I’ve been writing a lot about online marketing, networking, social media and related subjects.
Why? Because the future of business is there, and without being effective in that arena, an insurance agency won’t reach its potential and likely won’t survive. BUT! I’m very aware that owners of small businesses wear many hats and just getting your feet wet online can be a daunting task. But, social media marketing is an extremely important part of your marketing strategy if you want to build your insurance brand.
Building Your Social Media Presence
It’s all about community and building your network. You’ve probably connected with existing customers So, what now? Take advantage of the networking part of social media platforms and start building a community by providing quality content and actively interacting.
But which networks to use?
Your Profile is Important
So, again, which social networks should you use? The answer is: All of them! It’s important to be all over the web these days.
One thing that is important for all of these social media platforms is building a good profile. Think of it as your “elevator pitch.”
- Because you’re the face of your insurance agency, use a headshot as your avatar.
- Make sure you have a link to your insurance company website. You would be surprised at how many businesses seem to forget to add their contact information.
- Make your bio interesting by including more than what you do for work. Do you have any interests that might attract people to your Facebook page?
- Choose a good username. That could be your own name or, if you’re know by a certain name in the insurance industry, like “Fast Closing Frank,” use that. It makes it easy for those in-the-know to find you, and adds an air of mystery that might attract some followers.
Although you’re going to spread yourself all over the web, different social platforms serve different purposes in the online world.
The Difference Between the Social Networks - Facebook, Twitter, etc.
No matter which social network you’re using, one thing is extremely important: Respond to customers. And respond to any questions about your insurance products.
Another important element of social media for insurance agents, and any business, is to post often. You can’t build a community without engaging frequently with your audience.
- Facebook: This is more of a personal network. Keep your posts personal and engaging. Provide valuable information that your network might need rather than a sales pitch. People also can add online reviews, so you might want to ask especially satisfied customers to add them to your page.
- Twitter: Because Twitter moves quickly, it’s a good place to share timely information. And, it’s a great place to follow industry leaders and mentors–you can share their posts with your followers.
- YouTube: If you can make interesting, engagine videos, you’ll get subscribers who will be alerted every time you post something new. People can like or dislike your videos and comment on them. And, your videos can be shared across other social networks.
- Instagram: It’s all about followers. By following industry-relevant accounts and making insightful, engaging comments on their posts, other people can follow you. Use hashtags to your advantage, and use them in the comment section rather than your main post so your main photo caption is easily readable.
Now, let’s talk about a social media network for business.
Linkedin: The Place to Network with Other Professionals
I think I must be the last guy to join the social media revolution! I’m not looking for a job, so why bother with Linkedin?
Facilitate Communication and Build Relationships
I finally decided, after a lot of prodding, that since most of my clients and partners were on Linkedin that I needed to be, just to facilitate communication and relationships. So, I set up an account. It was an interesting experience.
In the first place, I had to think back to my career and decide what to put “out there.” When you get to be my age, you forget about a lot of the things you’ve done and accomplished. So, this exercise turned out to be fun and satisfying in and of itself.
After I got the account set up I started getting suggestions for people to ask to link to me. So I did. That was very interesting. Within three weeks I had linked to almost 500 people! I had forgotten I knew that many. Apparently, you can upload all the lists of people you know and invite them too. I haven’t done that yet but will eventually. It will be fun to see how many people I know.
What’s been the most fun about this though is reconnecting with people that I had forgotten about—finding out what those folks are up to has been interesting. I’m looking forward to more of that.
Use it to Build Your Business
I also discovered that on Linkedin I could very easily keep up with what insurance companies I represent are doing. Now, that is valuable!
I also learned that I could use Linkedin to find good employees. Now that is useful!
And, I found out that I can have someone easily introduce me to someone else via Linkedin that I’d like to, or need to know. That is becoming very helpful.
Small business owners are using Linkedin to find new leads. This means you can contact “warm” leads instead of making cold calls. You can message a prospect, mentioning shared connections or interests, and show interest in their company and offer help.
It’s called “social selling” and, according to Linkedin, it’s working. Social selling leaders have 45 percent more sales opportunities per quarter.
I do know a useful tool when I see one.
Some other things you can do is to join industry groups, ask people for recommendations and endorsements, and ask your current network for introductions. The search features of LinkedIn are very valuable for small business owners. Advanced search allows you to search by keywords, geography, company name, industry, relationship, language, company size and seniority, and offers great demographic and firmographic segmentation, a.k.a. targeted marketing.
Why don’t you join me there? Are we connected on Linkedin? If not please send me an invitation to connect! Let’s link up and discover the future together!
Always keen on helping others make their dreams come true, Tony and his team have helped independent agents grow into more than 250 independent agencies. This has made OAA the number one ranked Strategic Master Agency of SIAA for the last 5 years, and one of Oklahoma's 25 Best Companies to Work for.
Tony loves to share his knowledge, insight and wisdom through his bestselling books as well as in free mediums including podcasts and blogs.
Tony and his family are members of Crossings Community Church, and he is very active in community initiatives: he’s chairman of It’s My Community Initiative, Inc., a nonprofit working with disadvantaged people in Oklahoma City; and chairman of the Oklahoma Board of Juvenile Affairs., and he has served through many other organizations including the Salvation Army, Last Frontier Council of the Boy Scouts of America, and the Rotary Club.
In his spare time, Tony enjoys time with his family. He’s also an active outdoorsman and instrument-rated commercial pilot.