Insurance sales is about developing relationships, and that’s exactly what social media can do for your agency. Discover how to best communicate and connect with insurance consumers in the fun, casual structure of your social media channels where you can show the human side of your agency.
In this webinar, BrightFire Sales Executive Rachael Stone covers 10 tips to make your agency more “human” with social media marketing. Here are just a few of the tips she discusses:
- Show Off Your Personality
- Put Some Faces to Your Name
- Turn Agents into Brand Promoters
- Stay Relevant & Top of Mind
- Share Your Story
Finally, Rachael dives into how BrightFire’s Social Media Marketing service addresses each of these tips so your agency can develop stronger relationships with customers on social media, as well as increase customer acquisition and retention rates.
Watch The Webinar
Chelsea: Hi everyone. My name is Chelsea Peterson, and I’m a Digital Marketing Coordinator here at BrightFire, as well as your host for today’s 20 Minute Marketing Webinar. Thank you all for joining us today.
Chelsea: Last month, we discussed the Do’s and Don’ts of Managing Your Online Reviews. If you missed it or any of our previous webinars in the series, you can access the whole 20 Minute Marketing Webinar Series on-demand by visiting www.brightfire.com/webinars. The goal of these webinars is to provide you with digital marketing advice and discuss current digital marketing topics, in a brief 20-minute format followed by a Q&A period to answer any questions from the attendees. We believe this format will be received well by busy insurance agents and agency owners like yourself.
Chelsea: Today’s 20 Minute Marketing Webinar is focused on 10 Tips to Humanize Your Agency with Social Media Marketing and will be presented by Rachael Stone, a sales executive here at BrightFire. As you know, insurance sales is all about developing relationships, and that’s exactly what social media can do for your agency. After today’s webinar, you’ll be equipped to best communicate and connect with insurance consumers in the fun, casual structure of your social media channels, where you can show the human side of your agency.
Chelsea: If you have any questions at all during the webinar, please use the Q&A feature in Zoom found at the bottom of the screen. We’ll do our best to answer any questions that come through at the end of the webinar. Otherwise, we’ll personally reach out to you afterward. And as a reminder, today’s webinar is being recorded, so everything that we discussed will be saved and emailed to you in the next few business days. That way you can watch it on demand for future reference. With that being said, I’ll go ahead and hand it over to Rachael to kick off today’s webinar.
Rachael: Thanks Chelsea, and thank you to everyone joining in today. Before we get started, I want to offer a brief background on BrightFire, since we have a mix of current customers and agents that are new to BrightFire attending today. With that being said, BrightFire began by providing Insurance Agency Websites in the year 2000. Over the years as the needs of insurance agents grew, we expanded our digital marketing services beyond Insurance Agency Websites to also include a list of other digital marketing solutions, including Reviews & Reputation Management, Search Engine Optimization, Local Listings Management, Pay-Per-Click Advertising, and Social Media Marketing, which is what we’ll be discussing today.
Rachael: Today we provide our Social Media Marketing service to hundreds of agents across the country. And we’re always proud to say that our first agency customer in the year 2000 is still a BrightFire customer today and also utilizes our Social Media Marketing service. With that brief background, let’s go ahead and get started.
Rachael: The first step to building trust on your social media channels, is to set up each of your accounts for success. You likely already have a few social media accounts created and complete with basic information, such as a profile photo, bio, and phone number, but it’s so important to periodically audit and optimize your channels, leveraging all of the features each social media platform has to offer.
Rachael: Your profile picture is the first element consumers will see when searching for your agency or when your posts appear in their newsfeeds. Since building trust with your consumers is essential in the insurance industry, it’s great to add a photo of your agency, owner, or broker, so they know exactly who they are interacting with online, as well as who would be handling their insurance needs, should they be or become a customer.
Rachael: However, it’s also common to use a logo for the profile picture. Agency logos can also be added to a portion of the cover photo, which is the large banner image displayed at the top of your page. This is also a great space to showcase the types of policies your agency offers, but just try to avoid stock images whenever possible, as these can come off very impersonal on social media.
Rachael: You can see a few examples for a visual over on the right-hand side. For those who may not want to use their headshot photo for their profile picture, the company logo would be a great alternative. They both look very clean and professional.
Rachael: Other elements you want to be sure to include on each of your accounts are the full name of your agency and a handle that reflects your agency name, which is that username that you create with the @ symbol right before it. You’ll also want to add a description of your agency and the policies you offer, your office address, hours of operation, industry, and any contact information, including a phone number, email address, and your website URL.
Rachael: On Facebook, specifically, you can also add in your services, providing a relevant image and description, as well as the average duration of time an appointment about that service will take. You can even personalize the call to action button shown at the top right of your page, selecting from options like call us, send email, send message, book now, learn more, etc. I’m going to go ahead and circle that option over here with the call to action button on these images.
Rachael: LinkedIn also has a section dedicated to showcasing your service offerings called Specialties. Making sure all of these features on each platform are filled out properly maximizes your chances of being found in a search. It can even help to build trust in consumers’ minds as you prove that you are a legitimate agency with real people, engaging with its followers behind the screen.
Rachael: Our second tip of the day is to talk like a real person on your social media channels. Your counts now look personal with the information provided in the last tip, and now it’s time to make them feel more personal. The best way to accomplish this is to craft engaging content in a casual, yet informational tone that will resonate well with your audience.
Rachael: As insurance professionals, we are so used to the industry’s technical terminology, that it can be easy to forget the average Joe might not understand it all – the curse of knowledge, as they say. However, this can turn your customers off and lead them to stop following your agency on social media, altogether. Instead, throw out common sales jargon and replace it with simplified lingo that your followers will better understand and be interested in reading. Be authentic and conversational. And remember, you don’t have to be overly salesy or professional on social media. This is your chance to really highlight how much you understand and can relate to customers and their interests.
Rachael: In addition, be willing to try new things on social media to show your genuine and sincere side, even if they don’t get a lot of engagement and/or views. For example, when you go live on Facebook or Instagram for your first time, you’ll likely say um, like, or have longer pauses than you’d prefer. I would just encourage you to be confident in your video, push through any awkwardness you encounter and be real with your audience. It’s okay to not look like a supermodel or be the perfect spokesperson.
Rachael: It’s also okay to use your smartphone instead of a professional video camera. In fact, your audience will appreciate your efforts to be more casual, personable, and relatable. Ultimately, they’ll enjoy growing with your agency at the end of the day.
Rachael: In line with the last tip, tip number three focuses on showing off your personality. Your customers have a unique personality and share their emotions on social media, and so should your agency. To accomplish this, your first task is to figure out what personality your agency has. Consider what you like and dislike, also what you take interest in or avoid, and/or how you speak. Determining these characteristics will help your agency set a standard for what to post, how to post, and what topics and people to engage with. Then you’ll be able to speak directly and appropriately to the stages of life your customers are in, using emotions and your agency’s personality.
Rachael: For example, you can post with joy and excitement as you talk about buying a new car or home. And speak with empathy for those who have recently lost a loved one or encountered a natural disaster. Humor and sarcasm can even have their place on your social media posts in the right setting.
Rachael: In addition, don’t be afraid to post and speak candidly on social media, share your professional opinions, and be transparent with your followers. While you want to avoid highly controversial topics like politics, you can keep your channel light and fun by showing how your agency has grown over the years, sharing what your agency’s goals and resolutions are, and simply sharing what’s going on in your life and at your agency with your followers.
Rachael: And when words just aren’t enough, don’t be afraid to bring in the emojis. My only word of caution would just be to use them sparingly and strategically to encourage your audience more to engage. One example of a post could be, “Show us what you’ve got covered with insurance using only emojis.”
Rachael: Stock photos can be boring and often easily identifiable on social media, making it harder for your followers to relate to and engage with your agency. That’s why tip number four is to put some real faces to your agency’s name. Take photos of your staff, both individually and as a team to share on your social media channels.
Rachael: As I mentioned briefly at the beginning, these don’t have to be just professional headshot photos. You can also pull out your smartphone to take candid action shots of your team, to capture fun occasions in the moment. At the end of the day, we’re all human. It’s always refreshing to see the realness that goes on behind the scenes.
Rachael: For example, we’ve had clients post photos of their employees holding a cake or a donut on their birthdays, or even showing off their pets when they come to visit the office. I’ve even seen a client switch out their profile and cover photos on April Fool’s Day, every year as a fun trick on their followers.
Rachael: However you use them, photos can be a great opportunity to show off your agency’s culture, highlight each employee, and celebrate team members’ accomplishments, work anniversaries, and more. By showcasing your CSRs and agents and giving them that platform to introduce themselves, you’re paving a way for followers to better engage with your agency and build relationships with actual employees that customers and prospects may or may not have had that opportunity to meet.
Rachael: What’s more, instead of posting tips and tricks with stock photography, you can help your team become thought leaders by allowing them to post videos, sharing valuable educational content for your audience. In doing so, followers will begin to view your agency as a go-to resource when they have questions about their current policies or your coverage options.
Rachael: You can take this tip a step further and put some customer faces to your agency’s name. Ask long-time customers if they’d be interested in being featured on your social media accounts. Whether it’s in a video testimonial or with their photo and a quote, showcasing customer success stories and sharing how you helped meet their needs will enable followers to better relate to your agency and connect with your team members.
Rachael: Next up is tip number five: engage with your followers. Remember that social media and relationships, in general, are two-way streets. You can’t expect to build a strong community of engaged followers if you only talk at them and never listen to them. Invest in your audience and show them you’re listening and are interested in what they’re sharing online. Just like you would want people to interact and engage with your social media posts, they would want the same.
Rachael: Like and comment on their posts, direct message them and thank them when they follow you, offering that personal connection and a way to contact you in the future. Keep the conversation going when they comment on your posts by responding to them as well.
Rachael: Ask questions or create polls on your Instagram and Facebook stories or your Facebook and Twitter feeds. For example, if you’re trying to sell car insurance, make a poll asking which car your followers would rather have. Or if you’re trying to sell homeowners insurance, ask your followers what their next home project is. Remember that you just shouldn’t try to sell policies to your followers with every post.
Rachael: If customers leave a review on your Facebook page, comment on their review and thank them for their business. As a quick side note on this topic, BrightFire published an Ultimate Guide to Online Reviews for Insurance Agencies and updates it continuously. So if you’d like to know more about how to respond to online reviews, you can discover everything you need to know in this ultimate guide at www.brightfire.com/ultimate-guide-reviews.
Rachael: At the end of the day, any opportunity you have to engage with your followers helps to increase your agency’s brand awareness and can even reflect the quality of customer service you provide. But how exactly can you find the right individuals to engage with?
Rachael: This brings up tip number six: stay relevant and top of mind. Your agency can find people talking about insurance or their assets and life events related to the policies you sell by following key hashtags. A few popular industry hashtags that come to mind are #HomeInsurance, #AutoInsurance, and #LifeInsurance.
Rachael: However, I know it’s not very likely that a consumer is going to post on social media, “I am looking for #HomeInsurance.” That’s why I’d also encourage you to follow hashtags that are related to an important life update or event that would spark the need for insurance, such as #NewHome, #NewCar, or #NewMom.
Rachael: There are several ways to find which hashtags are most relevant and popular for your audience. For example, Twitter has a section on the main newsfeed page dedicated to trending hashtags called “What’s Happening.” Instagram shows popular hashtag options in the search bar as you begin typing one. And there are even other online tools like Hashtagify and RiteTag, that populate hashtags to use based on keywords you select. By following and using these hashtags on your social media channels, you can easily see what people are talking about, engage with their posts to stay on top of the mind, and craft relevant content for your own channels.
Rachael: Our seventh tip is another great way to humanize your agency and stay relevant on social media. Show off your community involvement. As a local independent insurance agency owner or agent, it’s important to showcase your commitment to your customers’ and followers’ local community. Not only will these posts build relationships with your followers and help you stay relevant, but they can also lead to higher customer acquisition and retention rates, according to the recent Consumer Reports study. The study actually found that 90% of consumers would be likely to switch to another brand with similar quality products and pricing if they supported a good cause. But customers may not know yet what causes or organizations you support.
Rachael: For instance, do you support or sponsor a local baseball team, attend annual philanthropy events, or support local charities? Maybe you just recently received your Girl Scout Cookies, supporting a local troop. However you give back, be sure to share it with your followers by snapping a picture about it or recording a quick video.
Rachael: If you’re attending an event, you can also use any event hashtags they may be promoting, so your posts will be seen on those feeds and receive even greater visibility. By showing off your community involvement in these ways, you’ll be able to reach new audiences, gain more followers, and develop strong relationships with your current ones. These are often also the types of posts that will get more likes, comments, or shares, especially if you’re able to tag a place, person, or organization represented in your photos and videos.
Rachael: Next up, we have tip number eight: post videos often. I know you may be thinking video is the last thing you have time to schedule and create, not to mention the fact that you might be a little nervous or uncomfortable on camera. Nevertheless, I would encourage you to push through any hesitations you may have towards going live on social media and really reap the benefits of this online feature.
Rachael: According to Forbes, over 500 million people watch videos on Facebook every day, with 45% of them watching more than an hour of videos per week on Facebook and YouTube, according to WordStream. In addition, as it relates to Instagram Stories, Hootsuite states that one-third of the most viewed stories are posted by businesses. And 39% of people say Instagram Stories have made them more interested in a brand or product.
Rachael: This means there’s a lot of potential for your agency to engage followers through video. Help them feel like they’re in the moment with you as you record by looking directly at the camera, speaking directly to your viewers, or even acknowledging your viewers. As you record, you’ll be able to see how many viewers you have as well as what comments are being posted.
Rachael: Consider starting an Ask Me Anything series, where you have a set time and day that you post a question on your Instagram Story, encouraging followers to ask you any questions they might have regarding insurance policies, what needs to be covered, and what certain terms mean, etc. There’s a sticker feature on Instagram that you can use so that followers can input a question that will get sent directly to your inbox. I would recommend starting this series with a few staged questions from followers or employees to get the conversation started.
Rachael: It’s important to note that Stories disappear after 24 hours. However, if you loved a particular Story or want to display a series of related Stories permanently on your Instagram account, you can utilize the Highlights feature on your profile to allow followers to view those Stories at any time.
Rachael: Another great way to humanize your agency and help followers connect with you is to go behind the scenes, which is tip number nine on our list today. Some example scenarios to post would be, what does a typical day in the office look like for your agency? What does the prep work and setup process of hosting an event look like? Do you have a specific candle burning or a soundtrack playing while you work? These are just a few ideas for you to create a quick post or video to better relate with your followers.
Rachael: Posting the real work and life events going on behind the scenes at your agency strengthens trust and connections with your audience. Instead of simply jumping from one agency to another year after year, customers may grow to love your agency and rely on your team specifically to help them access the best rates possible.
Rachael: Last but not least, we have tip number 10: share your agency’s story. No matter how simplistic or elaborate your agency story may be, sharing it with your customers and prospects can make a huge difference as it relates to building rapport. So if you haven’t already, write down and share your agency’s “why.” Why do you sell insurance? Why do you want to help customers ensure they’re covered for every circumstance life may throw at them? What is your personal “why?” By sharing your story online, you can encourage followers, make them proud to support your independent agency, and assure them that you’re on their side, ready to help, however possible.
Rachael: A recent Headstream study found that if people love a brand story, 55% are more likely to buy the product in the future, 44% will share the story, and 15% will buy the product immediately. Leverage this opportunity to share your story so you can develop stronger relationships and generate more interest in your policy offerings. For even greater engagements, combine this tip with previous ones we’ve discussed by turning your story into a video or by enabling different employees to share their personal “whys” on your agency’s social media accounts.
Rachael: As these tips hopefully made apparent to you today, connecting with customers on social media isn’t just a good idea, it’s necessary. Social media is far too important and influential to leave to chance. That’s why BrightFire offers independent insurance agencies its Social Media Marketing service, to help agents like yourself never miss an opportunity to connect with customers and prospects online, as well as build awareness of your agency’s brand.
Rachael: With the support of our social media experts, your agency will be able to easily stay engaged with your customers, broaden your reach, and get more referrals, and also monitor and manage all of your social media platforms in one place. With our Social Media Marketing service, you receive up to 31 posts per month. We’ll help you rapidly build an audience. We’ll help with the professional branding. You’ll also have access to a consolidated social media dashboard, where you can basically see a bird’s eye view of everything going on behind the scenes with those networks being managed by us. You’ll also have metrics reporting and the ability to run custom campaigns as well.
Rachael: BrightFire’s Social Media Marketing service only costs $80 per month. And like all of our digital marketing services, we do not have any setup fees or contracts, and we also include a 30-day money-back guarantee. With Social Media Marketing, you have the option to purchase an additional custom campaign for $60 per month, per custom post desired. These enhance your Social Media Marketing efforts by launching custom campaigns and contests.
Rachael: Our onboarding process is designed to take the burden off of you as much as possible and consists of one 30-minute phone call. Typically, we can launch your Social Media Marketing service within a week of signing up.
Rachael: As a thank you for attending today, we’re offering a $50 promo to webinar attendees. You can receive a $50 account credit for signing up for our Social Media Marketing service, and this promo ends on February 28, 2021.
Rachael: To get started managing your social media with BrightFire, please visit our website or call and speak with a BrightFire expert at (888) 778-4393.
Rachael: That concludes our presentation on 10 Tips to Humanize Your Agency with Social Media Marketing. I’ll now pass it back over to Chelsea, our host, who will start the Q&A session if anyone has any questions. We’ll do our best to answer any questions that come through. If we do not address your questions during the webinar, someone from BrightFire will follow up with you via email later on to answer your questions.
Chelsea: Great. Thanks, Rachael. We’ve already had a couple of questions come through, so we can get started with those. The first question here is, “What social media networks do you manage?”
Rachael: Great question. To answer that, BrightFire manages Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Google My Business accounts. For those who purchase custom campaigns, we can also manage their Twitter accounts.
Chelsea: Perfect. Another question we have here is, “What type of content is provided?”
Rachael: Sure thing. That’s another great question. We provide social media posts each month for a number of categories that you can choose from, including personal, business, life, health, group benefits, Medicare, and general preparedness and safety. So depending on the categories you select, we provide your agency with up to 31 social media posts per month.
Chelsea: Alright, perfect. Someone else asked, “What exactly is a custom campaign?”
Rachael: Another good question. Custom campaigns are any campaigns that you would like us to create from scratch. So when you purchase a custom campaign, separate from your Social Media Marketing service, your BrightFire rep will work with our designers to fine-tune the verbiage and aesthetics you desire for your custom campaign.
Rachael: An example of a custom campaign would be if you wanted to create a post celebrating a staff member’s birthday, or if you wanted us to create a post for a promotion that you were running, like a $50 referral giveaway. Those are some examples of what a custom campaign could be.
Chelsea: Awesome. Okay. We have another question here. Someone said, “I don’t have a Facebook page yet. Is that something your team can create?”
Rachael: Sure. Yeah, that’s no problem. We can absolutely help them create any of those accounts that I listed before. So BrightFire can help create Facebook pages, LinkedIn pages, Google My Business, or Instagram. We want to make sure that you’re not missing out, and we want to make sure that you’re maximizing the benefit from the service at no additional cost. So we’d basically be able to create those accounts for you with the Social Media Marketing service. We’ll also make sure that they’re configured properly and professionally branded as well.
Chelsea: Okay, perfect. “If we already have a BrightFire account, can we add the custom campaigns to it?”
Rachael: Sure thing. Yes, you can absolutely add to custom campaigns. Whether you have the Social Media Marketing service or not, you can get the Social Media Marketing service after you’ve already started working with us, as well as those custom campaigns.
Chelsea: Okay, great. Another person just asked, “Are contests only created if you have custom campaigns, and do you have to pay for each one?”
Rachael: Sure thing. Yes. That would only come with the custom campaign side of Social Media Marketing, and it would be the $60 per custom post.
Chelsea: Okay. Another question just popped up. “I already used BrightFire from my webpage. Can I add the social media package, and is it discounted since we already are using websites?”
Rachael: Sure thing. Yes. You can definitely use Social Media Marketing in addition to our Insurance Agency Websites service with us. This would still be the same costs, so $80 per month. But since this individual is attending the webinar today, we can apply that $50 account credit towards that service if they decide to add that on with us before February 28, 2021.
Chelsea: Okay. And another question we have here, “Do we need a code for the $50 credit?”
Rachael: Gotcha, gotcha. No, you don’t need a code or anything like that. We can basically find out that you’ve attended the webinar today and apply that account credit if you do end up signing up for our Social Media Marketing service.
Chelsea: Okay. Perfect. Well, I think that’s all the time we have for questions today. Thank you to everyone who submitted a question, and if your question wasn’t answered, we’ll be sure to reach out to you personally afterward. But before we close, I’d like to remind everyone of our upcoming 20 Minute Marketing Webinars.
Chelsea: Our next webinar is How to Personalize Your Sales with Video Proposals. The importance of personalizing your prospects’ and clients’ online experiences only continues to increase as COVID-19 continues across the country. Join us in this webinar as we show how video proposals can take your agency sales efforts to the next level and offer strategies to convert more prospects, build client relationships, and grow your sales. This will be held on Thursday, March 25, at 2:00 p.m. Eastern or 11:00 a.m. Pacific.
Chelsea: And then our webinar in April is Why Customer Lifetime Value is Vital to Your Pay-Per-Click Advertising Success. When it comes to Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC), knowing your Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) is vital to understanding if your campaigns are generating a return on your investment. This insight will then enable you to make important decisions on how to strengthen your advertising strategy and appropriately spend your advertising dollars.
Chelsea: In this webinar, you’ll discover what Customer Lifetime Value is, how to calculate your PPC return on investment, and why it matters to your insurance agency. This webinar will be held on Thursday, April 29, at 2:00 p.m. Eastern or 11:00 a.m. Pacific. You can reserve your spot at any of these webinars by visiting the webinars page on our website at www.brightfire.com/webinars.
Chelsea: So that does it for today! From me, Rachael, and the rest of the BrightFire team, we’d like to thank you all for attending. I hope y’all have a great day. Thanks, everyone.