By Coburn Childs
You have set your agency up with a Facebook page, a Twitter account, a LinkedIn profile, and other social media outlets. But how is your strategy for connecting with your followers at the local level? Now is the time to consider a partnership with a non-profit organization or participate in community service!
Studies show that businesses that partner with efforts in the community are more likely to gain the support of customers. As such, the most successful social media campaigns will often be focused on emphasizing community involvement.
Here are some tips on steps to take!
Finding a Worthy Cause
Your community is full of ways to get involved, so start by finding a cause that your company cares about. Your agency may see opportunities for regular community service, ways to donate financial support, or outlets to use your professional skills for the benefit of others in need. If you have ideas for getting involved, don’t be afraid to jump right in! Making a difference and seeing results starts with partnership in your community.
Partnership and Involvement
Once you’ve found the cause your agency cares about, it is time to get involved. If your company wants to make a difference in the community, it cannot happen without involvement in the community. By making your presence known, the reputation of your business will continue to grow. Not to mention, you will build your brand. Now, you’re poised to utilize social media outlets to showcase your efforts!
Utilizing Social Media Outlets
Social media trends often show high levels of user engagement and interaction with Facebook posts that are geared toward community. If your business is involved in a local event, if you have ideas on how to make a difference, or if you want to highlight some efforts you’ve made with a local non-profit, then post about it! Utilize Twitter for links to articles, make Facebook a showcase for pictures, and connect on LinkedIn for a partnership that serves a purpose.
The most successful social media campaigns are interesting, engaging, and eclectic. Social media campaigns are useful for showcasing how multifaceted, caring, and involved your company can be. Utilize your various social media outlets to show how you are involved in community service, and watch the impact it will have on your business.
About the Author
Coburn Childs is a creative mind and young professional based in Providence, RI. In recent years, he’s blogged on a number of topics, from the insurance industry to Hollywood’s box office trends, from communication theories to religious topics, from food to movies, and everything in between. He’s also a self-described social media nut! Currently, he works as an Inbound Marketing Specialist for Astonish.
As an insurance agent, you have seen customer service evolve over the years. When you first opened up your company, you may have used phone support, paper mail, and fax machines to reach your community. Moving forward, you may have then leveraged email and chatting platforms online. Now, you most likely use social media to reach your customers. How can you continue to transform your customer service methods so your audience receives the best support possible? You must improve your insurance marketing strategy to cater to the current conversation.
Building the trust in your online community takes time. The way to do this is not only by understanding their needs, but also engaging them with relevant and unique topics. The interactions you have with each person on your social network are crucial to your reputation as well as the customer service you hope to improve. So here are some important things to consider when developing your insurance customer service efforts:
- Figure out exactly what you want to achieve by offering better customer service. As long as you include better customer experience into the equation, you can measure your success effectively.
- When handling lots of questions daily, you should have support. These can include management tools such as Hootsuite and Conversocial so you can keep track of your conversations with customers.
- Before you consider altering your customer service, you need a solid social media strategy. Your community deserves a personalized experience no matter how they reach your agency.
- Your social customer service staff should sound human and not robotic. Also, they should handle situations online professionally.
- Give yourself a timeline for responding to comments, questions, issues, and concerns. For example, if a serious issue occurs, try to respond within 15 minutes on the social media platform.
- Set boundaries for yourself and your customers. Ban abusive and inappropriate content right away from your customer community.
- If lots of customers are having the same inquiries, try grouping the answers together. This way, you can save time and satisfy the needs of your community in the process.
- If certain problems go beyond a social post to fix it, then move the conversation offline. You don’t want a heated discussion to occur for your audience to see in public.
The personal touch you bring to your social customer service strategy can go a long way when helping a frustrated customer. Serving their needs as quickly as possible will also show you care. Starting a dialogue is one of the only ways to really understand your community and address their questions. By focusing on a human connection with someone rather than results, your insurance marketing strategy will continue to evolve successfully!
The Fourth of July is right around the corner, and it’s the ideal time to start a client e-mail campaign. Summer holidays are some of the happiest times with the picnics, pool parties, family, and beautiful weather. If you send your clients e-mails when they’re feeling great, they’ll probably think of you in a good context. Whenever I think of Christmas, I am reminded of the first card I get each year — the one from my insurance agent!
There are many season-appropriate topics you can focus on with a summer e-mail campaign. You might want to keep it simple and just wish your clients a happy and healthy Fourth of July, or you could remind them of the need for insurance during the summer months (that big bonfire they’re planning might be an excellent reason to increase their homeowners insurance!). If you have mostly local clients, consider including a list of fun summer happenings in your area. Another option would be to send them summer tips, such as firework or pool safety.
E-mail campaigns are easy, effective, and important for a variety of reasons. First of all, e-mails are quick and affordable! You won’t have to spend hours handwriting letters or money to mail them out. Plus, a template e-mail can be easily personalized to each client, so they feel as if you care about them as an individual rather than as a dollar sign. An e-mail will also get your clients thinking about you. If a client was contemplating increasing their insurance coverage, your e-mail might get them to follow-through. Or maybe a friendly e-mail will prompt them to refer you when a friend needs coverage!
No matter what you decide to include in your summer e-mail campaign, it will definitely be beneficial to your business and help you to build a stronger relationship with your clients!
As an insurance agent in the age of evolving technology, you rely on many tools to help you stay organized. One of the main methods you most likely use to communicate besides the telephone is email. Email can be your best friend or worst enemy when it comes to communicating with your clients. Sending a quick message out is an easy way to create reminders, update clients, check in with them, and strengthen your insurance marketing strategy. However, email can also be a time-consuming burden for leaders.
Has your inbox reached hundreds of emails or more before? This can be a huge stress on you, especially if you miss out on a very important email. The key to dealing with your emails is trying your best to stay on top of them as they come in. The following is some insights on how you can control your email account and stay organized:
- Take Time to Clean Your Email Inbox. As you read through your inbox each day, determine if an email is worthy of a response, and if so, it is worthy of a same-day response. Some experts recommend setting aside two to three 30-minute increments to deal with email.
- Delete Emails Quickly. Whether this includes spam or long forwarded emails, there are many you can delete quickly. Doing this will help make your inbox look more manageable.
- Organize Emails Efficiently. If you don’t decide to delete an email, forward it to someone else to handle, respond quickly, or place it in a file or folder. Most people will read an email in an inbox repeatedly, which may cause you to lose precious leadership time.
- Do not send Negative Information by Email. Since you cannot read non-verbal clues in an email, they can be misunderstood. You do not want to take the risk of misinterpretation. Therefore, if you have negative information to convey, call or tell the recipient in person.
- Many Emails Deserves a Response. As an insurance agent, communication with your client is crucial. Whether on the phone or through email, everyone deserves a response. It is poor leadership to ignore an important email. If you do so, this could put you at risk of hurting your organization.
Taking these tips into account, you can strengthen the communication you have with your community as well as your insurance marketing strategy. Sending out friendly reminders or goings on in your agency will keep everyone in the loop. Taking control of your email account will help you feel more organized and closer to your customers than ever before!
As a leader for your company, you make small and big decisions on a daily basis. However, when it comes to your insurance internet marketing and your social media outlets, such as Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, the decision making process may involve aspects you aren’t used to. For example, how do you find your primary audience? What will they like to read about? What is the most effective way to find them? All of these questions may have arisen for you at one point or another.
In the beginning, it may have been just you and your partners, and you did every job. But now, you have others to help, so you can focus on building a social community. Being strategic about the people you want to participate in conversations with on your social media accounts is important. In addition, the content you post and voice you use should attract and engage them. To become an adaptive strategic leader, the kind who can thrive in even uncertain environments, do these three things well:
- Anticipate: Some leaders lack “peripheral vision.” To anticipate well, you must look for game-changing information in your industry and take advantage of it. Also, search beyond the current boundaries of your business, and finally, build wide networks to help you communicate with your clients better.
- Think Critically: Critical thinkers question everything. To master this skill, force yourself to reframe problems in order to get to the bottom of things, such as a customer complaint. Also, challenge current beliefs and mindsets, including your own. This will help you think from the perspective of your community.
- Decide: Many leaders over analyze information. You have to develop processes and enforce them, so that you arrive the solutions you want. To do that well, you have to balance your social media accounts while also making sure they include quality content. Also, take control of incomplete information and when others have diverse views.
Effective leaders combine experience and a strong decision process. This will force you to evaluate, listen, adjust, and learn from each decision. Having all of these important skills will allow you to analyze your insurance internet marketing strategy more closely as well as appeal to a wide range of followers on your social media sites. Engagement is key, and by being a strategic leader, you can make this happen!
1. Thou shalt not use ALL CAPS – Although the occasional use of capital letters can be a good way to show emphasis and enthusiasm, using all caps is never a good idea. An e-mail written entirely in caps can make it look like you are yelling at your client. SEE WHAT I MEAN? Lower case letters are also generally more legible. Forget Caps Lock and stick with the Shift Key!
2. Thou shalt not use Internet Slang – While everyone loves LOLCats, it’s inappropriate to use internet speak and acronyms in client e-mails. It can make you appear uneducated and too informal. It won’t take you much longer to write full sentences and spell out words, but it will make a huge difference in your professionalism. K? Tkx! LOL!
3. Thou shalt use spell check - Misspellings can also make you seem uneducated. Even if you were the 3rd grade spelling bee champion like me, you are going to misspell things once in a while. I don’t know how many times I’ve written “insurnace” instead of insurance. Most e-mail programs such as Outlook and Gmail have a built-in spell check program which will look over your e-mails when you hit send. A quick check can definitely save you some “embareassment.”
4. Thou shalt only speak to clients from thy desk – Although we live in a time when everyone is a multi-tasker and it’s hard to sit still for too long, it’s a good idea to plan time to make client calls from your desk. If your client hears your GPS or a honking horn in the background of your call, they will know you are not giving them your full attention. And please, for the love of your client, NEVER make calls from a restroom!
5. Thou shalt not make threats – Although you are probably hoping for quick responses from your clients, making demands of them is not the best idea. I couldn’t tell you how many sales e-mails I have gotten which have warned me that I only have “2 days left” to respond. 5 days later, when I still haven’t responded and I get another warning e-mail, my trust of that company has all but gone out the window. Your client could be thinking about their options, talking with a spouse, or even sick or on vacation. It’s great to reach out to your clients, but don’t lose a sale by being too aggressive.
6. Thou shalt follow the golden rule – The best way to attain and retain a customer base is to treat them well, and let them know you appreciate their business and loyalty. Interact with your clients the way you would like sales people from companies you’re a client of to treat you.