Social media can be an excellent marketing tool, and it isn’t going away anytime soon. So whether you make keeping up with it part of your daily work schedule, assign it to someone else at your agency or outsource your social marketing to a pro, you may as well use it to your advantage.
There are lots of creative ways to do that, which may vary some depending on the platform(s) you choose. Some examples:
- Twitter is a great place to interact with and promote your vendors and other insurance experts, as well as establish your own expertise by sharing your blog posts, white papers, etc.
- Instagram is great for sharing photos like before/afters of insurance claims—a dented car made beautiful again or a flooded basement after it’s been freshly repainted and newly carpeted. (Be sure to ask your customer’s permission before posting.)
- Facebook makes it easy to share helpful tips, stories and ideas that you’ve found online as well as ask questions, highlight your expertise and humanize your business.
- With a smartphone and YouTube, you can easily create a video demonstrating actionable insurance-related tasks, like “5 Ways to Prep Your Home Before a Hurricane” or something similar.
You get the idea. Whatever platform(s) you choose, one of the most important parts of a social media strategy is that you make it a regular part of someone’s job. If you’re going to have a presence, it’s not enough to check your account once a month or post something every few weeks. Think of it like being at a party—you can’t sit in the corner and read for two hours without alienating the other guests. The person responsible for your social media should have time allotted to check in, comment, post, forward and engage with others.
You’ll also want to be sure that your account is set up to send you or your proxy notifications when a commenter interacts with your page or account. If someone asks a question, answer it in a timely way. If they leave a comment, write them back if it makes sense. And if someone posts a negative comment, address it with genuine concern.
This will be easier if you’ve set up guidelines ahead of time for how you will respond to any criticism that you receive. Getting defensive is never helpful. If there is a legitimate gripe, apologize and explain what you will do to fix it. On the other hand, if a commenter is being cruel or offensive, it’s often best to ignore the comment; they end up making themselves look bad. You can also delete and block anyone who is truly nasty, but that’s easier to do if you’ve included a short statement in your social media bio that says something like, “We welcome your comments and feedback, though offensive statements will be deleted.”
The upshot is that like any other tool (your computer, traditional advertising, customer relationship management software, etc.), social media can help you sell more insurance if you use it thoughtfully and effectively. Giving your social media strategy some thought and attention will help you make the most of it.
This is the first of two Hometown University blog posts about social media and insurance sales. The second covers social media tactics. To learn more about how Hometown Quotes and how we can boost your sales with our fresh leads, contact us at 800.820.2981.