Social media engagement is one of the most effective ways for you and your agency to get more traffic and generate new leads.
Agency owners — for both large and small organizations — are the “face” of the organization. An effective social platform marketing strategy should contemplate using the owner’s name and face as part of the marketing program. This means that they need to leverage their personal sites to help build awareness.
A big part of the challenge is finding the time. Comments from company executives will help communicate the organization’s mission and vision to internal staff as well as prospects, clients, and insurance company personnel.
Mastering your Internet presence will help you, and your team, be more visible to the increasingly online consumer. Consumers now use smartphones and tablets to interact with businesses 24/7, from anywhere at home, at work, or on a bus. It is critical that your company define its value proposition through a mobile lens by determining exactly how your target audience wants to engage with your brand on multiple devices.
Following are some thoughts on steps you can take to manage and master your online presence. Taking just a few of these steps will help you and your organization be visible to the online consumer.
Use the Right Tools
Having – and using – the right social platform management tools is essential for keeping up a presence on all the major platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
Tools that allow you to automate status updates on various platforms enable you to promote your latest content to all of your social networks with a minimum investment of time and effort. There are many solutions that can automatically improve your website articles, as well as other content, to your social media networks. Following are a few of the most popular:
Buffer is one of the easier to use and less expensive tools to automate postings to your social platforms. This is the tool I am currently using, and I love its clean and easy-to-use interface. It will post updates to your LinkedIn agency page, LinkedIn Groups, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ page.
Buffer allows you to create a schedule for when updates will be posted to your social platforms. For instance, on Mondays through Fridays, I post updates three times during the day. On weekends, I post two updates on Saturday and no updates on Sunday. This gives you complete control over when and how often updates post to your various accounts.
You can add updates to your Buffer account using their website, as well as their iPhone app, Android app, and Chrome, Firefox, and Safari browser extensions.
Buffer’s built-in analytics allows you to find the times of day that your post gets the most engagement and the type of topics your audience likes the most. This helps you better understand what kind of content you should include in future updates.
Buffer has a free version that allows you to post up to 10 updates per day, as well as several paid tiers depending on your particular needs.
Hootsuite is a very popular service that has similar features to Buffer. In addition to being able to schedule posts to multiple social platforms, Hootsuite excels in allowing you to view the activity on your various social channels. When it comes to social networking support, Hootsuite has a wider coverage than Buffer.
Hootsuite allows you to post automatically to a broad range of platforms. These include: Facebook groups/profiles/business pages, LinkedIn company pages/groups, Google+ pages, Twitter, Foursquare, WordPress sites, as well as YouTube, Flickr, Instagram, Tumblr, and Blogger.
Hootsuite also tracks your post analytics so you can determine how people share posts. For example, if someone shared a post on your site using Hootsuite, you’ll be able to track that they used Hootsuite to re-share your post.
Hootsuite also has a free version (that I am currently using) and a Pro version with pricing that starts at $8.99 per month (with discounts for an annual payment).
With the basic account, you’ll have message scheduling and can set up five social networks. The pro version has unlimited social networks, atom feeds, and stats history. It also allows bulk scheduling.
For personal and professional use, this auto-posting tool is worth a try.
How and When to Engage
Once you begin using one of the tools described above you will be able to create activity consistently on your social platforms without feeling like you are spending hours doing it. Here’s my strategy for engaging with people on the social platforms where I am active.
Daily: Interact with your news feed. Install the mobile apps for the various platforms where you are active. Take a few minutes between appointments to open the apps and look at the activity in the news feed. Simply clicking “like” on a comment someone has made or typing out a short comment will significantly increase your engagement with these people.
Weekly: Using one of the above tools, take 30 minutes to an hour to set up a schedule of posts for the following week. This allows you to spend concentrated time to make sure you have posts going out on a regular basis. Then, if anything particularly interesting comes up, feel free to post that one comment on multiple sites.
Monthly: Schedule time monthly to review your profiles on all of your social platforms to make sure they are current. Review and contribute to any comments on groups you are part of such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google+. In addition, reach out to any old contacts that you might want to connect with on LinkedIn.
Engaging on social platforms is becoming an essential skill for executives to use to create an engaging brand for their organization. While you may have staff who manages this for the whole organization, it is important for the executives who are the “face” of the organization to also be active.
This type of engagement and activity on your social platforms can bring new visitors to your website and help improve your overall search rankings. However, perhaps more importantly, it will help you and your team to be more visible to the new online consumer.
Marketing is the key to finding and nurturing qualified prospects to maximize your sales pipeline. However, when insurance agents use social platforms, they typically overlook a specific tool that can identify and engage highly qualified prospects. That tool is advertising on Facebook and LinkedIn. This article explains why every agency should be experimenting with these advertising platforms.