3 Ways To Stop Being Boring: Social Media For Insurance Agents
I love the insurance world. Not many people can say that with honesty, but I find it absolutely fascinating.
Because of the work I do, I follow quite a few insurance agents across various platforms of social media and over time I have witnessed a disturbing trend that transcends age, carrier, and experience. Most all of the posts they make... are boring as it could possibly be. If I had to sum it up in one word, that word would be "generic".
"But Luke... it is about insurance, what do you expect?"
Most insurance and financial sales people forget the basic purpose of being on social media is community building. Not peddling their goods and services, but to build a following based on some sort of commonality and interest; however, their pages are littered with branded content that is simply regurgitated corporate communications devoid of any personality or true human engagement. No personality... no uniqueness... no connection. From a consumer perspective, this content is just "scroll past" filler that provides no real value to the consumers at large.
Yes, insurance isn't as exciting as political scandals and the newest cat video. I get it. That aside, social media is a vital channel for building your brand in the minds of Millennials, Gen Z, and the younger generations. By only providing halfhearted posts about non-engaging content shows the largest demographic in the economy that you don't value a medium that they spend countless hours on per week nor are you maximizing your chances of getting in front someone who is in the middle of their own buying process.
If you want to succeed, you have no choice but to adapt. Insurance agents and financial sales people will spend $250- $1000 each month on internet leads, but will often only shrug when you talk to them about investing in digital marketing. Why? Because corporate carriers themselves often don't see the importance and don't openly encourage agents to invest in their digital footprint, looking at social media as a recreational outlet and not the new reality that billions use to stay connected. While this mindset is slowly starting to change in some companies, the industry has been slow to fully adopt the importance of the power of social media.
So how do you stay relevant in social media and make people become more engaged in you as an insurance agent? Simple.
- Build YOUR brand, not your carriers's brand. The consumer sentiment toward brand names for anything relating to banking, finance, and insurance is at an all time low and rarely evokes trust regardless of the brand. (....there are a few exceptions...) Consumers now want to build relationships with people, not corporations. Focus on building YOUR brand, YOUR name, and YOUR value without leaning on corporate marketing and branded content. Too much branded content comes across as a commercial and you will be ignored.
- Focus on engagement instead of advertising. People rarely care about sitting down for an IFR or that your company just had a job fair and if that is all you post, you are little more than a commercial providing no real value. Instead, focus on engagement of your social media supporters and engage them in conversation online. Ask for opinions and insights (even critical ones) on their take of insurance and financial services to define opportunities where you can build value. Generic filler gets ignored, true and authentic dialogue is vital.
- Get away from HearSay (and similar services) as much as possible and be unique. Too many agents use these corporate listening tools as their main source of posting and it provides more of a crutch or hindrance in advancing your social media presence. Corporate likes using these services as sort of a "CYA" to stay compliant, but it ends up hampering the individual who is trying to build their business. Find workarounds and use logic to stay compliant. If you can maintain engagement inside the realm of these services, then go for it; however, if it is keeping you from taking your social media presence to the next level, its time to begin looking at other strategies.
Your future in the industry depends on the level of value your followers see in you. If you are not where the customer is AND providing value to the conversation, you are merely an ignored billboard on the information superhighway. As an agent, you are more than a corporate commercial. You are an asset to the people around you and the more value you bring, the more people will want to listen to what you have to say.