7 Tips for Building and Growing Social Media Accounts
One of the best rules for social media marketing for insurance agents — or any other type of sales-related professional — is to make it easy for your customers and prospects to find you. How do you make it easy? In short, you do it by being everywhere they are and by realizing that different insurance leads and customers connect in different ways.
Yes, Facebook may be the biggest social media brand in the world, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect Twitter or Pinterest or Instagram or [insert network of choice here]. Part of adding value to your client’s experience is to remove as many obstacles as possible, so growing your social media accounts should be a priority.
It’s a cheap way to connect, to answer questions, and to offer service.
But how do you do it in a way that doesn’t eat in to the core function of your business, which should be lead generation and closing sales? Here are some tips.
1. Take it slow but steady
Dispel the rumor right away that everything has to be set up and ready to go overnight. It doesn’t. Social media is a marathon, not a sprint. Start with one network. Learn its intricacies. Then, once you have a solid understanding of how things work, move on to the next. Don’t be discouraged if your budget doesn’t have room for a social media manager to do this for you. You can learn everything you need to know about building and growing a specific platform by simply spending a little time on it each day.
2. Watch what your competitors are doing
By “competitors,” you probably think we mean “other insurance agents,” and to some extent, we do. But to build and grow a social media brand, you also have to realize that competition could come from anywhere. Take Facebook for example. There has been a lot of talk over the last year about how organic reach is dropping for many brands. That’s because there are a LOT of posts competing for user feedspace, especially as more of your prospects and customers amass more and more followers. Essentially, you’re not just competing with insurance agents, but their Aunt Martha, their cousin Benny, and anyone else they’re friends with who posts to social media. It’s SO important for you to understand how engaging posts are constructed as well as the best times of the day to post.
(Hint: it’s actually not when most of your users are online, but when they’re not. That gives the user a better chance of seeing your post instead of the hundreds of others competing for feedspace at that particular time.)
3. Post often and at different times, then analyze your results
Analysis is so important because it gives some direction to your experiments. When you analyze what works and what doesn’t on the social network’s publisher reporting tools, you have the knowledge necessary to do more of the engaging stuff and less of the other. On a site like Facebook, check for a high organic reach, then see the number of post clicks. The higher the percentage of post clicks to organic reach, the more engaging the post. For example, let’s say you have an O.R. of 50,000 and 6,000 post clicks. That’s a more engaging piece of content than the post that has an O.R. of 50,000 and 5,500 post clicks.
4. Consider paid advertising for posts that are organically more popular
The O.R. is telling for the results you’re likely to get with a paid marketing campaign. Save your social ad dollars for posts that are connecting on their own.
5. Do it the old-fashioned way
Harness the power of your offline contacts in order to grow your social media brand. Ask business owners you’ve worked with, family members, friends, and others to “like” or “follow” your account and spread the word to their followers.
6. Bait your posts, but don’t overdo it
“Link-baiting” is a commonly (mis)used social network posting practice that involves a teaser headline that sets up some kind of payoff if the user clicks through. These are typically favorites of viral/trending news sites, and they endure because they work. The key is to make sure the “payoff” of the post is proportional to the teaser. For example, let’s say you have a post where you’re citing a study on texting while driving and you “tease” the user into clicking through and engaging by saying something like, “You won’t believe the surprising new data found about texting while driving.” The user clicks through, and he finds out that the data you’re presenting is pretty much common knowledge — texting while driving is dangerous. He’s going to be pretty upset that you teased a big reveal that most people know already. But if you cited a new study that shows texting while driving actually makes some people BETTER drivers — well, that would be a shocking reveal worthy of the headline buildup.
(Good luck finding anything reputable on that, though, because texting while driving is totally dangerous and about the worst thing you can do as a driver.)
7. Engage with the engaged
Finally, don’t let your engaged users post into a vacuum. If they’re truly engaging with, commenting on, and sharing the content you’re sharing, jump in to the mix. Answer questions, offer new insights, thank them for their perspectives. Engaging with the engaged improves the odds that they will remember you when the need arises for insurance.
Social networking is still one of the cheapest and easiest-to-use tools for online marketing. If you’re not using it, then you should be. Try the 7 tips listed above, and see what it does for your engagement.