Insurance Marketing HQ

You Got Hired to Lead an Insurance Agency’s Social Media Efforts. Now What?

Posted on Oct 25, 2010

Recently we held the second insurance marketing twitter chat. One of the last questions that came up was “What advice would you give to a new blogger or social media intern?” Especially in the insurance industry having the right approach at your social media strategy is an important first step. I have included some of the #INSchat comments along with some of my own tips for social media gurus in training.

1) Don’t be overwhelmed.

Leading the social media efforts at your agency can seem overwhelming at first. Social media is meant to be interactive and fun so don’t worry about having too much on your plate. Blogging, tweeting, tagging, it is all progressive. From the point about five months ago when I started until now I have learned an immense amount of knowledge about online marketing and different social media platforms. It takes time to learn everything, so don’t be overwhelmed just have a confident attitude and dive in!

2) Brand Yourself.

This is one of the most important points. No one wants to chat with an insurance agency on Facebook or twitter. If a friend suggested that I “like” an agency on Facebook and they have a picture of their logo and only tweet about how they can give me the best quote, I probably wouldn’t accept. Your job is to represent the agency as a thought leader. Showcase some of your own interests, whether you like football, fishing, or french fries, showing your personality keeps it interesting, makes it more fun for you, and allows others to see there is more to your social media efforts than generating leads. Lets face it. No one wants to hear about insurance unless they need a quote or have a question. So representing your agency as a person not just someone who is trying to sell something is key.

3) Read!

This one probably seems like a no brainer, but reading is important for content ideas and keeping up to date with the latest trends. There is so much information out there about social media, marketing strategy, and technology, so read it! The Alltop social media page is a great resource for finding the trending stories each day. If you have a question, someone has probably answered it in a blog post. The only way to learn about social media besides experience is to immerse yourself in the culture.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Be sincere and authentic.
  • Posts never go away, think long-term.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Many people on social networking sites, especially twitter, are more than happy to answer a question you may have.
  • Get SOCIAL! Having good content is a positive but it isn’t the main source that will drive traffic to your post.

9 Comments

  1. Excellent advice, Alicia! When we first started using social media to drive traffic to New England Multimedia, I used our logo and only tweeted “information.” Never talked to a single soul, and of course, nobody followed me!

    One day I saw a Tweet come through my feed from a guy named Dan Hollings, who branded himself as a Twitter professional. I started implementing his suggestions, and everything changed! Next, I started reading Chris Brogan and Jason Falls, and then I watched a free webinar by Laura Roeder. Those 4 people led the way for me.

    Good luck finding your next social media intern! He or she will have very big shoes to fill.

    Michelle Quillin for New England Multimedia
    Twitter: @NEMultimedia

    • Thanks Michelle! I want interns to know not to be afraid of social media and to dive in! Show casing your personality is the easiest way to get started and have something to speak about. There are also SO many resources out there so if you get stuck you can just search for your issue in Google, and there is most likely a post about it!

      -Alicia

  2. Great post! Some fantastic quick-tips in there! We are working on becoming more personal with our Twitter and other social networks so the tip about branding yourself as more of an individual than a company is something we will work towards. We wanna see more specific tips on what insurance agencies can do to manage social media. Tools, resources, timeframe of how much should be spent on SM, etc.

    Thanks!

  3. Chris,

    Thanks for posting. I am glad your agency’s twitter efforts are coming along. I will work on some more tips for my next post.

    Alicia

  4. Alicia, as always, another great post that’s right on the nose! Really appreciate all your help! Look forward to many more great reads!

    @Lara_John

  5. Alicia,

    Great post! There are a ton of agencies looking to hire non-insurance people to handle their social media presence. I think your second point is by far the most important to getting immediate results. People want to communicate with other people. Look at Cindy Donaldson of Founders Group, @Foundersgroup on Twitter. She is a great example of this.

    Thanks,

    Ryan H.

  6. Insurance professionals are slow to embrace Social Media or do it correctly. They under-utilize Linkedin and do not understand the value of Twitter in gaining and retaining clients. In order to pull it all together they need a “homebase” or blog for people to see who they are. Over 80M people are Googled everyday. For a young producer having a blog provides credibility to their prospects. Any agent who has a niche market their marketplace is the whole country. Unless they are using Social Media no one will ever find them. Those agents that are able to engage and communicate with their customers on their terms will be more successful because the old school ways aren’t working any longer. The marketplace norm is soft and there are less insureds and more agents competing.

  7. Debbie,

    I agree that the value of social media needs to be realized before steps can be taken in implementing a strategy. It is the new way of marketing and needs to be part of a blended strategy, that sometimes takes people getting use to! Thanks for sharing your insights! Join us the Monday after Thanksgiving to continue the insurance marketing discussion during #INSchat at 1pm EST!

    Alicia

  8. Great advice Alicia! I had lunch recently with a woman asking for advice on where to begin who was utterly overwhelmed. I made the analogy of being a guest at a cocktail party full of friends- Don’t just start blabbering about yourself, listen, interact and engage in the conversation.

    Thanks!

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