9 Ways Insurance Agents Can Use Instagram
Insurance agents of the 21st Century are urged to “get on social media,” but what does that really mean? There are numerous platforms to choose from, and the reality is that you should be trying to make each one work for you to some degree.
That makes the generic “social media” advice pretty useless. What you need are tangibles, and that’s what we’re giving you today with a look at Instagram and how you can make it work for your insurance business on a daily basis.
First, though, why Instagram?
Well, for starters, it’s a place where you can reach (potentially) 300 million actively engaged users; and since each one of them needs insurance, that’s a pretty fertile starting point. Furthermore, these “actively engaged” users have shared 30 billion photos (as of September 2015) and 70 million more per day.
Last but not least, Instagram is considered the most important social network by more American teens (32%) than any other social networking platform. Youth is an asset when it comes to building your insurance business because it gives you the opportunity to ingratiate yourself early and build lifetime customers.
That said, how do you make the most of your time on Instagram? Here are some tips.
1. Source from the community
Instagram is a visual medium above all else, and that means the posts that you make need to have a strong visual component. Where better to turn than your community and, more specifically, the things that are getting shared organically?
If you anticipate that you’ll need permission, make sure to ask. In fact, ask anyway! Instagram connections may not be like “real-world” connections in the sense that most of your followers won’t be people that you plan on inviting to family dinner.
If you are going to share something previously shared by another source, show some courtesy.
2. Talk to your followers and target audience; don’t try to ‘sell.’
We live in a post-Millennium world. People can see a sales pitch coming from a mile away, and the more sales-y it is, the less likely they are to buy. That’s why you should focus on image and content instead of trying to cattle-prod your followers’ wallets from their pants pockets.
Consider sharing a piece of fascinating data or a compelling (and relevant) study/news story that ties into your services somehow. People want to feel enriched when they are following you or viewing your advertisements.
So enrich them.
3. Work on your non-advertising posts
Your Instagram brand will never grow like it should if all you’re doing is firing off one advertisement after another. The social network wants to make sure that content — paid or otherwise — is the sort of stuff its users wish to see.
Therefore, think of Instagram as you would Facebook or Pinterest.
You wouldn’t want every post there to be commercial, and the same is true here. Be diverse and respectful of your followers’ news feeds.
4. Send your ‘foot traffic’ online
One of the most underrated and overlooked ways of growing your online brand is to make use of your offline brand. If you have an office or business cards or regularly take meetings with insurance leads, then you should be incorporating your Instagram account into the presentation/materials.
Each person that you win over is likely to bring more followers with them, and that will allow you to steadily increase your numbers.
5. Employ humor whenever you can. Just make sure it is actually funny
Humor is difficult, but it works provided it’s actually funny.
The insurance industry has long been known for its ability to draw laughs from people. Think Flo with Progressive, the Geico cavemen/gecko/metaphor commercials, and Allstate’s Mayhem.
Let’s face it. As an industry and as people, we’re hilarious! Instagram gives us a chance to harness visual and text messaging to prove that to the rest of the world.
6. Hold giveaways
Giveaways are tried-and-true ways of getting people to follow you on any social media platform/blog. Instagram is no exception. While it may be true that people following you just because of a giveaway may not be very engaged, you should still give it a try.
Because insurance is a commodity that everyone needs, and even though those individuals may not have use for you now, there is a better than 50/50 chance they will in the future.
7. Look at what others are doing
Don’t just limit your search to other insurance companies and agents. Check out some great examples from other brands to get additional ideas for how to publish on Instagram. This link will show you some examples of Instagram ads that work.
8. Jump on visual opportunities as they present themselves
The more that you get comfortable using Instagram and studying the content presented there, the more open you will be to visual opportunities that arise in your day-to-day life.
By “visual opportunity,” we’re talking about things that you may spot on other social networks; things you may come across in your day-to-day life that can be easily photographed with your trusty smartphone; infographics from blogs that you follow; and whatever else fate throws at you.
9. Always use your call-to-action buttons
This last suggestion may be a small one, but it’s a doozy if you’re running an Instagram ad campaign. Most Instagram-savvy brands know to utilize the Call-to-Action button allowed for commercial posts.
This button appears in a small but noticeable rectangular box between caption and image, and you can use it to display messages like “Sign Up,” “Buy Now,” etc. There is no better way to succinctly give your target audience a “next step.”
Using Instagram is not a necessity for insurance agents, but with all the opportunity that the social network presents, why wouldn’t you want to? Aside from that, it’s fun! Get your account active today if you haven’t, and if you’re an old pro, share some of your suggestions in the comments section below. Best of luck!