Updated: Nov 19, 2020
WHY SOCIAL MEDIA?
Social media is one of the most powerful marketing tools available to business owners today. It’s the ultimate word-of-mouth marketing platform. What if you could get 100 people to tell a 100 of their friends about the great service your agency provides? And what if those 100 people told 100 of their friends, and what if those people told 100 of their friends, and what if those people told…well, you get the idea. That is social media. It gives you a platform to share who you are and what you to a larger audience than ever before. Millions of people in the United States log on to a social media networking site every day. As of 2017, over 200 million Americans were on some sort of social network, and, over 3 Billion across the globe, that number is three in four.
But there is something that makes social media different than other word-of-mouth marketing tools. Social media personalizes your agency’s brand for people. Instead of just seeing a logo, they see you – a person with interests, a family, friends and all the things they can probably identify with in their own lives. This personal connection is what will make you different from other agencies, and social media makes it happen.
Social media marketing’s main objective is to help grow your agency, but the underlying goals can be broken out into four main areas:
Website traffic, page views
Growing awareness of the Farmers brand
Creating a positive brand association and a broader customer reach
Conversion and sales tracking
5 REASONS WHY SOCIAL MEDIA IS GOOD FOR YOUR AGENCY
It gives you an audience. Social media gives you the ability to reach thousands and potentially hundreds of thousands of consumers with your agency’s message. Social media is now the No.1 place Americans spend their time online.
It’s free. Adding new tools to your marketing arsenal can be expensive, but social media is something that doesn’t have to cost you a penny. Most social media platforms don’t charge you anything to start and manage an account.
You can build relationships with customers and prospects. People want to connect with a person, not a company or a brand. By sharing photos from your staff holiday party or wishing a customer a happy birthday on their Facebook page, you’re building a personal connection. Social media marketing allows business owners to interact with online communities to generate exposure, opportunity and sales.
You can provide quick and personalized customer service. More and more consumers are taking their complaints directly to social media where they expect a quick and empathetic response. Social media gives you a way to act fast in responding to your customers’ needs and addressing their concerns.
People expect it. Today, more than 200 million Americans are on some sort of social network, and people are beginning to expect to find local businesses on networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Having a social network account where customers can connect with you shows that you want to connect with them and are making yourself available to help.
BUILDING YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY
Who is going to be on your social media team? Decide who on your staff will manage the posting and the commenting on your social media accounts. Here’s a tip: Don’t have your 20-year-old intern do it. You should always be involved because you are the person your customers want to connect with.
How are you listening? Take a look at other local business’s Facebook pages. Ask yourself “what’s working and what isn’t?” Can you partner with other pages to cross-promote?
What’s the point? Is it awareness? Retention? Sales? Define your objectives and narrow your focus.
How will you measure success? Decide what return on investment looks like for your agency. Is it the amount of followers you have? Is it the amount of leads you get? Is it your retention statistics?
Analyze your audience. Who will you be interacting with using social media? What are the characteristics and information needs of your current or prospective audience?
What’s your “one” thing? Apple isn’t about technology, it’s about innovation. What are you about? It doesn’t matter who you are, or what you sell, your product features and benefits aren’t enough. How will you appeal to the heart of your audience, rather than the head?
How will you be you? Social media is about people NOT logos or products. It’s about relationships. How will you show who you are?
Create a plan. After you know how you’re active in social media and how you’ll measure success, you can turn your attention to the “how.”
CHOOSING A SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM
Facebook is the most popular platform, with weekly traffic topping that of Google. Additionally, 50% of users check their page daily, so it would be hard to duplicate that type of marketing reach through another channel. For Facebook, you’ll need to register as a business page, invite friends, and then secure the page name through getting individuals to follow you. The business page has no cap on the amount of friends or followers (“likes”) you have. Unlike a personal Facebook page, business pages allow you to see statistics on the engagement you’re getting with your page. To take it another step further, once you have 25 people who “like” your page, you can create a custom URL which makes it easier for clients and associates to find you in the system. There is also a quoting and mapping tool you can add to your page
Twitter is also very popular for its quick-hit “micro blogging” platform. Twitter only allows for 140 character messages, so it’s best for quick updates or linking to fuller articles online. www.twitter.com
LinkedIn is a networking site that focuses primarily on professional relationships rather than social relationships. People use LinkedIn to find job leads, share career-focused advice and recruit. As of 2013, LinkedIn had 258 million users. www.linkedin.com
Google aims for a more holistic approach to search results, G+ plays an important part in your online presence as it begins to lean on social for more relevant listings. Increased visibility and traffic to your agent website can be had through the growth of your G+ network and active posting.
YouTube and other video platforms allow you to easily upload your own video. www.youtube.com
Instagram is a social networking app made for sharing photos and videos from a smartphone
New social media networking sites are developed every day. But these are a few of the most popular platforms with a proven record for success. Other platforms that agents are using include: Pinterest and Snapchat.
HOW DO I GET FOLLOWERS?
Most social networks such as Facebook allow you to search their database for the people you know. On Facebook business pages, there’s an option to “build my audience” and it will send an email to your email database asking them to become a fan of your new Facebook page. Reach out to friends, family, customers and anyone you know in your local community to build your marketing network.
WHAT DO I POST?
Your content should help you build a relationship with your community. Post content that gives insight to who you are, but that also adds value to your audience. You can post photos of you and your staff at the local football game, or provide a link to a website that has great tips on buying a house. To keep your agency top of mind and to build brand awareness, you should post consistently throughout the week. Here are a few ideas for content topics:
Customer service success stories (savings, coverage, etc.)
Tips on how to maximize discounts
Tips on how to prevent claims from occurring
Advertise upcoming local events in which your agency is participating
Talk about wide-scale company initiatives (Fundraisers, Golf Tournaments, etc.)
Use the check-in feature to let people know you are at your agency and ready to assist them
Photos of yourself or your staff at local events such as high school sports games or school fundraisers
HOW DO I MANAGE MULTIPLE SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS?
Using Social Media Management tools that provide dashboards, tools, and analytics are the best resource to manage all your social media accounts into one spot. Here are a few of the top companies:
We know you’re busy! So these management tools are a great way to ensure that you have a regular stream of content posting on your social media accounts. They take off some of the pressure of coming up with new ideas for content on a regular basis.