By Katy Kelly, Director of Marketing, Talage
Social media is a valuable tool agents can use to grow their business. However, many insurance agents and brokers don’t see the value these platforms provide because they don’t know how to leverage the tools effectively.
Think of social media like other forms of networking and marketing. You wouldn’t try to sell a policy to someone the second you meet them. Nor would you expect to reach a sizable audience without making any investments in your marketing (for example, sending an advertisement in the mail).
Similar logic applies to growing your reach on social media. Insurance agents and brokers who want to reap the benefits of social media should do the following:
1) Advertise Strategically
There was a time in which all companies had to do was create a profile online and they could reach anyone they wanted without spending a dime. However, as social platforms matured, so did the algorithm that dictates what people see in their feeds (the posts from the people they follow – friends, family, businesses, etc.). As great as it would be to get tons of marketing reach for free on social media, the reality is you’re going to have to pay to reach relevant prospects and customers. Still, by advertising strategically on social media, you can see a decent return on your investment.
Advertising strategically consists of trying a variety of tactics. One option is to slowly test different types of ads on various networks. This way you can see what’s most effective for you, rather than going all-in on a big ad buy blindly. You might find that advertising on Facebook works better for you than Twitter, for example. So, starting small can help you avoid wasting money on the wrong platform.
Keep in mind advertising takes time. Social Media Examiner says you need to give Facebook ads 3-4 days before making changes. When an ad isn’t performing the way you expect it to, try troubleshooting the issue by making adjustments to the copy, audience, images, etc., before just turning it off. Keep tweaking the ads until you find something that works.
PRO TIP: The more specific you are, the better your conversions will be. You may have a smaller audience size, but the ad will be far more relevant (e.g., 10 solid leads are better than 1000 clicks), increasing your ROI.
Here are some things you can try:
- Variety of messaging (e.g., humor vs. serious)
- Different Call-to-Actions
- Articles vs. landing pages
- Different Images (men vs. women; action vs. still; emotional vs. direct)
- Audience targeting
- Device targeting
- CPC bid
If you’re hesitant to pay for social media ads, consider the time and effort you put in to reach people organically. With social media advertising, you can directly connect your cost to metrics like clicks to your website and new contacts who’ve completed lead generation forms, helping you quantify your return on investment.
2) Post Native Content
Social media networks want users to stay on their platforms. That’s why posting native content (which means posting content that lives directly on these platforms rather than sending users to an external site) often pays off. By uploading, say, a video directly to Facebook rather than dropping in a link to a YouTube clip, you can be rewarded by the social media site’s algorithm. Not only can the native content potentially get more organic reach, but it can also provide a better user experience.
“The beauty of native video is that it doesn’t interrupt the user experience with unnecessary extra clicks or new windows, meaning the content is something viewers are more likely to engage with rather than an annoying distraction in their news feed,” explains Biteable, a video creation platform.
3) Make Connections Through Twitter Chats
If you want to grow your reach on social media, it can be easier to do so once you’ve built up a solid base of connections. As your followers engage with your content, people within their own networks may then get exposed to your content. With this backdrop in mind, consider ways to make more organic connections. One great way to do so is to hop into Twitter Chats.
In these live conversations, which usually last around one hour, you can directly communicate with new people in a fun, fast-paced setting. Finding relevant Twitter Chats isn’t always the most straightforward, but you can try looking for them through search engines or through Twitter itself by entering keywords about the type of chat you want to join, e.g., an entrepreneurship chat or a marketing chat. And some sites like TweetReports provide lists of chats. Also keep your eyes peeled in your feed for people currently participating in a Twitter Chat so that you can then join in during the next meeting.
4) Search for Conversations to Join
In addition to joining conversations via Twitter Chats, you can also search for direct opportunities to engage with others by typing in keywords into different social networks. For example, if you want to talk about business trends like the rise of remote work, you could search “remote work” within LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc. to find others talking about this topic. From there, you can comment on other people’s posts to start to form new connections that you might not have come across otherwise.
You can also search for people having conversations directly about insurance to potentially find new leads, and you may even be able to find customers talking about your brand. Using social listening tools like Sprout Social can help you find and analyze these types of conversations without having to always manually search for who’s talking about your brand, industry, etc.
Following these four tips can help you get more reach on social media. “But remember that there is much more to social marketing than amassing a giant following, like creating real connections with your audience and providing amazing customer service,” advises Sprout Social.
So, as you implement these practices, keep in mind how you can grow your social media audience not just for the sake of your follower count but in ways that connect to growing your business overall.