Every insurance agent should follow these these guidelines when creating their social media program.Insurance agents must reach their clients and prospects wherever they are, and today that means increasing their agency’s presence on social media. A Pew Research report from earlier this year found that nearly 70% of Americans log onto to social media, with Facebook capturing 68% of those users. Just as importantly for insurance agents, nearly half of consumers polled by Accenture in 2013 said their decision to buy insurance was influenced by comments made on social media.
Major insurers have certainly taken notice of those statistics. In January, consulting firm Aite Group anticipated that U.S. life insurance companies would boost their social media marketing budgets to $381 million, a significant increase from the $301 million invested in 2016. It’s not just major insurers using social media to increase sales, correspond with policyholders, and reach new customers, however. By following some simple do’s and three don’ts, independent insurance agents can gain the same benefits from their social media strategies.
Communicate with clients and prospects through social media
Social media can be a powerful retention tool. Pay attention to your clients’ and prospects’ posts on social media. In some instances, their comments may indicate dissatisfaction with a policy or service. In those cases, immediately respond to those clients’ remarks so that you don’t lose them when their policy is up for renewal.
Practice good customer service on social media
In addition to communicating with clients, social media offers an efficient claims management platform with which policyholders can change policy provisions or submit claims. According to a 2014 Accenture survey of 8,000 insurance policyholders, one-third planned to use or had used social media to request a claim payment. This becomes especially important after a natural disaster hits, and your clients will need to file claims.
Use social media for sales leads
Analyzing social media data and posts from current clients can unearth new sales opportunities, since major life changes documented on social media can alert you to a need to expand a client’s insurance portfolio. A client who has recently married or purchased a home, for example, now possesses a different set of risks that need insurance coverage.
Be overly self-promotional
Agents who tout their accomplishments or make overt sales pitches on social media are much less likely to attract new clients, since prospects usually see through such blatant sales tactics. To successfully land new clients, agents should take the time to understand their target audience and tailor their social media message to its concerns. Social media is best employed when posts educate clients and prospects about potential risks and outline solutions that solve those exposures.
Set your social media program and forget it
Never let your social media program stagnate. If a campaign fails to capture a significant number of new clients, try another tactic and monitor the results. An agency-wide commitment to an ongoing social media game plan is more important than the results of any single initiative.
Concentrate on only a few social media platforms
Posting on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are basic requirements for today’s agents, but you shouldn’t stop there. Your clients and target prospects aren’t limited to only those social media platforms, and neither should you be. Expand your social media network and connect with more people by advancing your agency on channels such as Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram, and Google+.
Insurance agents can no longer ignore the powerful influence of social media on insurance sales, processes, and client retention. By following these tips, insurance agents can create and sustain a fruitful social media presence.