5 Qualities to Look For in a Social Media Manager
Being a one-man show in the insurance world is tough to do. When you have to worry about generating insurance leads, closing deals, and getting referrals, it’s easy to let your online marketing efforts fall by the wayside. But if you’ve resigned yourself to this behavior, then you’re doing your business a disservice. Social media may not be a direct revenue effort but it does get your name and message out there to the people who need to see it in a cost effective manner. To do it well, however, you need someone committed to the effort. And while anyone can call themselves a “social media expert,” few people actually are. To find a true expert to help manage this arm of your business, you’ll want to look for the following qualities.
Strong Research Skills
The person you hire doesn’t have to have any insurance experience as long as they have strong research skills. If they know where agents go for information and what prospects and customers are searching online related to their insurance needs, then they’ll be able to dig up and create relevant content that gets shared (and consequently, gets your name in front of the people who need to see it).
An effective social media manager isn’t just looking at specific content to share. They’re also analyzing who your customers are and even the times of day where posting will get the biggest reach. They look at each and every action they perform on your social media accounts. They test things. And they do it all in an effort to share the best content at the best times for maximum results. Last but not least, they’re capable of reading backend analytics that most of the major networks provide (Twitter, Facebook, etc). You don’t have to show them how to read the reports because they’ve seen several before.
The Ability To Engage
Beyond researching your niche, sharing compelling content, and analyzing results, they have the ability to phrase posts or tweets in a way that gets people talking. They ask compelling questions to generate conversation or they share information that will jump out at a user and command commentary. They know how people behave online and what they really respond to for the specific niches they’re in.
It seems like every week there is a business that posts something to social media that offends a wave of people and ends up on the front of BuzzFeed. You don’t want to be that business. Contrary to popular belief, there is such thing as bad publicity. In most of those cases that go viral for all the wrong reasons, they business owner lays blame on a social media manager, whom they end up having to fire. This is likely the truth. So many that deem themselves social media managers forget to use tact and are needlessly edgy. They do this in a desperate attempt to boost likes, shares, and comments. Unfortunately, it often comes at the expense of the business owner. Make sure that the person you hire for this job refrains from such behaviors and exercises tact when posting.
Many social media managers call themselves “experts” when all they have experience with is Facebook. While Facebook is a huge part of the social media world, it’s not the only part. Google+, Twitter, Pinterest — these are each unique and what shares well on Facebook won’t always share well at these other locations (and vice versa). Make sure your social media manager knows that each network is a different beast and that it requires a different approach. In other words, don’t just copy and paste the same messages to each platform and expect to have success.
Social media may not be the first thing on your mind as an insurance agent, but underestimating the impact that it can have for better or worse is a huge mistake. This is where people spend much of their time. You need to be there, and you need to be there in a way that does the most good. To do that, you need a social media manager, who has all the qualities listed above. Not just a few. You might also consider scheduling tools, like Buffer, to help you keep a regular posting schedule. Good luck in your search!