My last blog post about Instagram was well received. So well, in fact, the topic could use some elaboration.
Since last time I focused on different ideas for posts, this time we're going to look at ways to drive engagement. Engagement is important on Instagram because it increases brand awareness in the public. This makes attracting new customers easier. So, let’s discuss ways to make Instagram work for you.
The first thing you need to do is get to know your audience! Everyone needs insurance, so this might sound broad. But, at the core you want someone local who would need and use your services.
You could make 100 beautiful posts, but they'll never work if the right people aren't seeing them. But who are the right people? This is the difference between a relevant follower and a random follower. If you are an agency in Chicago, it doesn’t help to attract followers from California. They aren’t going to request insurance from your agency. A more relevant follower would be in or near Chicago. Even if they don’t need insurance, many of their followers would also be in or near Chicago.
With a business account, you receive access to Instagram Insights. It's exactly like Facebook Insights (since Facebook owns Instagram). It shows you things like…
It even shows demographics, so you can see where your followers are. This will help you see if your followers are local or more national. Both are fine depending on your agency’s goals.
The second thing you need to focus on when using Instagram is relationships. Insurance is all about relationships. Instagram is also about relationships.
In other words, posting isn't enough. You need to interact with followers. This shows there's a person behind the company. Interaction can also help you get more exposure. The more people who follow and comment on your posts, the easier it is for new people will find you. This is because as your account grows, the more users will find your agency in their Suggestions For You section.
So, start engaging. Like posts of accounts you follow. If someone starts following you, follow them back so you can see and interact with their posts. (Remember, relationship!)
People always share their biggest accomplishments (a new house, car, puppy, or new baby) on social media. Hit that heart and acknowledge their accomplishment. They'll enjoy and remember this interaction.
Tag your customers. If they give you permission and their Instagram handle, tag them in an appreciation post.
Hold a contest. People love to give their opinion. Hold a caption contest or a meme contest. Remember to regram (repost) the best responses. Read more here about how and why contests are a good idea.
Another thing that can set you up for success is to use a unique hashtag.
Hashtags make topics searchable and can start trending if enough people use them. But, don't overuse them just because. Stick to three to five unique hashtags instead of 25 broad ones.
Try to avoid general hashtags that don’t have to do with insurance or your area. You may get more initial engagement with broad terms like #love. That was the top hashtag for 2018 according to hubspot.com. But, that engagement isn't potential clients. It may skew your engagement research for your next post.
Running an independent agency requires a lot of time. You don’t want to waste time engaging with followers that aren’t aligned to your goals. Unique hashtags will waste less time by gaining more potential clients. For example, instead of just using #life, try using #lifeinsurance.
Remember that contest I suggested a paragraph ago? Use a branded hashtag for it. For example, #ParkerInsCaptionContest. Remind entrants to use it when submitting their creative entries. Now you can track which contests or campaigns are doing better than others.
Finally, timing is important to boost engagement. Just like email marketing, there is a time for everything. Instagram may be an untapped tool for insurance agents, but there's a lot of other content on there. It is competing for your followers’ attention. Don't lose engagement because you're posting when no one's looking.
According to Later.com…
- Aim for non-working hours
- Weekends are a great time to post for B2C content
- Wednesdays and Thursdays seem to be the best days for posting
- 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. seems to be the worst
Instagram is a great marketing tool if used correctly. But it takes knowing your audience, engaging, creating unique hashtags and good timing to be successful. Anyone can tap into this undiscovered corner of insurance marketing if you put in a little time and effort.
About the AuthorMore Content by Jayci Morrison