In this digital age, there’s no question that social media should be a part of any robust insurance marketing strategy. But to truly increase brand trustworthiness and loyalty, insurance agencies should go above and beyond simply being present and occasionally posting on social media.
View this webinar on-demand as BrightFire’s Sales Advisor Spencer Breidenbach and Social Media Specialist Ashley Paul dive into how engaging with your followers on your social media channels can have a substantially positive impact on your brand and book of business.
What to expect from this webinar:
- The Importance of Social Media
- Why Focus on Engaging with Followers
- Everyday Engagement Actions
- Advanced Engagement Actions
Finally, they’ll dive into how BrightFire’s Social Media Marketing service can support your agency to quickly and efficiently generate targeted insurance leads.
Watch The Webinar
Princess: All right. Looks like we’re ready to get started. Hello everyone. My name is Princess Ruff and I’m the Digital Marketing Coordinator here at BrightFire, as well as your host for today’s 20-Minute Marketing Webinar. Thank you all so much for taking time to join us today. Last month we covered The Three A’s of Reputation Management For Insurance: Awareness, Assessment, and Action. So if you missed it or any of our previous webinars in the 20-Minute Marketing Webinar series, you can access the whole series on demand by visiting brightfire.com/webinars/.
Princess: Our goal with these webinars is to provide you with digital marketing advice, and discuss digital marketing topics, and a brief 20-minute format followed by a Q&A period to answer any questions you may have. So if you have any questions 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 all of the questions that come through. Otherwise, we will personally reach out to you after the webinar.
Princess: Today’s webinar topic is Unlock the Power of Engagement in Insurance Social Media Marketing, and it will be presented by Spencer Breidenbach, one of our Sales Advisor here at BrightFire, along with guests panelist, Ashley Paul, a Digital Marketing Strategist who specializes in social media marketing. In this digital era, there’s no question that social media should be a part of any robust insurance marketing strategy, but to truly increase brand trustworthiness, and loyalty, insurance agents should go above and beyond simply being present and occasionally posting on social media. So, that’s why Spencer and Ashley will discuss how engaging with your followers on social media channels can have a substantially positive impact on your brand and book of business. Today’s webinar is being recorded. So everything we discuss will be saved and emailed to you in the next business day or two, so you can watch it later on demand.
Princess: Lastly, we do have a couple of polls today. So when they’re launched, you’ll see the poll pop up on your screen with the question and multiple choice options. You can select more than one response and every poll is anonymous. We’ll give you roughly 30 seconds to share your response and then we’ll discuss the results with everyone afterwards. With that being said, I’ll go ahead and hand it over to Spencer to kick off today’s webinar.
Spencer: Awesome. Thanks Princess! And thanks for everybody joining in today. I’m really excited to have Ashley join us in today’s webinar. In her role as a Digital Marketing Strategist, she manages our client’s social media for them, analyzes how their various accounts are performing, and gives some good feedback and advice on how to best make use of social media. She has several years experience with social media content creation, and social media marketing, including almost four years here at BrightFire, working with our agents to strengthen their relationship with social media, increase brand awareness for them and help them drive more engagement with their actual customers.
Spencer: So today, Ashley and I will have a conversational interview and we want to help you better understand the importance of being present on social media and engaging with those followers. Then next, we’ll cover different ways to engage with your audience from the foundational kind of stuff you should be doing on a daily basis, to the things that require a little more planning that will really boost your visibility and engagement on social media. And then lastly, we’ll dive into how our Social Media Marketing service can support your agency to quickly and efficiently generate some targeted insurance leads. So first and foremost, why social media? I know you guys all have tons of different responsibilities, both marketing and otherwise running your agency day to day. So is it really that necessary for agents to focus on social media? I know it can seem like a nice to have and not so much of a need to have. Ashley, can you explain a little bit about why staying active on social media is actually so important?
Ashley: Yeah. Thanks Spencer! Yes, great first question. Truly the sheer amount of people on social media should be enough to encourage agents to make an account. Since, 82% of the population has at least one social networking profile. If you think about it, that’s roughly 220 million people nationwide that could see your profile and learn about your agency through social media, if you are present and active. And then in addition to those that use social media, 70% log into their accounts, at least once a day, and almost half admit to checking their social media accounts multiple times a day. So, that’s a huge opportunity that your agency should take advantage of to get in front of your target audience when they’re scrolling through their news feeds. And then on top of that, social media can benefit your agency beyond just that individual platform by linking to your website and your social media posts, you can increase web traffic and generate more leads. So if your agency is not on social media, you’ll definitely want to incorporate that into your agency’s marketing strategy.
Spencer: Got you. Yeah, that’s perfect. Thanks Ashley, and definitely agree that agents can be missing out on a ton of opportunities to increase awareness of their brand, if they don’t already have those social accounts set up. So one thing that you mentioned there was posting consistently. Can you touch on that a little more and explain why agents should not only have those profiles, but make sure they’re active on them? I know a lot of agencies, sometimes create a Facebook page, but then after that, they aren’t very active in posting, and engaging with their followers directly.
Ashley: Sure. So yeah, an agent technically could just create a social media page and never post on it. It might still pop up on Google when someone searches for your agency, but in order for your social media account to really be effective on each platform and gain visibility, you have to create posts for your audience to see and engage with. So posting consistently, even if it’s only a few times a week, does make a difference to the social media algorithms. And your profiles won’t see a lot of traction if they’re mostly inactive, or have random posting sporadic schedules.
Spencer: Got you, awesome. Thanks Ashley. I think algorithms are definitely a bit of a buzzword that we all hear all the time, but don’t necessarily always understand why it’s important or what’s actually going on behind the scenes there. Can you briefly touch on social media algorithms and how those function?
Ashley: Yeah, of course. So for those that aren’t familiar with social media algorithms, algorithms dictate how your page and your posts will perform by prioritizing those posts on an individual’s newsfeed by relevance, and also by the time the post was published. So for example, if you open up Facebook at noon, you won’t necessarily see a post that was published just a few minutes ago. Instead, what Facebook does is they sort through the content of people that you follow and they show you the content they deem most relevant to your interests based off of what content you typically engage, or read the most. So in general, social media algorithms really favor these four key things. One, likes, comments, and shares on a post, if there’s any tags in a post, and then whether or not the post had a video or photo in it. And then also how often your audience checks your page.
Spencer: Got you. Well, thank you for giving our audience some insights in those algorithms, Ashley. So when you mentioned engagement, as it pertains to the algorithms, I know you were talking more so about the engagement that the agency receives from their followers. I know in today’s webinar, we’re also looking at what are the benefits we can unlock specifically from the agencies on the other side, reaching out, engaging with those audiences on social media. So Ashley, can you talk about what that side of engagement looks like, and why that’s important for the agencies to engage with their followers?
Ashley: Yeah. So, what comes to mind is why social media was created in the first place. It was built to connect people and build relationships with them. And in other words, really be social. So like any relationship, social media needs a two-way street. You can’t just post content trying to sell a policy and expect someone to fall in love with your agency and immediately become a policy holder. So, by creating relevant content that’s interactive for your followers. You can create more meaningful conversations and relationships that will not only keep your agency top of mind, but it can also improve your ability to reach more people in the long run.
Spencer: Yeah, absolutely. That’s a great point. I think it can definitely be easy as a business to forget that it is supposed to be that two-way street with conversation and relationship instead of just, like you were saying, posting, and throwing your content out there directly trying to drive sales. If we’re being honest, an average individual on social media might not necessarily think like, “Hey, oh, I should look my insurance agent up and follow them.” So, what are the things agents can do to actually grab somebody’s attention enough to like and follow the agent’s page?
Ashley: Yeah, that’s true. I think the same could be said for a lot of brands when social media first got started, yet those brands today, with a strong presence and great engagement strategy, still connect with the consumers everyday on social media. So I really think the key thing is to give consumers what they want by providing value in the content that you post, and get them interested in what you have to say. So, that means creating engaging content that’s relevant to your community, it’s entertaining, light hearted, and maybe even a little bit funny. So, it also means that you shouldn’t post a sales pitch in every one of your posts to keep your followers engaged. Even if you create an engaging post that’s promoting purchasing a policy, most consumers don’t want to be sold to constantly.
Ashley: They want a relationship that allows them to see the human side of your agency, and get to know you. And since most of your audience are probably policy holders already, if everything you post is a sales pitch, it’s likely your followers will quickly grow tired of your content. And, one way we do this at BrightFire is encouraging our clients to do a post about what’s going on behind the scenes at their agency, or giveaways, and who doesn’t like free stuff. So, ultimately by humanizing your brand in these ways, you’re able to really build on your agency’s online reputation and show off your personality.
Spencer: Nice. That was perfect. Thanks Ashley. So I think now’s the perfect time to kind of break down the different ways agents can truly engage with their audience. I know you mentioned engaging with other people’s posts, but in addition to liking and commenting, what other actions can agencies take? What can they do to truly engage with the audience and keep growing that following?
Ashley: Sure. So here are three main strategies you should use every day to drive engagement on social media. The first one is you should promote your social media channels that you’re active on to your current policy holders. Ultimately, they’re going to be the people most willing to follow and engage with you. So this is really a great place to start to build your following.
Ashley: Secondly, to promote your channels, you can use your social media icons on your websites, you can use the links or QR codes to those social media pages, within our email signatures, or in print and marketing materials like posters, brochures, or on your business cards.
Ashley: And then the third thing is you want to make sure that you’re always promoting your social media through word of mouth by telling your friends, family, coworkers, and even when you sell a new policy, or receive positive feedback from a policy holder, that’s a great time too. So, I’m actually curious to know what agencies attending today currently do to promote their social media channels. I think it’s a good time to actually launch our first poll, Spencer.
Spencer: Sure thing. Here, let me go ahead and get that launched.
Spencer: All right. And that should start showing for everybody. Just as a reminder, the polls are anonymous; you can pick out as many of those responses as are actually relevant to you. So I’ll give you all about 15-30 seconds to submit some answers. And the question again is, what are you currently doing to promote your agency on social media? Thanks. I see a lot of folks are getting a chance to send that in, I’ll keep that going for a little longer.
Spencer: Okay. Looks like we got a decent chunk of folks who are able to respond. So let me go ahead and show you guys what those results look like. Nice, so it’s great to see a lot of folks are doing stuff to actively promote those socials. That is definitely a great idea to have those tied in to other ways folks can engage with you digitally. Like when clients receive those emails, your social media links are right there handy, or when somebody goes onto the website to submit some kind of service request. It’s tying in the digital side with some of your print materials as well.
Ashley: Yeah, that looks great. Thanks to everyone who participated. It’s good to see how you all are currently engaging on your social media channels. And like we mentioned, the social media algorithms are more likely to show your content to more people if you get good engagement. So really to continue to get more visibility on your accounts, a couple of ways that you can do this are encouraging your team to like, and comment and share your posts. And then another way that you can also do that is by finding people that could be interested in reviewing their current policy, or getting a new one. So for example, on Facebook and Instagram, you can search relevant hashtags like #newcar, or #newhouse, and liking and commenting on those posts. And then later ask those people if they’re interested in reviewing their current auto, or home policy for free.
Spencer: Nice, those are some awesome tips to build a following. So thank you, Ashley. But to talk a little bit about some examples of how agents can know what to post on their social media channels. I know it can be really tricky to come up with enough content on a consistent basis, both stuff that’s original and already engaging with, what advice would you give our attendees here on the actual kind of content creation process?
Ashley: Yeah. So first things first, I would recommend creating a content calendar, if you don’t have one already. This can be something as simple as a word document, or an Excel spreadsheet that lists every day of the week, a month, or eventually the year. So you can easily map out what’s posted each day with what image or video. And for example, at BrightFire, when we’re writing content for our clients, we make sure to post about different policy types to keep an agency’s feed fresh and avoid redundancy. And planning content at least one or two weeks ahead of time can really save you in the long run, and it helps you not have to worry about scrambling at the last minute to put content together.
Ashley: But as far as the actual content you’ll create, here’s a couple of tips I would recommend, first, I would encourage you to follow and share content from your different insurance carriers on social media. This kind of content will not only help your agency gain credibility, especially when it’s a larger carrier with a well-established online reputation and larger following, but it can also help you fill in some of the gaps that you might have in your content calendar. And then the second thing, like we discussed earlier, engagement is key. So if you can create a call to action in your posts that prompts your audience to like the posts, comment on it, share it, that can also really help. And you can kind of think of this as a flow of converting prospects into policy holders. You have to help guide people with the next step, and what it is that you would like for them to do.
Spencer: That’s great. Thanks so much, Ashley. So hopefully everybody in attendance today is starting to see how creating, engaging personalized interactions can have that positive impact for your brand awareness and reputation online. Definitely, building that engaged audience on social media can ultimately help you grow with your book of business, stay relevant, and stay top of mind for folks. So those were more kind of the everyday nitty gritty actions you should be taking to make social media accounts successful, and engaging. But Ashley, can we go ahead and talk about the more advanced macro scale stuff that agents can do to take their engagement to the next level?
Ashley: Yeah, absolutely. So these are steps that are probably a little bit more time consuming, but they’re ones that can really increase your engagement, and awareness on social media as a whole. So first I want to say, it’s important to keep in mind that posting the same kind of content in the same format with every post can get really repetitive on your feed, and it may lead to your posts being hidden in the social media algorithms.
Ashley: So to maintain a sense of variety, you can take advantage of a number of interactive elements that Instagram and Facebook provide, such as stories. And if you’re not familiar with stories, stories are short, vertical video clips that include interactive features like polls, and queries that you can use to ask your followers what they want to know about a certain policy type. And then you can also share the posts that you create to your story, or go live on your story when you attend or sponsor charitable events. But in general, stories are great, since video engagement is usually much higher and it shows consumers that there are real people that they can relate to and connect with behind your agency’s name.
Ashley: And then the last tip I have is to host online giveaways through your social media channels to show appreciation for your followers. You would be surprised how many people would be willing to like, and comment on your posts in order to be entered, to win a giveaway, to win things like a TV, or an iPad, or even gift cards to local businesses.
Spencer: Nice. Those are some really solid ideas, Ashley. I’d like to pause here and go ahead and launch our second poll, which is how do you engage with your followers on social media?
Spencer: Give me one second and get that up and going for you guys. So you should see that on your screen now, and don’t forget again, these are completely anonymous and you can select as many of these as actually applied to you. So again, your question is how do you currently engage with your followers on social media?
Spencer: Nice to see a ton of folks are getting a chance to answer now, we will be open five to 10 more seconds. All right, let’s take a look.
Spencer: All right. So we are seeing, that’s good, the majority of you are having interaction, that’s great. The folks that are doing stuff like posting stories to their channel, or going out there and actually engaging with what you’re seeing from your policy holders. And that is a different level of engagement of “Hey, you know what? I posted our anniversary picture and my agent liked it.” versus “Hey, here’s another thing from them, I’ve seen about auto insurance.” So it’s definitely nice to see engagement from folks and people taking a lot of good initial steps with this kind of thing.
Spencer: All right. So Now I’m sure some of our attendees are thinking, they’d like to know more about how to execute some of these engagement ideas, as well as whether this is something that BrightFire can help take care of for the agency. So, Ashley, I know you briefly mentioned that we provide organic social media posts for our clients, but can you shed some light on what exactly is included in our social media marketing service?
Ashley: Yeah. So for all of our new clients, what we’ll do is we’ll audit your current social media profiles and recommend any updates to your profile photos, cover photos or any profile information. And then if there’s a social media network that you don’t have an account with yet, what we’ll do is we’ll make sure we get that set up for you, and that that new profile is completely branded out so that you can be found a lot easier in a local search. Also our social media service includes up to 31 posts per month, a rapidly built audience, we will professionally brand your social media profiles, give you access to a comprehensive social media dashboard, where you actually have the ability to log in and view all of the posts that we planned for you, create your own posts within the dashboard, and also handle all of your engagements.
Ashley: And then we also offer advanced metrics reporting and the opportunity to add on our custom campaigns. The custom campaigns are really fun; they are additional posts that we create for you outside of your original content. So these posts usually cover those advanced items that we went over, like posting giveaways, or showcasing your community involvement. They can also be used for things like customer spotlights, staff spotlights, or promoting your commercial clients.
Ashley: For example, one of the custom campaigns that we created for a client was a customer spotlight featuring one of their commercial clients, and the post highlighted that if you’re not participating in no shave November this year, you should visit the agency’s favorite local barber, and this kind of benefited both the agency and their clients. So it was a really fun post to create. So yeah, the custom campaigns can be added onto your social media marketing service for an additional fee. And then the last thing I’ll mention is for agents that aren’t super tech savvy, but want to better engage their followers, what we can do is we can walk you through how to manage your social media accounts, create stories, videos, and then also make sure that we share best practices with you so that you’re set up with effective engagement strategy.
Spencer: Nice, that’s perfect. Hey, thanks so much, Ashley. So you may now be wondering how can you get started if this is something you wanted to take advantage of? So our social media marketing service costs $80 per month. We don’t have any setup fee as a safety net or contract, that also includes a 30 day money back guarantee. So, as we’ve already mentioned with the social media marketing, there is also the option of purchasing those additional custom campaigns. We do these campaigns from the ground up from scratch for you guys, those are at $60 per month per custom post. Or they can always be purchased one-off on demand.
Spencer: And then our onboarding process for it, it’s designed to take the burden off of users as much as possible. Typically that would just consist of one 30 minute phone call. And then after your purchase, we can get that social media marketing service up and running within a week of when you sign up. And then as a thank you for everybody attending today, we’re offering a $50 account credit to our webinar attendees. So, up through September 8th, when this expires, you can receive a $50 account credit, when you sign up for our social media marketing service. So if you want to get started with social media, with BrightFire, please visit our site at brightfire.com, sign up or can answer any questions on our website chat, of course, we’re always happy to speak with folks, answering questions or give any feedback if you reach out to us at 888-778-4393.
Spencer: And that will conclude our presentation on Unlocking the Power of Engagement in Social Media Marketing. And now I’ll pass it over to Princess to start that Q&A session, if anyone has any questions they want to send over.
Princess: Yeah. Thank you, Spencer. And as a reminder to our attendees, we’ll do our best to answer any questions that come through. So if we aren’t able to address your question during the webinar, someone from the BrightFire team will follow up with you via email to answer your question. So let’s get started, the first question here will go to Ashley. When is the best time to post on social media?
Ashley: Yeah. So, that’s a great question. And it can actually vary depending on a number of factors like your agency’s specific audience, as well as where you’re located. So to figure out what time your specific agency should post, I would recommend that you go to the insights tab on your Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram account. There’s a dedicated section within there that tells you what day and time is your account’s peak performance. But it’s also important to keep in mind that social media trends and habits are always changing. So, maybe test out those posting times for a month or so, and then come back to your insights section, see how they performed, and then you can adjust those posting times accordingly.
Princess: Yeah, that’s a really great point, Ashley. So our next question is actually for Spencer. Can I set up recurring custom campaigns with BrightFire?
Spencer: Oh yeah. You can absolutely set that up. So when you add social media, you can go ahead and select how many custom recurring campaigns you want to do each month. And then those will automatically just be part of your overall billing with the monthly subscription. And again, as with any digital marketing services, you can always change your subscription at any time, we don’t have contracts and do want to make things super flexible for clients. So you can add on or remove custom campaigns whenever you need to, as you go along.
Princess: Okay. Awesome. Well, thanks Spencer. And thanks Ashley. We did have another question come in, but it looks like we’re going to have someone reach out to Jim regarding that question. It looks like those are all the questions for today and we’re all wrapped up for time. So thank you to everyone who submitted a question. And again, we’ll follow up with you individually after the webinar, if we didn’t get to your question today. But before we close, I like to remind everyone of our upcoming 20 minute marketing webinars. So for November, we’re going to be talking about Better Measure Your Pay-Per-Click Advertising Success with Call Tracking. Have you ever asked a customer, “How did you find out about our business?”, and with Pay-Per-Click Advertising Call Tracking from BrightFire, you’ll be able to find out exactly how they found your business.
Princess: Even better you’ll know which ad campaign or keyword sparked your best leads to call, click and convert. And when you understand which marketing efforts make your phones ring, you’ll essentially stop wasting money on efforts that don’t. So join us in this webinar, as we cover what call tracking is, how it relates to pay-per-click advertising strategies and why your agency should use this new BrightFire feature to best track your conversions and measure your pay-per-click advertising success. And this webinar will be held Thursday, November 18th at 2:00 PM Eastern, or 11:00 AM Pacific.
Princess: We won’t be hosting a webinar in December, but our topic for January of 2022, is Humanize Your Website and Boost Sales with My Agent Personalization. And so as an independent agency owner, you understand that building relationships with policyholders and prospects is crucial to growing your book of business. Now more than ever, it’s important to maintain those same personalized experiences on your agency’s website. In this webinar we’ll unpack what BrightFire’s My Agent Personalization tool is, and how your agency sales team can leverage it on your insurance agency website to improve your customer experience, increase efficiency and boost your agency sales. So that webinar will be held Thursday, January 27th at 2:00 PM Eastern, or 11:00 AM Pacific. And you can reserve your spot for these webinars by visiting our webinars page on our website at brightfire.com/webinars/. And so that does it for today, everyone. From me, Spencer and Ashley, and the rest of the BrightFire team, we’d like to thank you for attending today.