Using Google+ For Your Clients and Prospects

January 3, 2012 AnMarie Bozick, CIC

It's not impossible to successfully write insurance policies without social networking online, but it sure does limit your list of prospects and marketing reach if you do. Social networking opens up a much easier and less expensive way to tap into a broader pool of prospects and allows you to do so from the comfort of your office.

One of the newest social networking sites to enter the scene is Google+. Don't count out the effectiveness of Google+ just because it's new though - according to comScore.com, Google+ had 20 million visitors in just the first 21 days. And while Google+ is similar to Facebook in some ways, it has some distinct advantages when it comes to marketing and prospecting.

Circles
One of the most important and defining features of Google+ is the Circles it allows each profile. Circles are groups that you can sort your contacts into. You can create circles for friends, family, prospects, clients, etc. When you post an update or a picture, you can determine which circle the post is viewable for.

This is a valuable marketing tool for agents. If you break up your circles into lines of business-let's say you have one circle for your personal lines clients and another for your commercial lines clients-it makes it easier to post notes and articles that are relevant to each of the members. This separation also allows you to address client concerns or policy changes without confusing other clients with the wrong message.

Huddles and Hangouts
Google+ has a couple of group chat features-Huddles, which are for text chats and Hangouts which work for video chats. These features could become a great way to have insurance town hall meetings with prospects or clients. You can host quarterly Q&A sessions and even conduct seminars. Because Google+ makes the video chat so accessible, it may also work as a way to remotely meet with individual prospects or with clients when it's time for an annual policy review. This can save you time and money, and makes a meeting possible even if you, the client or the prospect is away for business or vacation.

Google+ is one of the few social networking sites that is merging the broad reach of online networking with the personal touches that make one-on-one communication so important. It gives agents and agencies an easy, free way to separate and focus their marketing and inter-office communications and allows for that personal touch that can make the difference between a prospect remaining a target or becoming a client.

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About the Author

AnMarie Bozick, CIC

AnMarie Bozick, CIC, manages ITC’s rating products, including TurboRater and TurboRater for Websites. She has more than 20 years of property and casualty insurance experience, including owning her own agency and serving as president of the Alliance of Insurance Agents of Texas. She joined ITC in 2008.

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