Just a few years ago marketing your independent insurance agency meant putting an ad on TV or in the newspaper. Though TV, radio, and print media are still vital ways to market your business, they are not the only outlets available promote your agency, nor are they the most cost efficient. Social media sites (i.e. Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn) and local search sites (i.e. Yelp, Poynt, and Kudzu) spread the message like never before!

Social Media

With so many social media marketing tools available, have you ever wondered which ones you should use and how you can do so successfully? Here are a few tips on how to use these tools to help you get more out of your social media marketing campaigns.

  • Talk About More Than Yourself: You will quickly lose your audience’s attention if all you talk about is yourself. While it is appropriate to share your blog posts and landing pages on social media, you should also aim to be helpful to viewers as well. A good rule of thumb is to post relevant and interesting content from other sources, such as business press, trade journals, and industry specialists.
  • Make it Easy to Follow Your Company: Since social media is all about sharing, make sure you have “Follow Us” links on your website, email signature, and any additional electronic media you send to your clients. Take advantage of the share and follow modules that most email marketing and internet marketing software have to offer.
  • Review Your Material Monthly: Look at key performance indicators (KPI) each month to see what is working well and what is not. These include (but are not limited to) monitoring leads generated by your social media network, social media mentions, and views, chares, and comments on blog posts. Also, remember to update your information regularly so information does not become stagnant.

Local Search

Did you know that over 2.2 billion unique local searches are performed each month by US individuals? Local search engines optimize results to include the audience your marketing strategy is attempting to reach. Here is a high-level list of some of the more popular options that may work for you.

  • Yelp: Yelp is a fun and easy way to find, recommend, and talk about what’s great and not so great in a local area. It is an online city guide that helps people find the preferred places to eat, shop, and relax. Business Yelp accounts allow businesses to share information with the Yelp community such as deals, messages, and business trends.
  • Poynt: An application that individuals download on their mobile devices that enables them to connect with local businesses and events. Poynt allows you to search for businesses and events close to your current location.
  • Kudzu: Available for mobile devices, Kudzu helps consumers find the best service providers for their home and family. It provides detailed business profiles including address and contact information, reviews, and valuable coupons or special offers.
  • Foursquare: Foursquare is a free application that helps users make the most of where they are. It enables users to mark locations that they visit, rank them, share them, and rate them. Founded in 2007, Foursquare is used by over 40 million people worldwide and currently houses 1.5 million merchant platforms.

When used wisely, social media can be an excellent way to create positive brand impressions and get in touch with the wide number of people who are interfacing online. . While the older generations are gradually getting used to managing their personal business online and on their phones and other mobile devices, the younger generation is already there—and has been for quite some time.    Since your goal is to find customers and keep them for life, it only makes sense to make it as easy as possible for the younger generation to find you.

While some social media pundits say you need to go “all in” and post several times per day, our suggestion is to take it gradually and work in chunks you can manage.   Leverage a tool such as HootSuite that allow you to manage all of your social networks from one interface.  HootSuite, which offers both free and paid versions, advertises itself as a “dashboard designed for you and your team to listen, engage and measure all from one simple interface.”

In addition to cutting back on time spent posting, using an interface tool is a much simpler way to monitor activity on your social media sites than logging into each and every individual account. This is important because it is critical to monitor the social media sites that you become part of and maintain a consistent presence. Not all posts made to your social media site will be positive ones. How you react can either diffuse a negative situation or ignite it. It is important to always respond in a timely and professional manner that will promote your brand in a positive way.

Aside from providing a solid software platform to help agencies run better, we aim to provide assistance to our agency partners in every way we can. For that reason, we have taken the time to research and write about areas such as this that we feel would be of benefit to independent agents.  In cases such as this we are able to draw from the knowledge of the marketing team at NuGrowth Solutions, our parent company, and Agency Marketing Partners, the insurance marketing arm of our business.

If you would like to find out more about our core competence – our Partner XE agency management system – and how it can help you as you strive to streamline workflow and build your books of business, please contact us at 800-747-9273 or [email protected].

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