In the past, insurance professionals who wanted to network and grow their business had to leverage traditional practices, like attending community networking functions and meetings, holding workshops and seminars, and asking clients to refer others who might need a review of their insurance coverage.
While those strategies are still excellent (and recommended) networking practices, agents today have another powerful tool at their fingertips through the capabilities offered by social media. Networking online may never completely replace face-to-face interactions, but insurance professionals who use social networking tools have a chance to reach even more potential clients. For many millennials, social networking is as much a part of their daily routine as eating or sleeping, so savvy agents looking to reach that demographic should strongly consider a comprehensive social media strategy.
There are many social networking tools available, however, three of the platforms many insurance professionals use are LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+. Each of these tools is different, but there are some common threads and suggestions agents should consider when branching out online.
First, it’s important to keep things professional when you’re using any social media platform for business purposes. It’s OK to have a separate, personal Facebook page where you share photos and post updates meant for your friends and family members, but remember that posts on your business page will be seen by a different audience.
It’s also important not to confuse social networking with social marketing. Of course, you ultimately want to find new clients and build deeper relationships with existing clients through your social media efforts. However, an insurance professional who only posts messages that are clearly advertisements may have a harder time than an agent who posts timely, informative messages that don’t always have an obvious marketing “hook.” Being a thought leader or posting relevant, funny or informative messages can have a bigger impact on the audience you’re trying to reach.
If you’re just getting started with social media business networking, LinkedIn may be a good place to start. It’s designed to facilitate such networking, so the overall tone of posts is generally professional and informative. LinkedIn is a great resource for connecting and collaborating with centers of influence and other industry professionals.
Facebook is primarily a social tool, rather than a business tool. Many insurance professionals establish separate business Facebook pages where they can connect with clients and centers of influence. The goal with Facebook posts is often simply to engage more people, creating awareness of your agency as people “like” or “share” your posts.
Google+ allows users to create “circles,” sharing content with just a specific subset of their connections on the platform. This can be helpful for agents who want to use the tool for both personal and business purposes.
Any social media platform, when used appropriately, can be a positive and powerful way to stay in touch with existing clients and centers of influence, and to spread awareness to others.
For more tips, guidance and best practices for using various social media platforms effectively, download our free resource, Social Media for Insurance Professionals, today. This is intended as a general description of certain types of insurance and services available to qualified customers. Your policy is the contract that specifically and fully describes your coverage. The description of the policy provisions gives a broad overview of coverages and does not revise or amend the policy.