Hopefully everyone had a great holiday and a happy New Year! 2012 was a year of many changes especially in the realm of Internet Marketing. There are a few updates, changes, and new strategies that we wanted to recap for you, to make sure your agency is aware of the big social media happenings in 2012, along with provide you with some insight into what will happen in 2013.
The Importance of Images
During the past year, the rise of image centric networks along with image sharing has grown. Sites such as Pinterest have become increasingly popular, with the recent creation of business pages and more companies using the site to showcase images from their blog, show their products, and increase traffic to their site. The network Instagram, which was bought by Facebook for a staggering $1 billion, is also increasing in usage, as brands are using photos to share their story, events, and showcase their products. On Facebook especially, the sharing of images has increased as they have become more prominently displayed in newsfeeds, and the engagement statistics are up to 50% higher. Not only do images make blog posts more likely to be read, but they allow for further social engagement, as we all become more visual.
Social’s Impact on Search
The SEO of your insurance agency’s website used to be mainly focused on keywords used in the content, longevity of your domain, number of pages, and more. These factors are still significant, but social media is becoming an increasingly important factor in a site’s rank and traffic. We have seen evidence in the past year that factors such as social media shares and likes on Facebook could increase a site’s rank. And ultimately we know that having traffic coming from all of your social media sites on a consistent basis is what is going to be best for your SEO.
How do you measure social media? What is the ROI? Questions that we have all asked and heard in the past finally had answers in 2012. With implementation of social tools into Google Analytics, third party applications such as Hootsuite, and the updating of Facebook Insights, measuring social traction has become possible. The importance of tracking numbers, such as Facebook LIKES and Twitter followers, are no longer the deciding factors. During 2012, we saw things such as WHO are your Facebook LIKES, how are they engaging, and how often are Twitter followers visiting your site and converting, becoming more relevant in determining social media success.
Many agents across the country say that they have LinkedIn profiles that they use to accept connections from those who request them, and possibly check into prospects. LinkedIn has been updating how a user can interact with their company page. Company pages on LinkedIn now allow user updates, a cover photo, the sharing of attachments and images, and the ability to feature a group that the company might admin or feel is important to their business. So why is this good news? Now that you can interact more with LinkedIn company pages, you can have another place to share blog posts, insurance articles, news and pieces of advice. You can also add the products your agency offers and get specific recommendations under each section. This will help increase the traffic to your insurance website, and LinkedIn is a great referral website.
Facebook’s Social Search
Facebook announced this month that they will be introducing the social graph search. This will allow users to search their Facebook content and search for recommendations and answers based on their friends’ likes and hobbies. What do you think social search will mean for local business?
This year will bring many changes in social media, how people search, what they search, and how local businesses and your agency are affected. Be sure to follow Insurance Marketing HQ and the Astonish Facebook Page for updates!