Social media should be an essential component of any successful insurance agent’s or broker’s marketing strategy. Regardless of your market niche (e.g., Individual & Family Plan sales, Group Health, or Ancillary), your customers and prospects will expect you to be online and using social media. If you’re not there already, or if you are looking for ways to enhance your social media engagement, we have five tips.
1: Select your target
It’s important to define your target audience. A shotgun approach, where you’re not targeting anyone specific will help you very little. Instead, focus on your ideal customer.
For example, if you specialize in employee benefits, your target should be small business owners, HR managers, and benefits professionals. The small business market is huge. According to the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, firms with fewer than 100 employees accounted for 98.1% of employers in 2019 data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Firms with fewer than 500 employees accounted for 99.7% of employers.
2: Determine your goals
We have discussed SMART goal development in past articles. The term, SMART, comes from ensuring your goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound.
The more specific your goal is, the more likely you can succeed in reaching it. Start by deciding what you want to accomplish. Who, if anyone other than you, is responsible for reaching it? What steps do you have to take to achieve it?
In addition to being specific, you need to ensure your goal is measurable. How are you going to track your progress? How will you determine your benchmarks? A few of the measurements you might consider for your social media goals are increased followers, leads, and website traffic. Those are measurable. Less measurable are increased brand awareness and enhanced brand reputation.
Being realistic in determining your goals means setting achievable goals. It’s good to want to push yourself with a stretch goal, but it’s important to recognize your limits, too. If you’ve not been doing much social media, it’s not realistic to think you can increase followers by thousands or generate hundreds of new leads overnight. However, it could be possible over an extended period.
Your goals also need to be relevant. How do they fit into your larger (big picture) marketing plan? To achieve your goals, do you need to rebalance your other marketing efforts? Will you want to consider shifting more of your efforts to Twitter and LinkedIn (if you have emphasized Facebook up to now)?
The “t” in SMART comes from time bound. What timeframe are you envisioning for completion of your goal(s)? How soon will you start and when do you expect to reach your goal? Having a timeline helps you (and others) stay on track toward achievement of your goals.
3: Craft content that offers value to your followers
Beyond developing content consistently, it is essential to focus on crafting content that your followers/clients/prospects want. Your success depends on engaging, interesting content. You want to become a valued resource for your readers. You want to demonstrate your expertise in insurance and employee benefits. You want to become your clients’ and prospects’ go to resource whenever they need reliable, independent information.
If you tell your story in an engaging way, that will help you attract and retain followers and clients. Consider sharing a success you’ve had with another client. For example, you can include a testimonial about how you helped a business owner and their employees get the valuable coverage they wanted, while still helping control costs.
4: Match your content to the platform that makes the most sense
Related to developing valuable content for your followers is picking the right content for your selected platform. YouTube is ideal for informational or entertaining videos. LinkedIn works well for longer, written content, although videos are popping up more frequently here, too. Twitter is great for commentary on late-breaking news and events. The recent Supreme Court ruling on Roe v. Wade drew a lot of attention with some brokers offering information on the ruling’s impact on employer-sponsored health plans.
You will be more effective if you have a mix of content over multiple platforms. Some readers will be attracted to your videos on YouTube or LinkedIn. Others may like what you have to say and share on Twitter. The key is being topical, informative, and interesting or entertaining. Whatever platform you choose, don’t overlook the measurement tools each offers to help you judge the effectiveness of your efforts.
5: Be real, relatable, and responsive
Sharing your expertise, your background, and your engaging content using social media will help you boost your reputation and increase awareness of you and your business. It may also allow you to start (or build upon) your conversation with customers and prospects. When they reach out, be sure you respond promptly, so your warm lead doesn’t turn cold.
Read our 2020 post, Using Tech to Stay Connected With Current and Prospective Customers, for more information on using social media, email, and video as part of your marketing strategy. And, watch for our ongoing series of “Did You Know?” social media posts about the Word & Brown sales team – and see how we’re using social media to get the word out about what sets them apart.