Updating Your Agency’s Online Presence
In a blog post last week, we talked about how to hone your brand identity and differentiate yourself from your competitors. This week we’ll focus specifically on bringing your online presence into alignment with that brand identity. [LINK TO LAST WEEK’S POST]
Step 1: Look Yourself Up
Start by searching for your insurance agency online and jotting down every place you have a presence. This might include a Google business listing, social media accounts like Facebook and Twitter, review sites like Yelp, a local business directory, etc. Search also for variations on your name in case a profile was created at any point under a similar name (e.g., the Doe Agency versus The John Doe Agency).
Next, search for your competitors. Are there places online that their agency exists but yours doesn’t? Consider whether you should be there, too; if the answer is yes, add those online locations to your list.
Step 2: Stake Your Claim
As the internet evolves, sometimes it’s important to claim your name before someone else does. For example, a Twitter handle has a limited number of characters and is unique to each account, so you’d ideally want to grab “@doeagency” before another agency with a similar name had the chance
Look at the primary social media sites that are already in play and—even if you don’t want to be active on them now—think about at least creating a placeholder presence that includes information about how to contact you directly. Also, whenever a new form of social media shows up, consider doing the same early on in its existence.
Step 3: Create Consistency
Consistency is an important part of brand identity. For instance, is your official business name The John Doe Agency, John Doe Agency or Doe Agency? Is the same main phone number listed each time? Visit your profile on each of the online locations and fix any discrepancies. As you create new online profiles, make sure they match, too.
Step 4: Clear Up Outstanding Issues
Be sure you have notifications set up to alert you when someone interacts with your online presence. If consumers are asking questions, it’s good practice to respond to them the same day whenever possible. Regularly check your posts for questions and your private-message inboxes, too.
Comments and reviews demand more thought. Once you respond to some, you’ve set up the expectation that you will respond to more. Depending on whether you have the time or energy, you may be better off not responding at all. If you do choose to engage with online consumers and get negative feedback, just be sure you never respond in anger.
Step 5: Refresh Your Images
If you were running a fashion house, your followers would expect your feed to be full of beautiful, varied imagery. Thankfully, you’re not. No one is going to expect an insurance agency to continually swap out their photos. Still, replacing your photos from time to time will help you appear in others’ social-media feeds and keep your pages feeling fresh. Updating images quarterly is generally manageable for many.
Step 6: Create/Update Your Content Calendar
If you’ve never created a content calendar before, your future self will thank you for doing it now. A content calendar is a tool to help you know what and when to post online. Start by looking at past posts to determine which ones garnered the most engagement from your audiences. (Your social media analytics will be helpful for this.) Then brainstorm similar and new ideas, considering factors like seasonality (e.g., winter-specific posts), trends (how to lower auto premiums through participation in a drive-tracking program) and emerging insurance issues (homeowners coverage for wildfires).
A good content calendar will switch up topics and types of posts and have dates assigned so you know what to post when. Often an investment of two to three hours is enough to map out an entire quarter’s worth of posts.
Step 7: Set a Recurring Reminder
All done with steps one through six? Before you check “Update online presence“ off your list, be sure to set a reminder to revisit it again—on an annual basis at a minimum, more frequently if you can. Like any ongoing chore, the more you stay on top of it, the easier it will be the next time you do it.
Ready for some new prospects? Hometown Quotes has fresh leads for insurance agents all around the country. Give us a call at 800.820.8921 to learn more.