When agents begin marketing their agency via social media, they tend to focus on the quantity of likes and followers as opposed to the quality of those likes and follows. You'll see advertisements all over the web trying to sell you 'real' followers and likes for anywhere from $5 to $200 depending on how many you purchase. But 2,000 spambots and fake accounts (by the way, they're never real followers) do not make a successful social media presence. Basically, all buying follows and likes will do is make your page seem more popular than it is. It's like paying to sit at the popular kids' table at lunch.
Increasing the number of likes and follows you have can be instrumental in making your social media marketing effective, but having a high number is only helpful if they are REAL people who notice your posts, comment on your updates, share and interact with you. Unfortunately, purchasing followers will never get you the activity and response you're looking for. You can't forget about your ultimate goal - to sell more policies.
Think of it this way, you most likely wouldn't pay random people to stand around your agency and just stare at you because this wouldn't sell many policies (it would also be really creepy). The same applies to your social media accounts.
So, what steps can you take to get REAL likes and follows?
- Create an effective about us section: Talk about your agency, tell people why you're special and why they should be doing business with you. Keep it short but sincere and be creative, clever and smart about what you say. You only have a few sentences to catch someone's attention so take some time to really think about what you want to say about your agency here.
- Get some killer graphics - If you have an avatar or cover photo that looks unprofessional it will only make you look unprofessional. Since an avatar is just a small picture used to represent you, work within that. Use your logo, or a picture of just your face (a professional headshot works great) to show who you are and what you represent. Stay away from pictures you took of yourself in the bathroom mirror or in the car on the way to the office. If you do not have a professional headshot, ask someone to take a picture of you in the office.
- Be interesting - it's as easy as it sounds. When someone is deciding whether or not to follow you, they will often look at your previous posts. Talk about things in your community, what interests you and your staff. Give a peak behind the curtain a bit. You should also ask questions that make your followers want to answer. Make it fun, and followers will be interested in what you will post next.
- Be sociable - Look at your newsfeed and respond, like, or retweet things you find interesting and send @messages to your top followers to show that you're paying attention to the fact that they're paying attention. Many people do not want to follow corporate accounts that just push marketing posts all day, every day. If you were at a party, you wouldn't just keep repeating your elevator speech about your agency all night, would you?
- Post pictures: A picture is worth a thousand words (or 140 characters in Twitter's case). Everyone likes to look at pictures, and if you have a smart phone, you always have a camera with you ready to post to your social profiles.
- Post often and post daily - Regularly posting keeps you in front of your likes and follows. This makes it hard to forget about you. Also, many people will only see a fraction of your posts because they follow too many people, they don't check their account regularly, or Facebook's EdgeRank algorithm only allows them to see a portion of the posts from pages they like. So posting several times a day allows all of your real followers to see at least one post daily.
All of this is to say don't buy likes and follows. It's a waste of resources. You'll get much more out of your social media marketing by coming up with solid, interesting content and engaging with your real followers.