Insurance agents with plans for a social media expansion need to answer these four questions.According to Pew Research, nearly 70% of Americans regularly log onto to social media. Many insurance agents, however, have yet to capitalize on these online habits with an effective social media outreach program. In fact, a recent study commissioned by National Underwriter, the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA), and Flaspöhler (part of NMG Consulting) noted that only 64.4% of independent insurance agents market their business on social media.
Perhaps many agents assume social media is just a place to be, well, social. In a modern digital economy however, that’s no longer the case. Accenture reported back in 2014 that 48% of consumers check social media sites for comments when making buying insurance.
Considering the importance social media plays in marketing and sales, all agents — not just two-thirds of them — need to be social media experts. Before hopping onto Facebook or Twitter to revamp your current presence, ask yourself these four important questions in order to boost lead generation and drive up revenues.
1. Who Am I Trying to Reach?
Attempting to reach everybody on every channel isn’t a winning strategy. Instead, concentrate on those platforms that your ideal clients are most likely to use. For example, if you’re looking to work with college graduates or high-income households, investing in your LinkedIn presence is probably the way to go. After all, Pew Research reports that half of college graduates use the site regularly. By knowing how your target audience uses social media, you stand a better chance of meeting them where they are — and when they’re most likely to find your online content most appealing.
2. Which Platforms Should I Be On?
At the very least, agents should set up a business account on each of the “big four”: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google Plus. Of the four, Facebook has the widest audience with 68% of US adults regularly using the site according to the same Pew Research study. By establishing a presence on each of these platforms, you can learn how to market your business to new audiences. Once you have these core networks down pat, you can consider branching out into more specific social media sites such as Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr.
3. How Do I Engage Prospects?
Once you decide on a social media platform, it’s up to you to craft a strategy that works for that specific site. To take full advantage of Facebook, for example, you can buy ads that target prospects by age, gender, location, and interests. If you’re selling homeowner policies, you can place ads that tout the ways you can save home insurance, thereby piquing the interest of recent homebuyers. When users click on an ad, a chatbot can ask some basic questions and collects the prospect’s information, which you can then follow up on the make a sale.
4. What Tools Should I Use?
Whether you’re new to social media or a seasoned veteran, incorporating tools into your workflow can help you make the most of your investment. Social listening software can monitor any mentions on social media about a company, industry, or even a life event. When the software picks up a Twitter conversation about a life change, such as a marriage, an agent can reach out to the prospect to begin a discussion about life insurance. These tools can also track mentions about insurance more generally so that you can be a part of key conversations as they occur.Ultimately, social media marketing can do more than help you make a sale. When used effectively, it can support you while you develop and maintain relationships with your clients that will benefit your business now and in the future.