Many insurance agents have mixed opinions about the effectiveness of insurance social media in the business-to-business arena. Some aren’t convinced that it’s as effective a strategy as when targeting consumers of personal insurance lines. Yet AON reports that in a recent survey by IDG, “84 percent of C-level and VP-level buyers say they are influenced by social media during the purchase process. And data from Hubspot reveals that 66 percent of marketers have seen new business leads by only devoting six hours a week to social media marketing.”
To be successful, social media can’t be an isolated effort. Rather, it must be part of your insurance agency’s comprehensive, integrated marketing plan and marketing communication strategy. Social media is excellent for building brand awareness, amplifying marketing initiatives, establishing your insurance agency’s expertise, and expanding your online footprint in search engines. Insurance social media can also help you reach new prospects, educate and interact with current clients, and engage with other key constituencies, such as your local community, the insurance industry, targeted industries you serve, and potential new hires.
Social media is a strategy for the long-term, yet it is littered with inactive insurance agency accounts that fell victim to common mistakes:
- Not having a strategy. It’s important to go into social media with goals, a clear view of who you are talking to; a plan for content, messaging, and frequency; which platforms you will use; and how you track, measure, and adjust your efforts.
- Inactivity. A random tweet or lackluster LinkedIn post won’t cut it. Dipping a toe in the water of any promotional strategy has never been successful. A single ad or press release is not particularly effective and it’s no different with social media. It requires commitment.
- Not having the right voice. If you are too formal, too casual, or too canned, it will show. You need to establish your brand voice and tone and be authentic and consistent in all channels.
- Poor content and messaging. Content should be engaging and supplement your other marketing initiatives. (See more thoughts on social media content for insurance agents below.)
- Not engaging effectively. Too one-sided or passive. Not following, liking, reposting, or commenting. Not responding to questions or comments.
- Not using the right channels. Pick established channels used by your buyers and that meet your marketing and sales goals. LinkedIn is a must for business. Facebook is great for locality or specialized groups. Twitter is great for short takes and immediacy. YouTube is excellent for sharing videos, and Instagram for photos.
Best practices for insurance social media
Brand consistency. It’s important to optimize all your social media profiles so that your logo, look, feel, and key messages consistently represent your brand. Be sure to include keywords in your profile and a link to your website. Include a geography for your main location so that you benefit by some of the geographic features.
Maintain a blog. Your own blog on your own website should be the cornerstone for all your other insurance social media. A blog is your own proprietary tool that adds to your website’s rankings in the search engines. Producing expert content on your site regularly is not only a key strategy for Search Engine Optimization (SEO), but also the way you display your expertise to customers and prospects. See: Could Blogging Boost Your Ecommerce SEO?
Automate what you can. For a more comprehensive approach, use social media calendars that allow you to schedule, automate, and monitor posts. There are a variety of tools, including Hubspot, Hootsuite, Zoho, and more. These are great timesavers and organizers, but be careful not to over-moderate, human judgement and monitoring is essential.
Monitor and measure. Google analytics is essential for monitoring traffic to your own site. Each social media account has its own metrics that you can access. Or if you use any of the social automation platforms, they include a dashboard. Monitor what works for your organization in terms of timing, content, and platform, and adjust.
Engage in social media listening. Follow, watch, and learn from some of the best, both within the insurance industry and from other sectors. Stay up on trends and continually enhance your skills. See 25 Top B2B Marketing Influencers To Follow In 2021. And here are a few insurance agents and marketers who have developed strong expertise in social media and who share what they’ve learned:
Social media content for insurance agents
Many business-to-business and insurance social media experts suggest that 25% to 40% of what you post to social media should be your own insurance agency’s content, and the remaining posts should be content curation. While your underlying goal should have a marketing strategy, don’t sell too hard – instead, work to make content informative and interesting, and include a call to action. Imagery and video content help to attract more attention and earn more clicks. Use multimedia and graphics in your social posts.
What type of social media insurance content should your agency share? Posts from your blog. Product information or news. Responses to frequently asked questions. Seasonal safety or loss mitigation tips. Support for local or national charitable initiatives. Insurance in the news. News and trends about industries and business sectors that you serve. Staff profiles. Information from trusted sources and partners. Links to whitepapers, case studies, and testimonials. Events you will be hosting or attending. There are many more topics you can share, limited only by your imagination and creativity. Get ideas from your staff!
Read these articles for more tips on how to grow your agency: