How to Generate Income with Social Media
Social media is definitely the buzz right now in the insurance industry. You won’t find a trade publication that doesn’t mention its importance and necessity. Missing from these articles, though, is a discussion on how to generate qualified leads from social media. Instead, they focus specifically on creating a Facebook page and getting as many fans as you possibly can.
So the question is how do you turn your social media “Fans” into prospects, customers and, ultimately, advocates for your agency?
5 Levels of Social Media Engagement
According to SAS Institute (www.sas.com) there are 5 levels your consumers pass through on social media before they become customers and advocates.
Level 1: A visitor “likes” your Facebook page. We read too often about this being the goal when it is actually just the first step. For suggestions on how to get visitors here you can find our 23 tips to creating a social media presence here.
Level 2: Visitors move to this level of the process when they comment on posts or visit your page multiple times.
Level 3: I feel this is the most crucial step and the hardest one to accomplish. This is when the visitor actually begins to repost or retweet your company’s material. It shows they want to interact with your brand. To get your visitors here requires tremendous effort, creativity, humor, insight, and unexpected delight. (I’ll talk more about this in a later.)
Level 4: The visitor provides you with personal information, and they officially become a prospect. (For insurance agencies, this is when they allow you to quote.)
Level 5: The prospect actually purchases a product (or policy in this case), and they are willing to share their experience with others.
*Remember, it’s not important how many people you are able to get to level 1, instead your agency should focus on the percentage of visitors you move up to levels 4 and 5.
How to Do It
To consistently move visitors to prospects and customers requires a lot of work and diligence from the agency. You have to constantly start new conversations, listen to your consumers, and engage your audience with creativity and humor.
It’s important to remember that people only become “Fans” of yours on social media because they receive something out of the relationship. Very few brands (i.e. Apple) have created such loyalty that their customers will flock to them on social media without actually receiving anything in return.
This can be very difficult for insurance agencies. You’re not allowed to give exclusive discounts to “Fans” like a retail company or restaurant. (Laws kind of get in the way right there.) Also, you’re not in an industry where people are flocking to find out more information like a technology company.
So What Can You Do?
The best way to move visitors up to levels 3 and 4 is to apply a personal touch with unexpected delight. What I mean by this is that you go out of your way to see if there are any problems or issues you can solve for your fans.
- Has one of your fans posted they’re having a bad day? Why not send them some movie tickets?
- Has one of them recently lost a loved one? Why not send some flowers?
- Did some fans post they can’t work for the weekend because the week is dragging? Why not send them a gift card to a restaurant?
This will show your fans/customers you care, you are paying attention to them, and they mean more than just dollars to your company. Here’s the other great part: Besides becoming a lifetime customer, they become an advocate for your agency telling others about the great thing your agency did.
What Not To Do
Above all else, keep it as non-salesy as possible. Don’t try and quote their insurance through social media. People aren’t on Facebook to be sold a policy; rather they want to interact with brands in a very casual atmosphere. (In my opinion, this is why the tools that allow you to quote directly inside of Facebook don’t help your agency generate leads at all.)
I recommend seamlessly transitioning fans to your website where you can use much more of a sales tone. The best way to do that is to post links to content and material that requires the social media visitor to go to your website allowing your blog to become the primary engagement tool. You can use your blog to post creative videos, community news, funny claim photos, or even highlight your agency.
The whole purpose of social media for an insurance agency is to get them to know, like and trust the agency before they make a decision. Just make sure you are very clear on your website on how to get people to receive quotes.
*Sidenote: Remember every agency, community, and consumer demographics are different. What works for one agency may not work for yours. You will have to try a variety of thing to see what works best. Just make sure you monitor the posts that receive the most positive feedback and duplicate them.