How to Use Social Media to Grow Your Business
May 8, 2020
Gone are the days when social media was reserved for sharing pictures with family and friends. Today, social media serves as an effective way to network with other professionals and clients, and, as a result, grow your business. Here, we take a look at how agents can successfully use social media to connect with their clients.
If you plan to use social media to connect with your clients, make sure you engage with those who are interacting. For example, when someone comments with a question on your Facebook post about auto insurance facts, respond with helpful and concise information. Providing helpful information on your social channels helps your audience see you as a reliable source of information, which helps to establish your credibility and build trust with potential clients.
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 and share content from these kinds of accounts. For instance, does your business sponsor the local baseball team? If the team posts about a big achievement or event on its social media platform, engage with this post to show your support. However, don’t only restrict your content to the organizations you support; show some love to community efforts or events that your business isn’t directly affiliated with. This shows your involvement isn’t strictly for financial gain.
Share Useful Content
Is there a big shockwave happening in the industry? Share it with your following. By posting relevant breaking news, your followers will know they can depend on you to lead them during tumultuous times.
Go beyond breaking news, too. Social media posts are a great opportunity for insurance agents to share educational and instructional content that will help followers understand the nuances of your products and the industry at large. When sharing content, make sure to explain how the subject matter will benefit your followers to encourage them to click and read the article. By sharing valuable, quality content, you let your clients know that you understand and care about their needs and concerns.
At Farm Bureau, we provide weekly social media content for insurance agents, like new articles, videos and additional content about our insurance products and services, that agents can share with their current or prospective clients. Our content is strategically created to align with our products, promotions and national observances so agents can share the most relevant information on their personal websites and across their social platforms.
Maintain a Consistent Posting Schedule
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 will hopefully lead to more engagement. Plus, regularly posting is a great way to stay in front of current or potential clients.
Make it easier on yourself by creating a social media plan outlining the content you’re sharing in advance. By doing this, you can have social copy and images already scheduled for a community event, holiday or special offer post.
Use Paid Advertising to Capture Your Target Audience
Be prepared to pay to play the game of social media marketing. Facebook business pages reach less than 2% of the fan audience on nonpaid posts, according to vendesocial. This means your odds of showing up in your clients’ social media feeds organically (without putting money behind a post) is very slim.
Be selective when spending money on your social media posts. Curated content from other industry websites is great information to have, but you probably don’t need to promote this content unless it’s explaining urgent insurance updates. Instead, put money behind posts that drive users to your page.
Finally, set a budget for your paid social media marketing efforts and don’t go over that amount unless you feel it’s completely necessary. A good strategy is to determine how much you want to spend on each social post when you’re planning your posting schedule.
Join Different Online Groups
Social media platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook have group and discussion forums, or communities, for people who have similar interests. To network with others, research different groups that best fit your area of expertise. From there, join groups or discussion forums and prioritize engaging on those platforms as often as your schedule allows.
Another benefit of joining groups or communities and engaging with them is having the ability to share your content with a very targeted audience. Plus, these groups of people could number in the hundreds, if not thousands, and could become loyal brand advocates.
How to Use LinkedIn 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 a daily lifestyle for millions of people.
Farm Bureau encourages agents to create a professional persona on their social media platforms, and specifically, LinkedIn, which is the social platform most beneficial for building connections and credibility for professionals like insurance agents.
Here are some things to consider if you’re looking to connect or network with others on LinkedIn.
Benefits of Creating a LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn is a powerful tool to connect with individuals in your industry, as well as your community. Through your LinkedIn connections, you can meet potential new clients and continue to grow your Farm Bureau business. By actively building relationships with your LinkedIn connections, the possibility of being introduced to new people (and potential new clients) grows exponentially.
LinkedIn easily allows users to display their work and volunteer experience, credentials and testimonials from others. Taking the time to list out any certifications, volunteer experience or specials skills helps establish your credibility and expertise.
Follow industry news sources and leaders and join groups to stay in the know. Staying connected to your industry also demonstrates that you care about what is happening in the field.
Gaining Quality Connections on 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 a 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 want to connect. Let this person know how you can help them, not how they can help you.
Outside of HLNs, 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. These people are seeking you out in hopes of finding answers to their inquiries. Joining different groups is key to finding these people.
Using LinkedIn to Grow Your Business
If you’re ready to take your LinkedIn presence to the next level, here’s how you can maximize your profile and make the most of the platform.
Post frequently. To stay present in followers’ feeds, you should post on LinkedIn at least three times per week or 10-12 times per month. It’s critical to remember that your connections are not coming to LinkedIn to see personal information. Share content that will help educate your connections, whether that’s news from an industry leader or a blog from your website.
Engage with others. Engage with others by commenting, liking or sharing their content. Make sure you engage with posts and people that are relevant to your industry. You’ll likely be able to grow your connections because your comments and likes can be viewed on posts, so others in your industry may be interested in having you as a connection.
Join LinkedIn groups. There are vast communities on LinkedIn that focus on different industries or interests. For example, the general interest group called Insurance Professionals has almost 200,000 members. In this group, you can gain insurance industry insights or find resources for different insurance issues. There are also special interest groups, such as the Insurance Underwriter’s Professional Network, which has 25,000 members. This group discusses relevant industry information and the market with the goal of helping members grow in their careers.
Use LinkedIn Messaging. If you’re hosting an event or want to stay connected with those in your network or groups, send them messages through LinkedIn Messaging. This way, you can connect one-on-one and personally invite a connection to an event you may be hosting.
Write recommendations or give endorsements. Not only does endorsing or recommending a connection show that you recognize his or her skills, but you’ll also likely receive an endorsement or recommendation in return. It’s important to note that only first-degree connections can provide an endorsement on a person’s profile. If a connection endorses or writes a recommendation for you, reach out to them to grab lunch or coffee to continue networking and building the relationship.
Have a keyword-rich profile. LinkedIn, which was purchased by Microsoft, can function as a search engine. This means you should include important keywords related to your industry in your LinkedIn profile. That way, when someone searches for a particular keyword, your profile will be more likely to appear than a competitor’s.
Farm Bureau Helps Agents With Social Media
At Farm Bureau, we know agents may need a hand when it comes to using social media to grow their business. 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, like 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 businesses, competitive financing, training, marketing support and much more. Learn more about becoming a Farm Bureau agent.