Gone are the days when social media was reserved for sharing pictures so family and friends can see what you’re up to, or showing off your latest cool vacation. In today’s day and age, social media has turned into an excellent way to network with other professionals and client/members, no matter the industry. Furthermore, while LinkedIn is a social platform dedicated to professional networking, other social sites like Facebook can be utilized as effective networking tools.
If you’re interested in becoming an insurance agent, you may be wondering why we’re bringing up social media as a networking tool. A big part of being an insurance agent is being involved in your community, and social channels have created exceptional ways to communicate with your neighbors and potential and current client/members.
Follow along as we take a look at how an agent can use social media to network and the many ways one can connect with their client/members!
How to Use Social Media to Network
While in-person networking is still very important, the internet has started to overpower the face-to-face networking scene. Over the past several years, connecting with others on social media has shifted from a niche activity to one where millions of people are doing it daily.
There are several things a person should know when they’re looking to connect or network with others on social media. Here are a few:
Start With Connection Sites
If you’re looking for quality contacts on social media, start with sites like LinkedIn. On LinkedIn, look for people known as high-level networkers (HLN). These people have around 500 connections and are typically decision makers, executives, media or thought leaders in your industry.
If you want to connect with an HLN but don’t know them personally or professionally, don’t let that deter you from reaching out to them. Send them an invite to connect and share with them why you’re hoping to connect. Let this person know how you can help them, not how they can help you.
Outside of high-level networkers, pay attention to your target market connections or the consumers that may be interested in your product or service. This type of user is interested in chatting and learning information by posting their questions online. More or less, these people are seeking you in hopes of finding answers to their inquiries. The key to finding these people is joining different groups.
Join Different Online Groups
Social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+ have group and discussion forums, or communities, for people that have similar interests. To network with others, take a moment to research different groups that best fit your area of expertise. From there, join roughly a dozen groups or discussion forums and try to engage as often as your schedule allows.
Another benefit of joining groups or communities and engaging with them is that you can share your content with a very targeted audience. Plus, these groups of people could be in the hundreds, if not thousands, and could potentially become loyal brand advocates.
Social Media and Connecting With Clients/Members
At Farm Bureau, many of our agents use social media as a way to engage with their clients or potential client/members. Here are some tips for building your client/member relationships with social media.
If you’re going to use social media as a way to communicate with your clients, make sure to stay engaged with those who are interacting with your page. For example, if someone commented on a Facebook post of yours that was about auto insurance facts, and they wanted to know if the insurance you sell covered a particular circumstance, comment back asking him or her to message you so you can talk more. By doing this, you’re still engaging with this person on the post, and you’re moving the conversation to a different space where you can talk more about your products and services.
Another easy way to stay engaged with your followers is to interact with different people, schools or businesses in your community. No matter the social media platforms you use, take time each day to like, comment, share, retweet or favorite content from these kinds of places. For example, does your business sponsor the local baseball team and they won their big game this week? If the school posts about it on their social media, you can engage with this post to show that you care about your community.
It could also be a good idea to show some love to community efforts or events that your business isn’t directly affiliated with, to show your involvement isn’t strictly for financial gain or to grow your business. Everyone wants to support their own community since, after all, it’s your community to enjoy, as well.
Share Content That Will Help Your Client/Members
Is there a big shockwave happening in the industry? Or maybe you realize that some of the subject matter of your business isn’t always the easiest to understand. Connect with your client/members by sharing different types of content that will help them, whether it’s articles from industry sources, videos, white papers or an infographic. By sharing valuable and quality content, you let your client/members know that you understand that they need more information or what a potential change in the industry means.
Maintain a Consistent Posting Schedule
Try to be consistent with how often you post on your social media channels. To make it easier on yourself, create a social media calendar that will you help plan the content you’re sharing in advance. By doing this, you can have social copy and images ready to roll once it’s time for a Throwback Thursday or Monday Motivation post.
Speaking of Throwback Thursday, having a consistent posting schedule can help you stay engaged with your community. If you’re posting great content regularly, your followers may look forward to seeing your posts in their social media feeds which would hopefully lead to more engagement. Plus, regularly posting, no matter if it’s on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn, is a great way to stay in front of current or potential clients.
Farm Bureau Helps Agents with Social Media
At Farm Bureau, we know that agents may need a hand when it comes to diving into social media. That’s why we offer our agents the technology to make it easier. Hearsay Social is a platform created for financial services and allows agents to efficiently engage with their clients across different social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn.
Grow Your Career with Farm Bureau
Are you ready to take control of your career? Look no further than becoming a Farm Bureau insurance agent. We offer our agents the ability to run their own business, competitive financing, training, marketing support and much more. Learn more about becoming a Farm Bureau agent, and hear what other agents had to say!