When I was a kid, I watched reruns of an old 1950’s TV show (in black and white!) It was called Father Knows Best. Jim Anderson was an insurance agent and the show was set in “Small Town America.” Jim walked to work (I always imagined that he had a storefront office on Main Street). He was a member of the Chamber of Commerce, was deeply involved with this community and seemed to know just about everyone in town. Mr. Anderson understood the power of Social Networking.
The end of the 20th century saw marketing change to favor “big business.” Impersonal online insurance agencies, mass marketing techniques and the decline of “cold calling” and Do Not Call lists made it difficult for independent agents to compete or stand out.
The 21st century is seeing marketing is change again – in a way, bringing it “full circle.”
Today, there are over 1 billion people on Facebook, and millions on sites like Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and LinkedIn. These people are making their purchasing decisions based on interactions on these sites. They are asking their Facebook friends for referrals. They are reading blogs, joining Facebook Business Pages and searching for key words on Twitter. When they search Google they are often directed to blogs or social sites. Where they find the best information often determines where they spend their money.
Social Media presents a unique opportunity for insurance professionals to excel. Sites like Facebook and Twitter are being used as lead generation and customer service tools. Blogs are opening new venues to disseminate information. Facebook has become a forum for answering questions, and communicating industry news. In short, these and other social networks are allowing insurance agents to do what they have always done best – build solid relationships with their clients and potential clients.
Outsourcing Social Media
Insurance professionals spend a lot of time becoming experts in their field. Beyond their formal education, they spend many hours learning the basics and finer points of the insurance industry, tracking changes and discovering new products. Because of their continuing education, they are able to offer the insurance solutions tailored to the specific needs of their clients.
Social Media Marketing professionals must also maintain that same level of knowledge and expertise. They research their clients’ company and industry and then decide on a unique marketing strategy for each client. By understanding how the various marketing platforms work, how they should be used, and by keeping current on the ever-changing rules, protocols, techniques and technologies, Social Media Managers are able develop the successful marketing strategies that will not only engage the target audience, but turn them into satisfied customers.