Foursquare 101 for insurance professionals – Using Foursquare for your insurance business

FoursquareIf you’re a “wired” insurance pro, you’ve probably heard about Foursquare. Perhaps you already have an account.

For those insurance agents who are still scratching their heads about yet another online social media tool, I’m hoping to clear the air today and shed a little light on how you can successfully implement Foursquare into your social media and online marketing plans. I also have real insight to share from an insurance agent (or Insurance Goddess) in Ohio who is using Foursquare to her advantage and has landed several new prospects via this online tool.

So, what is Foursquare?

According to Wikipedia, Foursquare is a “web and mobile application that allows registered users to connect with friends and update their location.” When users “check in” at venues, they can choose to update their Twitter and/or Facebook to alert friends of their location. Users may earn badges based on frequency of check-ins and other criteria.

For example, I walk into my favorite coffee shop, open the Foursquare application on my phone, click “check-in” and Foursquare generates a list of nearby locations. I find the name of my coffee shop and click “check-in” again. If I’ve connected Foursquare with my Twitter and/or Facebook, the application will automatically tell my friends on those networks.

Users can also view nearby tweets and see what other users recently checked-in at that particular location.

Foursquare currently has 1.3 million users and continues to grow rapidly.

How can Foursquare help my insurance business?

If you’re already using Facebook and/or Twitter for your insurance business, the idea really is the same. It’s another tool you can use to get your name in front of more prospects and find ways to connect with and serve people in your local community. Keep in mind that general social media etiquette still applies. The idea is NOT to sell. The idea is to serve and connect through genuine interactions.

Are other insurance professionals using Foursquare?

Yes. Carrie Reynolds is an insurance agent with Galvez Insurance in Ohio. I originally connected with Carrie via Twitter. Several weeks ago, Carrie shared that she had connected with several prospects via Foursquare. My interest was piqued, so we messaged back and forth a few times. I had several questions for her about Foursquare and she was kind enough to answer them and allow me to share them with you in this blog post:

HometownQuotes – How long have you been using Foursquare?

Insurance pro Carrie Reynolds – Since February.

HometownQuotes – What was the learning curve for implementing Foursquare in your insurance business?

Carrie Reynolds – I didn’t have much trouble, as Foursquare has some great help articles, plus I have a pretty good group of friends who use it and we’d talk about it amongst ourselves.

HometownQuotes – Is Foursquare helping your insurance business?

Carrie Reynolds – It can’t hurt. Every time I check into my office, I post a marketing message of some sort. It helps keep “top-of-mind” awareness.

HometownQuotes – Do you think the ROI will be worth the time and effort you put forth?

Carrie Reynolds – I don’t have to put a lot of effort into it. It takes me just a few minutes to come up with my message for the day. The actual checking-in process takes very little time with the phone application I use.

Thanks again to Carrie for taking time from her busy day to share her Foursquare experience with us.

With 1.3 millions users (and more being added every day), I agree with Carrie. Using Foursquare can’t hurt your business. You never know who you’ll connect with until you give it a whirl.

Are you on Foursquare? Do you have a positive or negative experience you can share? We’re all ears!

We’ll be posting more information about leveraging your insurance business with Foursquare soon. Stay tuned!

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