The Why, How and What of Social Media for Insurance Agents
Most of us are familiar with social media and use it in our personal lives, catching up with old and current friends on Facebook, following our favorite entertainers on Instagram or keeping up with current events on Twitter.
These familiar platforms can also serve a useful purpose to insurance agents—marketing tools to help you connect with new customers, build deeper relationships with existing customers and expand your professional sphere. Whether you’re already using social media or just thinking about taking the plunge, considering the why, how and what can be a useful framework to make your social-media efforts more effective.
Why Social Media?
If you want to sell to people, you need to meet them where they are. And lots of people are on social media—literally billions worldwide.
To claim your piece of that gigantic pie, focus on connecting within your community. Start following your local politicians, civic organizations, businesses related to yours (real estate companies, auto dealerships, etc.) and well-known influencers. Participate by posting helpful insurance-related advice, cheering on others who are doing good work and asking questions that allow others to demonstrate their expertise. As you do so, others will begin to follow you, too.
Make current and new clients, vendors and colleagues aware that you are online and ask them to follow you. Pretty quickly, you’ll build your own small community, one that you can use to stay in touch, build goodwill and reach new prospects.
How to Use Social Media Effectively
Think about the tone you want to set from the start. Choose three words that describe how you want your insurance agency to come off like “friendly, competent and helpful” or “high-end, expert and exclusive.” Then, every time you want to post, ask yourself if the content you have in mind fits that criteria.
If you already have social media accounts in place, it’s never too late to adjust your image. Delete any old posts that missed the mark and begin filtering new posts to match the persona you want portrayed. It won’t take long before your refined identity is established.
Avoid making this identity too much about sales. Social media is a good place for a soft sell instead of a hard ask. It’s more about creating positive impressions and establishing your place within your larger community as a trusted and reliable partner for anyone who might need insurance.
What to Post on Social Media
Given that you probably have limited time available to devote to social media, planning ahead and being creative with your content are good things.
Think about infusing variety in your posts. Make a list of helpful tips like how to clear brush from around your home or making a claim after a hailstorm. Brainstorm possible visuals such as a before-and-after photo from an auto collision. List questions/surveys that you could post on a variety of insurance-related topics like “What’s the most important factor for you when choosing an insurance policy? a) Price, b) Policy features, c) Confidence in my insurer.” Choose a few quotes that inspire you that have nothing to do with insurance but everything to do with the way you do business.
Create a calendar of two or three posts per week and use a tool like Sendible, HootSuite or TweetDeck to schedule an alternating array of messages that together paint a picture of who you are as an agent or agency. From time to time, be sure to include behind-the-scenes moments that show the human side of you and your colleagues, like a photo with your children visiting you at work or the impressive rubber-band ball that your coworker keeps on their desk.
Focus on content that is useful, interesting, informative and/or fun. And always remember that if you want people to engage with you, you need to engage with them. Allotting as little as 15 minutes for commenting every couple of days can be enough to keep your presence alive and relevant in others’ minds.