Slowly, insurance agents are realizing the potential of social marketing and trying to figure out how to increase their referral base via social media channels like Facebook. It seems simple – everyone is on Facebook. But, without a Facebook strategy, one can fail disastrously. It is important that you understand that there are both a right and a wrong way of marketing on Facebook.
Why Facebook Strategy is Important
These are some facts and figures from Facebook:
- Facebook is used by 71.2% US internet users
- 1,000,000 links can be shared on Facebook in 20 minutes
- 1851,000 status updates can be entered in 20 minutes
- In just 20 minutes, 10.2 million comments were posted
- Average user has 130 friends
- The average user has access to 80 groups, community pages and events
- There are more than 650 million users
- There are more than 16,000,000 fan pages
Facebook marketing can help you get your product or services noticed by a large audience. Your local market area may not be able to reach this audience, so a Facebook strategy is essential. This is why Facebook is a powerful tool. It allows you to influence your friends’ buying decisions.
There are many ways you can get people to contact you online and tell them about your services, products and insurance advice. It was once just word of mouth. Now it’s online word-of-mouth that can work for your business.
Why Insurance Agents Shouldn’t Use a Facebook Strategy
When I ask insurance agents where they get their business, they tell me referrals. Although they are happy to ask their clients and networking friends for referrals, they feel uncomfortable using Facebook in that capacity. Some feel awkward about telling their friends on Facebook that they sell insurance. This conversation was with a Financial Services producer, who was creating a blog for his personal branding and social media marketing. He didn’t use Facebook at all and couldn’t see how it could work for him. This is also true for older generations of insurance agents. They don’t realize that Facebook friends can share valuable information and that “liking” something is the same thing as a personal recommendation.
Facebook is all about your friends and followers. You will get more exposure if you share value and engage others with your Facebook strategy.
Facebook Strategy #1 – Create a page that contains pertinent information about yourself and your business. If you are creating a personal page, you can include your employer and email address, as well as information about yourself so they can get to know you better. This is the only thing you will need if you are an agent for another insurance company.
A Facebook Fan Page is a good idea for businesses. It may be the first time anyone comes into contact with your company so make sure it looks professional. This should not be “salesy”. It should help people and businesses make informed decisions about insurance. Your Facebook strategy must not be about selling, but rather providing information and resources to help people.
Facebook Strategy #2 Get Fans and Friends! Your Facebook strategy must be more popular than ever. You also need to increase your friends. Social media marketing is a numbers game. The more people you have, the better your reputation will be. Start by asking your clients to “like” the page. Use social media to connect with people you meet at networking events. Ask your friends to “like” your page.
It is important to give them a reason why they should like your site. Many people won’t be interested in your page if you only focus on selling insurance. You should post a variety of topics about insurance, but mainly focus on helping people save money and providing useful information. Engage with your followers, ask for feedback and educate them.
Facebook Strategy #3 Promote community events and business partners. This can be used for business-to-business networking. Invite customers to make offers about their services to your followers. You can also share your experiences with local businesses.
People want to know that you are providing information that will benefit them. This is a great opportunity to work with customers and share their services and products with friends and fans.
Facebook Strategy #4 Create quality content with value. If you already have a blog, you can post your articles to your Facebook Wall or Fan Page. Consumers can find a lot of information on a variety of topics. People love stories, so it would be interesting to hear about how you helped someone save money or prevent a loss. It would also show that you are an expert in insurance. They will be able explore more topics while reading your article on your blog and feel like you are an insurance expert.
You can also share informative articles on other topics. Comment with an insurance perspective. This is an example of how you can offer free consultations or a review of their insurance policies.
Facebook Strategy #5 Capture customer reviews for your blog and Fan Page. These reviews are extremely influential on Facebook. Invite satisfied customers to leave a brief post.
Facebook Strategy #6: Identify YOU to be the insurance expert. Ask questions about insurance. Be their “go-to” person.
Facebook Strategy #7 Listen to your fans and friends. Insurance is a great tool for changing people’s lives. Look out for marriages, births, promotions, and illnesses that you can build on. This is not a chance to sell but an opening for a conversation to develop a relationship.
An insurance agent must realize that self-marketing is possible. Previously, they have relied on referrals to build their leads. Many agents are now looking at Social Media Marketing as a way to change the way people shop for insurance. This is just another way to network, but it is a different kind of networking.
You can schedule your time to comment and post on a daily basis. I recommend that you treat this as another networking or prospecting event. Once you are comfortable with the process, it should take around 20 minutes to do this consistently.
A Facebook strategy combined with a blog can create a strong presence that will brand you as the insurance expert. To get started and to learn more about how you can become an “expert” in your industry, please contact me. My Branding System is a comprehensive package that will help you get started. It includes a simple step-by-step process.