Marketing insurance products across social media is more about making connections and adding value, than selling. But with more connections, comes more sales.
Why market yourself on social media?
According to a Pew Research Center study, 74% of online adults are using social networking sites. However, the insurance industry still seems hesitant to join in on the conversation, be it agent or consumer.
The digital landscape has changed so drastically that our attention span is pulled in many different directions. The one constant has been the rapid growth and adoption of social media in just the last few years. Insurance marketing is going more social and it's worth some investment if you're going to reach new markets and higher lifetime value customers (ie. Millennials).
Join the social conversation now!
If you aren’t active online, or only active on one or two sites, it’s time to join all of the current major social networking communities. At a minimum, insurance agents should be accessible on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. The "big three" of social platforms for lack of a better phrase. There are others of course like Pinterest, Periscope, Google+, and YouTube. If you're just entering the race or looking to expand your social presence (and we recommend that!), it might be best to just start with the "big three". The others, while certainly worthy of growing businesses in their own right, will not have nearly as much traction for your insurance marketing campaigns.
Your customers (and your colleagues) all use different social communities so don't limit yourself to a certain group. Each network has different benefits that will help you reach different consumers at different stages in the buying cycle.
Quick tips for social media marketing
- Keep your information and picture consistent on each network. Don’t call yourself “Jon Smith” in one community and “Jonathan Smith, Insurance Agent” in another. Use the same picture so your followers can easily identify you.
- Always include links to your social media insurance pages in your email signature, on business cards, and your website. The more impressions there are for each of these insurance marketing channels, the more chances people visit, engage, and buy a policy from you.
- When just starting out, it's okay to post the same things to Facebook as you do Twitter and LinkedIn. Just be mindful of the audience. Facebook is more relaxed and...well...social. LinkedIn in vastly B2B so you're connecting with other professionals so it's not the best place to post kitty pictures with strange insurance memes. You get the idea.
How to develop a sound social media insurance marketing strategy
Don't always post insurance content
Yes, you're marketing insurance products. No, not every, single, post should be about insurance! Of course that is your business purpose so sharing content that will help your customers and prospects like how to choose the perfect health insurance plan or renters insurance basics – will be very relevant and helpful. Remember though, social is about being "social" and if you only talk "shop", you might bore the audience into submission. A healthy mixture of relevant news stories (newsjacking), quotes of the day, holiday reminders, safety tips, special offers, and more diverse content keeps the conversation fresh while still being relevant.
Connect all of your marketing channels
Social platforms can be even better served when connected to a business blog or even linked with other social channels to automate certain content. By blogging about issues relevant to the insurance industry, you can create information on your own insurance website and share this in your social channels. Here is where you'll need to mix content also but your blog is also your own personal "brand" so remember to still be yourself. Share content valuable to your colleagues, such as public speaking tips on Tuesday and follow up on Thursday with a post about how to appeal a denied claim. Doing this will serve two insurance marketing purposes in common social channels by providing content to your peers but also your customers.
Share content other than your own
To be a good social citizen, it’s always smart to share the content of other agents or companies through your social profiles. Your social sites cannot focus on selling or attracting customers all of the time, or you’ll turn off the audience you're intending to reach. Spread other thought-leader’s content, just as you’d like yours shared. It might seem counterproductive at first but trust us, it's not. You’ll gain new readers – and possibly warm leads – as well as ideal peer networking connections.
Quick tips for sharing content
- Newsjacking is a great way to expand your authority by using well-known, trusted news stories to enter the conversation. Because you are jumping onto relevant "news" content, relevancy here is definitely important. There are quite a few documented social efforts of major brands who were trying to hard and failed in the worst ways. Remember, relevant content, not forced!
- Make sure you identify the source of the "original" content. Copyright infringement is not something that big publishers take lightly.
Be responsive to followers and comments
Most consumers don’t expect a response from the companies they speak to on social media. Be the agency that goes the extra step, and answer any questions or comments your customers might have. Not only does this help the consumer asking the question, kit encourages other people to reach out for your advice in the future. It's also a great way to advertise that you're active on social media.
Sit back and listen
Besides capturing your leads attention, use social media as a listening tool. Troll the platforms to learn what your audience is saying about you and your competitors. This is a progressive approach to knowing what customers want and being able to respond quickly to certain needs. By identifying objections and consumer issues that insurance shoppers face (that they are posting about on social media), you can better meet theirs and others needs in the larger market.
Right. Now that you're a social media expert, connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter and see how we're doing it. Feel free to drop us a comment or share relevant posts with your followers.