Social media is accessible and intuitive. Anyone can create an account and start posting in minutes. That is one of the most wonderful things about it.
But, it's important to realize the social media rules are different for businesses. Businesses have much more at stake than individuals.
That's why it's important to have ground rules in place before you post anything. This will prevent a range of faux pas and loss of reputation from careless social media mistakes.
So how do you get started on your social media game plan? It's just three easy steps.
1. Messaging: What to Say, How to Say it
Understand how your messages can differ from platform to platform. If you post to Facebook and Twitter, do you know what the difference is between those?
Twitter limits the length of tweets giving them a shorter life cycle. That means tweets get pushed down newsfeeds much faster.
The nature of Twitter is quick, short messages that you post more often. By contrast, Facebook posts are capable of being longer. Your posts can also contain longer videos, entire photo albums, and more.
Remember, social media isn't the place for hard sells of your agency or products. Those types of posts are the number one way to get ignored and unfollowed.
We are already blasted with ads everywhere we turn online. Don't join the crowd with more promotional noise.
What will you be posting about? Post about things your followers will care about. It's okay if it's not 100% business all the time. It's good to have a personality. Just pick one voice and stick to it.
2. Posting: When to Say It
Know how often you'll post. Will it be three posts per day? Three posts per week?
However often you decide, it's important to be consistent. When people visit your social media profile, it's not a good look when your last post was a month ago.
Inconsistent posts reflect poorly on your agency and digital reputation. Pick a posting schedule, and then stick to it.
It doesn't hurt to do some research too. Use your Page Insights on Facebook to determine the best time of day your posts will get the most reach.
Find out when your Twitter followers are most active and schedule your posts for those times. You can look at your Twitter analytics. Or use third-party, freemium tools like Tweriod or Followerwonk to get that information.
Even though you will stick to a schedule, keep an eye on trending topics. Post live when a trending topic is relevant to your agency or brand.
For example, when big events occur, you can participate in the conversation. Or if there is severe weather in your area, post relevant information like how to contact your agency or make a claim.
3. Interacting: The Heart of Social Media
Communication on social media is two way, which is why it's so successful. Consumers have a voice and an audience.
Meaningful interactions with your followers is the heart of social media. This means you should always seek to engage them. You can post questions, tag your best clients or partners, or post a funny picture from time to time.
The last thing you want to deal with is a poor social media interaction gone viral. That's why you need a plan so you are prepared.
How will you interact with your followers? How will you deal with haters or comments that reflect poorly on your agency?
Have a plan in place before this happens. Know what your course of action will be for different situations.
These steps will help you create your insurance agency's social media game plan, ground rules, and guidelines. These can not only prevent you from making mistakes but also boost your success.
Does your agency have a social media game plan? What's your key to success? Leave us a comment below!
About the Author
Emily Nguyen supports the implementation of ITC’s marketing efforts, including producing product newsletters and other customer communications, managing multiple social media profiles, and writing and reviewing content. She has a bachelor’s degree in public relations from Texas Tech University. Emily enjoys social media, exploring Dallas-Fort Worth, and spending time with her husband and their dog.More Content by Emily Nguyen