Posts Tagged ‘ facebook ’
Your company has multiple social media sites – good for you, but why are you spending more time on Twitter than LinkedIn? Content varies from one site to the next and posting the fun company office photos you’d upload on Facebook isn’t something you can do, say on your company’s YouTube account. The sooner you realize each site is meant to be used differently the better you will keep your audience engaged! There are numerous social sites out there, but these four remain as the top reigning ones that are most visited each day. Your business can definitely be bettered by utilizing all four, just make sure you’re keeping on top of all your accounts appropriately and equally. Here’s how each one should be maintained for your business:
Facebook – Most people still view this as a site for college students to put pictures of your friends partying online that will stay on the Internet forever and we don’t blame those people because Facebook was originally created for college level men and women. However, since its inception almost eight years ago, this popular social tool has become much more than a time waster. Companies are now using the site to gain a virtual audience for their business by setting up online promotions and taking their customers into their office by way of videos and photos. Those with accounts on the popular social site are viewing these companies who also have accounts as driving forces in their communities just trying to make a name for themselves. You are able to interact and respond with people almost instantly about anything you post on your page! This is a very gratifying way to launch your business’s name to the online world.
Twitter – Believe it or not most people are still intimidated by this site simply because its format strays from a typical site of adding a picture and a bio. It offers you the ability to express whatever’s on your mind, but only in 140 characters or less so get a little creative with how you post! Twitter was designed to be more of a mobile social site where you can share anything on the go – a true information network. Want to let your customers know of a great promotional video that’s running for your company? Attach the link and in seconds anyone who’s following your Twitter account can have access to it. Need to send a quick message to a few Twitter followers about a question they had for YOU? No problem! Group your Tweet so you’re interacting with all of them! Twitter is a fantastic option to become a true influencer in your community and create a professional network of people who share the same interests as you. Don’t be intimidated – create an account and jump right in!
LinkedIn – This is THE professional site today. You want all the positive information about your business on your page as possible. That includes a photo of yourself or the company’s logo, contact information so a potential customer can reach you like a website and phone number, and how about some comments from past customers or employers? LinkedIN has a feature called “recommendations” where you can opt to have people leave positive feedback about your business and the type of worker you are. People who visit your page will read through these comments and will instantly know yours is the company to get in touch with and that you mean business. LinkedIn is also a fantastic networking tool because it can provide you with information on potential employees looking to work in your industry. You can browse for interested applicants for jobs and connect with colleagues and friends who also have a page on the professional site.
YouTube – Unlike the first three sites, this one is all about video and nothing else. YouTube was designed in mind with the idea that anyone – pretty much literally – can add videos to the Internet and in a matter of minutes hundreds of thousands of people can view what you’ve uploaded. There are acting and music sensations today that began their careers with the simple click of the “upload video” button on their accounts. You can become an online star as well. Utilize the fact that YouTube reaches so many people and create customer testimonials. Sure a written recommendation does the job the same, but people are more drawn to watching something positive than having to scan pages of a letter. Be creative with your YouTube account – link it to all your other social sites; have you thought of that? Once you have that powerful piece of video, take it and put the link on your Facebook and Twitter accounts so more than one realm of your audience can view it! Tools this simple are made this way so everyone can enjoy them without the hassle.
So now you know just what each social media site can accomplish for your business and how it affects your target audience. The amount of time you spend on each site is entirely up to you, but make sure it’s divided equally as you have just learned all four of these sites can do amazing things for your company. You wouldn’t want to be thought of as amazing some of the time, so don’t just go on these sites some of the time!
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As your agency continues to grow its presence on the web it’s important to look into every area to make sure you’re taking advantage of all the digital possibilities around you. When it comes to social networking, your social sites can work in tandem to help your agency deliver the best information, news and content to subscribers which is why having a YouTube account is beneficial.
After getting acclimated with Facebook and Twitter, it may be time for you to get your hands messy with a YouTube if you haven’t already done so. You’ve probably have experience posting viral or popular videos on your Facebook and Twitter accounts, but with your own YouTube page you can create and share videos specifically about your agency. Whether it’s agency information, local events or anything miscellaneous, your YouTube channel can be a gateway for potential customers.
While Facebook and Twitter seem to dominate the social media landscape, YouTube cannot and should not be ignored. For instance, in 2011 there were over one trillion playbacks on YouTube, a staggering number. Additionally, 82% of the U.S. internet audience viewed video online. And, believe it or not, the most viewed video in 2011 was Rebecca Black’s “Friday.”
While you’re putting your YouTube page together, it’s not enough to simply fill out basic information and leave it at that. Just like a Facebook or Twitter profile, you need to optimize it so users see the legitimacy of your page and, as a result, the legitimacy of your agency. To get the best results from your YouTube account, try following these guidelines for success:
- Increase subscribers: Similar to how you ask users to “like” your Facebook page and follow you on Twitter, include a call to action at the end of each of your videos. You can also use what is called an “annotation” asking viewers to subscribe to your page
- Add widgets to your website/blog: Soon after you create your own YouTube page you should add a widget to your website to customers can easily access your account and watch your videos.
- Always interact: Just like you would on other social networking sites, take the time to view and leave comments for videos on other channels, preferably ones that are close to you in subject matter or location. If you interact with others, they’ll be more likely to interact back!
Once you get your YouTube page set up, you’ll be able to share your agency videos on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and any other social media sited you’re registered with. It’s important to treat YouTube like any other site so make sure you follow our guidelines to better your insurance marketing efforts!
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Your friends have one, your parents have one, businesses are using it as well. Even businesses in the insurance marketing field are using Facebook to attract clients to their business. Today, just call Facebook “The Modern Phone Book.” Within it you will find names and locations of companies, telephone numbers, advertisements, even pictures and testimonials. So how exactly are businesses finding the time to sign on more and more clients? By doing exactly what Facebook promises to anyone who creates an account: taking the chance to make and sustain relationships. Simply creating and building a page can provide you even with the most instant form of contact from someone who’s interested.
Just see how powerful a Facebook page can be:
- Portal for Communication: You log in and you’re instantly connected. By putting your name and the name of your business out there people can search for you and you can search for them. What’s even better, you can use your exact location to find any business near yours and establish a presence in your very own community. Once you set up your profile you can keep your clients up-to-date with promotions you be running at the office.
- Relationship Builder: Immediately after you start the communication process you attract followers. People can become friends with you and follow your every post. You decide you may even want to start a contest or two to promote the newest deals – Facebook helps you accomplish all of that. Just post it, your friends will like it and possibly share it so their friends can see it. Kind of like the age-old math problem of “if you have 7 friends who have 7 friends who tell 7 friends…” The amount of people who can view and get information off of your page can be limitless when you harness it properly. This is a phenomenal tool for smaller, local businesses trying to get their name out there, but not necessarily needing to get it out nation-wide.
- Brand Management: This will come after the first two. How do you want your business to be viewed and perceived? Facebook will help get your name out there by using the social media site. Think of it as building a reputation. You wouldn’t buy a service from someone who continually kept getting bad reviews and turned out poor quality in their work. Your page can help let potential clients know who you are and precisely what you’re all about. The better you build up your brand with positive comments, the more likely someone is to refer you or come to you on a regular basis.
Just remember that with all the advantages that can benefit your company, there are just as many disadvantages when it comes to using Facebook as a marketing tool. However, once you learn why a Facebook account is vital for online marketing and branding today, you’ll soon realize what the worst practices are. Just make sure you get a solid grip on the best practices and you’re golden. Learn them well enough and Facebook will provide your business with a pretty successful looking future.
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So, everyone is talking about “Pinterest” these days. If you haven’t checked it out already and you are a woman – you definitely should. If you are a guy, you should also jump on the bandwagon and upload as many “manly” pins as possible – just to try to balance things out.
People who use Pinterest know that probably 80% of the site ends up dedicated to finger nail polish, hair styles, shoes, and cute baby animals. It is almost the online version of magazines like “First for Women” that my wife buys at the grocery store. It doesn’t have many articles, but there are always weight-loss miracles, hair styles, shoes, and of course those cute baby animals.
The premise is that you have virtual corkboards and when you find things you like on the web, you “pin” them to your board. You organize your boards by topics, and people can then follow what you pin, re-pin your pins, like your pins, and discuss them. You can also search and sort pins by topics, and find gift ideas. It is very easy to use, and easy to set up. The interface is clean and well organized.
Pinterest is one of the fastest-growing websites of all time, and has reached the 10 million monthly visitors milestone faster than Twitter and even Facebook. The unusual aspect to this meteoric growth is that it has been fueled mainly by women. In most cases, internet start-up sites become popular with users who are men under 35. According to comScore, 65% of Pinterest users are women, and these women drive 85% of the traffic on the site. More than half of the women using Pinterest are 35 or older.
Pinterest seems poised to be a huge player in the social media game. As a guy, I find it cool to be able to pin the things I find on the internet and to keep them organized. I do realize that nobody on Pinterest is probably going to follow my psychedelic poster art board, but I like having the collection in one place, and adding to it when I come across more. I don’t have much use for fingernails that look like the solar system, motivational slogans, cute shoes, or wedding ideas – but there are evidently a BUNCH of women who do.
It will be interesting to see how companies embrace Pinterest. I mean if I had a craft or jewelry business, I would be pinning my work all the time, with links to where people can buy my creations. This can also be applied to a larger scale business model. I would think Pinterest will become another tool for businesses, just like Facebook and Twitter.
So guys, head on over to Pinterest and see what the women are up to. Once you get an “invite”, don’t forget to pin your favorite motorcycle, cars, rock and roll music, sports teams, tech toys, grills, and even your favorite BBQ recipes. Of course someone has already come up with “Manteresting.com” where you nail instead of pin, and it’s mostly beer, guns, and lingerie models. Hopefully Pinterest can become a little more balanced and we can all pin what we love together!Continue Reading »
Now that your business has developed an identity on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, you and your employees have probably created personal accounts in addition to your agency’s fan page. It’s good practice for you and your agents to have pages so you can connect with clients if necessary and it also shows that insurance agents, despite public perception, are down to earth and regular people just like the rest of us. However, having employees on social media platforms like Facebook can come with a risk. Like your agency’s fan page, employee pages should always adhere to a certain level of integrity and respect. Also, you should be able to balance on the threshold between professional and personal. What do we mean by this? Well, would you want one of your agents to have picture of him or her partying or making an irresponsible gesture? The list goes on and on about what is and what is not acceptable for professional accounts. Let’s take a look at what you should preach to your employees about social media etiquette:
1. Appearance: We recommend that your default photo be a picture of you. Having the company logo or something other than yourself will make the page initially appear robotic. Nothing is wrong with having the logo in the photos section, but the default photo should be one that has you in it. Also, any other additional photos of yourself should always be appropriate and not include anything like partying or obscene gestures or poses.
2. Be careful with words: Anytime one of your agent’s post either a link or comments on a post, it should always be kept on the lighter side and should avoid contentious issues as well as libel. Additionally, keep your language clean! Never, under any circumstances, use any curse or swear words. Remember: you’re a professional!
3. Don’t Spam! Similar to your brand page, one thing to always consider is not post too often. If you post too much in a given day it’s considered “spamming” and existing and potential customers are not going to want to see you come up in their feed too much. When posting, keep it at a minimum and try to stay positive and informative so your friends are getting useful information.
Apart from your brand page, it’s important that you and your employees’ personal pages reflect not only who you are as people, but who you are as a company. Remember to keep it simple, tight, and appropriate, and you should be able to bring traffic to your insurance agency website.
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After months of anticipation and speculation, Google+ has finally unveiled its pages for brands. Ever since its launch in June, Google+ has been open only to individual users, but this all changed when Google announced the release of “Google+ Pages” on November 7. Now that Google+ is open to the public and to brands, more and more people are continuing to register with the social media platform. While the buzz surrounding Google+ has subsided in recent months, the advent of brand pages and making the platform open to everyone makes it an avenue that should be and will be enticing to businesses. However, the question remains: should your independent insurance agency begin taking advantage of Google’s brand pages? Let’s take a look.
With already tens of millions of users, it’s no secret that Google+ is certainly making its presence known on the web. Frankly, you may be wondering why not to put your agency on Google+. On the week ending November 12, 2011, Google+ received more than 6.8 million total US visits, a 5% increase compared to the week before. Despite the social media platform’s seemingly burgeoning popularity, a look at some statistics show that it still isn’t really close to competing with Facebook. According to BrightEdge, 61% of the top 100 brands in the US have Google+ pages, compared to 93% with Facebook pages. Ford Motor Company, one of the first brands to use Google+, only has a little over 27,000 fans, compared to having over 5 million on Facebook.
As a small agency, it may be best to keep concentrating your efforts on building communities within the two biggest social media platforms, Twitter and Facebook, first. While the brand pages are available, many believe that they are not as optimized as they could be, and interaction on Google+ is still significantly lower than that of Twitter and Facebook. Right now, making these two profiles the best they can be should be your number one priority for social media. Facebook and Twitter stretch further than any platform and this is a case of quality over quantity. \
Beware of watering down your social media efforts, and concentrate in areas where you know you can succeed in building a community.Continue Reading »
We all know how to promote our insurance social networking sites online. We place links in our email signatures and on our websites, but many of us are missing out on an entire outlet to share our links: the offline world!
Here are a few tips for promoting your social presence offline:
- Signs. Hang window clings on your doors asking customers to check in on Foursquare, like you on Facebook, or follow you on Twitter. Do the same at desks and counters by setting up table tents.
- Promotional materials. Display your social links on every piece of promotional material you distribute. This includes business cards, brochures, pamphlets, and print advertisements. Your website is already on all of these items, right? Your social links should be too!
- Voicemail greetings. This may seem like a stretch, but it makes perfect sense. Think about it: someone is trying to reach you, but he can’t via phone. Social media is the next best thing, so instead of just taking a message, your voicemail can direct him to another outlet to contact you! This one particularly pleases customers, as you’re giving them multiple options to get in touch with your company.
- Your vehicle. If you have a company car that already displays your company’s name and website, why not add your Facebook or Twitter link? These sites are easy for potential customers to access on-the-go via smart phones. They can like your page or follow you on Twitter as a way to “bookmark” you for later, something they’re not likely to do with a typical website.
- Move offline events online. If your company is sponsoring an event or contest, take advantage of the opportunity to drive traffic to your social sites. For example, if you’re hosting a pumpkin carving contest, have each contestant upload a photo to your Facebook page. The photo with the most ‘likes’ wins!
There are an unlimited number of ways to promote your online presence in the offline world. Get creative! Think of all the touch points you have with your customers – phone conversations, events you host, promotional merchandise you hand out. When it comes to sharing your social media links, there is no such thing as an idea that is too crazy!
Do you have suggestions for other ways to promote your Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, YouTube, LinkedIn, or other sites? Share with us!Continue Reading »
It’s no secret that it’s becoming increasingly important for small businesses to take advantage of the benefits of social media. Because social media platforms are constantly updating and innovating their software, it’s necessary for small businesses to keep up to date with the changes and happenings in the world of social media. Thankfully, you have this excellent blog as a resource when it comes to receiving advice! To kick off the week, here are some additional ways for small businesses to get ahead with social media.
A Plan and Strategy Are Key
Many small businesses often create social media accounts without any clear plan intact. They simply see that the major corporations are doing it and haphazardly sign up but don’t utilize it to their advantage. While you may not have as many resources as larger companies, social media is still an inexpensive way to spread your band. Whether the goal is to increase web traffic, sales or online presence, having a specific goal and strategy in mind is essential. Otherwise, your Twitter and Facebook will look like chickens running around without heads!
It’s easy to simply post photos, links and quotes from your social media accounts. The key, however, is to reach an interaction level with your audience that will cause them to spread the word of your social presence. Promotional components such as contests, trivia, and virtual gifts will help engage your friends and followers to a much higher degree and keep them wanting to get your status updates and tweets. Remember, if you’re not supplying quality online content users will not hesitate to either unlike your Facebook page or stop following you on Twitter.
Make Yourself Available
One of the underrated aspects of having social media accounts is actually checking them on a consistent basis. There are too many brand pages out there that look more barren than Antarctica that can and will lower the reputation of a business. Large companies have the luxury of employing community and social media managers whose main job is to run the social accounts. However, since you’re a small, independent insurance agency your only option is to have someone add these tasks to their additional workload. Whether it’s you or another employee, it’s imperative that posting is relevant and done on a daily basis, and we recommend at least one Facebook post a day and at least three tweets per day. You never know, your availability online may be what prompts a potential customer into contacting you for business!
Aside from these three tips listed above, there are countless ways to better manage your social media presence. Use these to your advantage, and always come back to our blog for more social media information that will improve your insurance agency website!
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Since the release of Twitter, there has been a misconception about its purpose. Many people believe that it is only useful for viewing status updates from those that you are following. In reality, it is so much more than that.
Although Twitter is a great way to keep your friends updated about events and other interesting information, it can also be utilized as an effective insurance marketing tool. Twitter is a practical way for businesses to keep their existing customers updated regarding any company news, events, and new product information.
While there are so many different tools available to help you get the most out of Twitter, I am going to narrow down a few of the more popular tools that can help you set the framework for your insurance sales strategy.
Here are a few basic applications that can be used to help you get started on promoting your business on Twitter:
Socialtoo is a free, handy tool that has many different uses! With this tool, you can:
- Keep track of all the people who have followed or unfollowed you on Twitter
- Have the ability to send a confirmation message to anyone that decides to follow you
- Follow people that follow you
- Blacklist users you do not want to associate with and prevent them from following you
- Follow anyone that has followed you in the past
- Create surveys
If you run your own WordPress blog, then this is a must have! This plugin gives you the ability can integrate your Twitter account and your WordPress blog together.
This tool allows you to pull your own tweets into your blog and also allows you to create new tweets on your blog posts from inside WordPress. With this tool, you can quickly notify your friends on Twitter when you made a new blog post.
Twhirl is a tool that allows you to post Twitter updates, follow your friends and search for specific tweets. Most of the features that are available on Twitter are also available on Twhirl.
With Twhirl you can:
- Post short 140-character updates about what you are doing
- Follow your twitter friends and read all their updates
- Send users direct, private messages
Formerly known as TweetLater, Social Oomph is a service that offers users the ability to enhance their tweets and actually send them through an e-mail! The purpose of this application is to help you be more productive and save time with your social activities on Twitter, Facebook, and even your blogs.
You can either opt to take advantage of the free service or sign up for the paid service. The free service allows users to schedule the occurrence of all your Tweets, track keywords, receive e-mail digests of keywords you specify, and efficiently view your mentions and retweets across many accounts.
TweetDeck is a Twitter application that is integrated with Twitter’s interface. This allows those who are logged in to send and receive tweets. You can also view other profiles. In comparison to many other Twitter applications, this is one of the more popular ones.
With TweetDesk you can:
- Quickly send out tweets
- Receive G-mail notifications in your inbox
- Unicode art including smiley faces, arrows, and even upside down text!
Although there are an overwhelming amount of tools available to help you maximize your insurance marketing strategy, hopefully you will take advantage of a few of these tools. Some of these applications you will find are easier to use than others, but it is important to figure out which ones will work best for your Twitter marketing strategy!Continue Reading »
It’s no secret the influence social media has had on Americans especially those in younger generations. What once started out as an application for people to meet and interact online has now become a super highway of sharing personal and public information. With this data, businesses and search engines are able to follow trends and tendencies among users and see what types of topics and products are popular and, more importantly, unpopular.
In recent years social media use has exploded at exponential and alarming rates. Now, not only do younger people use these platforms, but adults do as well. While Facebook and Twitter have over 700 and 200 million users respectively, it’s impossible to deny the influence they have had on society and culture. It’s especially been helpful for businesses. When information about the product is supplied and repeated, more traffic is brought to the company. With Google’s new social media platform Google Plus gaining in popularity, businesses are obviously at a disadvantage if they are not spreading their brand via social media.
Although most users access their social media accounts on computers, a new trend is beginning to emerge in how consumers gather and spread information: Smartphones. Ever since the release of Apple’s iPhone in 2007, mobile companies have been churning out phones with World Wide Web capabilities at rates that seemed impossible five years ago. Smartphones are so popular that, according to a recent study, of the people that own cell phones, 42% have a Smartphone. That’s closing in on 50%, and it’s only going to increase. Eventually, the inevitability of technology will cause every phone to be a smartphone.
So what does this mean for social media marketing? How does the increasing usage of Smartphones affect your agency and the way we use social media?
Because so many Americans have smart phones, information is being gathered and shared at the highest rate the world has seen. Social media marketing, and marketing in general, is in over its head with the ability consumers now have to see everything that is going on in the world wherever they may be. Consumers use Smartphones for surfing the internet as well as accessing their social media accounts. Individuals are notified of any happenings and updates on social networking sites through their cell phones in real-time. The consistent connection to social sites means agencies can remind and update followers about their capabilities, offerings, importance and much more. Additionally, advertisements are always in view of the user as well. Simply put, your agency has the opportunity to be sending messages and information to your followers wherever they are at all times, so why not take advantage?
Smartphones are overwhelmingly changing the landscape of business and marketing. Because information is now available anywhere, it’s up to you and your agency to implement a social media strategy that will provide constant updates for your followers with smartphone access.
With social networking applications teaming with Smartphones, spreading your brand has never been easier.
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