individual or group? Or are you going after business insurance? If so, what kind, how many employees, etc?
Let’s say you’re going to do home and auto insurance. Here are some example questions to determine your market:
Once you determine your target market, you can determine …
2) Which social media program to use
The big ones are Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. In my experience, LinkedIn is great for business relationships. Google+ is good for “reputation” stuff, and the rest are great for reaching out to individuals.
That is definitely oversimplifying it, and ideally you’d have a strong presence on all of them. To start, choose between LinkedIn (business insurance) or Facebook (home and auto insurance), and learn all you can. Once you’re comfortable with one, start learning the next platform.
3) What to post
There is a HUGE problem with insurance agents posting waaaaay too much stuff about insurance. Now, I love insurance, but most people view it as a necessary evil, so when they see dozens of pure insurance posts from you, they get tired of it. Here are some quotes other agents posted for me to see on my LinkedIn page:
It's Insure Your Love Month. In a recent survey, a majority of people admitted they'd leave their loved ones behind nothing more than photos and memories. Life insurance can help provide reassurance that your family's financial future will be taken care of. Luckily, it's easier than you think. Call me today.
First of all, these were in a row on my feed, and the third one must have been a carrier-supplied post, because three separate people posted the Exact. Same. Thing.
Don’t post very much about insurance stuff. If you’re on Facebook, post about others, wish people a happy birthday, post funny videos, and once in a while post about how much you love your job. Don’t ask for quotes. Don’t be annoying.
Just be human!
If you’re on LinkedIn, focus your posts on your target market. Let’s say you want to write insurance on restaurants. Post articles about what successful restaurants do, or the arguments for or against tipping, or the growth or failures of certain restaurants.
Be an expert of your target market on LinkedIn.
If you follow these basic steps, you’ll be well on your way to having a social media presence for your agency. Let me know if you have any questions, and I’ll do my best to help. Obviously this is a short article, so I can’t go into too much depth, but if you ask specific questions I’ll be happy to answer!
IHT is a multi-state insurance agency with dozens of branches across the eastern and central United States.