Facebook has been a hot topic in recent years, along with other social media websites. There are skeptics who think it doesn't have a place in an insurance agency's online marketing arsenal. Who would want to follow her insurance agent? I do (and have). But my insurance agency markets themselves on Facebook with a clear plan.
Like with any marketing tactic, you need a plan that includes goals, strategy and how you're going to measure your efforts. It's easy to jump in and start using it, but without a clear direction of where you want to go, how will you know if Facebook is a successful marketing channel for you?
A failure to plan is a plan to fail.
Recipe for Facebook Success
- A good insurance website: Think of your website as the hub of all your marketing, both offline and online. It needs to be well designed and clearly communicate why consumers should choose your agency.
- Email marketing tool: Social media is a great place to have conversations and get found by potential clients, but email marketing is still your best chance for furthering conversations you have on social media, including closing sales and improving your client retention. It needs to be part of your overall marketing strategy.
- Completed Facebook Page: You don't leave the house without shoes on. Don't start marketing on Facebook with an incomplete profile. Take the time to fill out your entire profile first.
Step 1 - Identify goals
Marketing works best when you have specific goals. What do you want your Facebook Page to do for your agency? More sales is an easy goal to set but can be difficult to meet with social media as many consumers don't like being sold to on social media. Focus on some secondary goals so you don't get discouraged when you're not getting new sales from Facebook. Some examples:
- Improve awareness of your agency. This is a difficult goal to measure, but you can get a good indication by watching how the likes on your Page increase and how the reach of your posts grows.
- Establish your agency as an insurance expert. Facebook is a great place to share your blog posts, articles you might be quoted in, stories of how you've helped clients, etc.
- Create an engaged community. This will help grow trust, which can lead to better retention and more sales.
Whatever your goals, make them specific so you can easily measure and know if you are successful.
Step 2 - Research
Find out who your audience is. In your Facebook Insights, you can see the demographics of the people who have liked your Page and where they are located.
Research your competition. You don't have to reinvent the wheel. Look at your competitors, and see what is working for them. Then put your own spin on it.
Stay up-to-date. Social media changes fast. Find some good resources to keep up with the social media trends.
Step 3 - Go
Now that you've set your goals and done the research, it's time to figure out how you will achieve those goals. I recommend creating an editorial calendar to help you determine what to post each day. For example, Tuesdays could be for tips to reduce risk exposure. Fridays could be a funny picture or video. Mondays could be motivational. You get the idea.
When you create guidelines of what to post, it makes it easier each day when you actually go to post something. Or, you could even schedule all the posts for the week on Monday and then you don't have to think about it the rest of the week. Be careful with this though. If there is a tragedy, we recommend removing scheduled posts so you don't come across as selfish or insensitive during times of emergency or tragedy.
Step 4 - Measure
How will you know if you're meeting your goals unless you measure? Facebook Insights is a robust tool that tells you how your posts are performing. Take a look at least once a month to see how the number of fans is growing, to identify which posts get the most engagement so you can try to do more of that type, to see when your fans are online so you can schedule your posts for that time of day, etc. By measuring you will ultimately be more successful because you'll do more of what works.
Remember to have fun with social media, but keep those goals in mind.
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