Social Media – A Plan of Action

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post about how what the Georgia Young Agents Committee was doing in marketing itself to current and potential new members could be applied to an insurance agency.  They are using social media, as well as other electronic delivery systems, to get their message out and tailor it to particular segments of their target audience.  The following weekend, I attended a conference at which a well-known speaker made a great presentation on how to use Facebook and LinkedIn to generate more business.

The speaker’s name was Steve Anderson.  His website has a great amount of information that would be of benefit to any insurance agent or agency.  I highly recommend subscribing to his TechTips newsletter.  It has given me some ideas on how better to use technology in my law practice.  His presentation at the conference was titled “Master Your Internet Presence: Learning to be Visible to the Digital Consumer” (click here for a copy of his presentation slides).

After talking about the trends that are enabling greater and greater use of the internet for business purposes and thus, requiring all businesses to develop a digital presence, he discussed some specifics about the use of Facebook and LinkedIn.  He considers it essential for insurance agencies to use both these forms of social media and to connect them with the agency’s website, which should be the hub for all an agency’s digital activities.  The idea is to use these and other social media tools to direct potential customers to specific landing pages on the agency’s website depending on the interests of those customers, so they don’t have to hunt through the website to find what they are looking for.

Facebook is especially important for reaching out to current and potential personal lines customers, as one of every two people in the United States has a Facebook page. Facebook offers over 200 different data points that can be used to target an agency’s message in the form of ads that provide information about the agency and lead interested customers back to a page on its website that is customized for such customers.  These data points enable an agency to find a lot of information about potential customers in its market area and then target its message to the customers it is interested in and no one else, unlike a newspaper or radio or TV ad or even a billboard.  The best part about these data points is that obtaining this information costs very little and in some cases, nothing. (Click here for an article that goes into detail about one way these data points can be used.)

There are 11 different types of Facebook ads and their cost is comparable to what an agency would pay for more traditional advertising and in some cases, much less.  As part of the cost of the ads, Facebook offers analytics that let an agency see which ads are working and which ones aren’t.  It is even possible to put a code on the agency’s website that will generate an ad in Facebook that goes only to the people who visit that part of the website.

LinkedIn is best used for current and potential commercial lines customers due to its more business oriented users.  Much of the same types of things that can be done to target ads on Facebook can also be done on LinkedIn, but it does not have as many data points to use for targeting ads and they cost more.  For those of my readers who are interested in learning more, Mr. Anderson has developed online courses that provide a step by step guide for the use of both Facebook and LinkedIn for maximum effectiveness. (Click here for three free video presentations about ads on Facebook).