It’s 2017. Why aren’t 100% of independent insurance agents on social media?
A recent study commissioned by National Underwriter, the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA), and Flaspöhler (part of NMG Consulting) revealed less than three-quarters of independent insurance agents maintain a social media presence. The result begs the question: Why are the rest so anti-social?
Social media usage has skyrocketed in recent years; according to Pew Research, 69% of Americans now use social media compared to just 5% in 2005 and 50% six years ago. We use social media not only to connect with others and view entertainment but to receive news content as well.
Marketing professionals in all industries latched onto social media long ago as a powerful marketing tool, especially with reaching millennials. If more independent insurance agents fail to adopt a comprehensive social media strategy, they risk being as outdated as flip phones.
Why It’s Important
Tom Wetzel heads a digital consulting firm for insurance agents. He recently wrote in his blog that “2017 will mark the tipping point in agents’ efforts to adapt to the digital marketplace...most agents are no longer talking about why they should become ‘digitally savvy’ but how best to do it.”
Most agents realize the importance of social media in attracting millennials now entering their prime insurance purchasing years. But in a broader sense, social media has the potential to forever change how insurance agents promote their brand to prospects and communicate with current clients when dealing with coverage issues. More and more, insurance purchase and claims processes are being shifted — if they haven’t already — to the digital realm through apps and other internet-based and mobile platforms. Simply put, if you don’t have a social media presence by now, you’ll business will suffer.
4 Rules of Social Media Engagement
Kick off your social media program by following these steps:
1. Decide Where You Want to Be
Think you need to be active on every single social network? Think again. Instead of establishing a presence on every platform — from Facebook to Pinterest — choose which channels your clients or likely prospects log onto and concentrate on those. Adapt your message to the specific channel and target audience. Always be sure to embed a link to your website on that platform so your prospects can contact you.
2. Make a Plan
Decide what information you want to send to your clients and prospects. Do you want to share interesting articles? Third-party content or proprietary data? Then, plan how frequently you post — daily or weekly, and at what times. There are no limits on what you post, though you should avoid overt sales pitches. Keep your content informative and educational. Think about the interests and needs of your audience, and base your social media content on those factors. It should be something they would be interested in reading or viewing.
3. Be Consistent With Your Brand Message
Although each social media outlet requires a different approach (YouTube is unlike LinkedIn), all must consistently convey your value proposition. Use the power of social media to brand yourself as an expert able to help clients and prospects solve their insurance needs.
4. Measure the Results
Ask yourself, what business goal do I want to achieve through social media? What number of prospects am I looking to attract each month? Am I looking to close deals? Market my company to a wider audience? Set your goals, and then measure the results. See what gets the most “likes” and shares — and which results in actual business. Don’t be hesitant to change your strategy based on that data. Focus only on those strategies that achieve your goals.
The point is, adding social media into your digital marketing mix can build your business tremendously. So what are you waiting for?