Note: Before you non-insurance folk run away screaming, the ideas that follow can be applied to ANY industry. But I gotta look out for my insurance peeps 😉
I’ll admit- when I first heard of Pinterest, I thought, “It’s only for frou-frou stuff like displaying recipes, scrapbooking ideas and home decorating.” I didn’t immediately say, “Yeah, here’s another amazing social media tool to spread my insurance message.” And I also said, “Oh no, not another social network I have to learn and waste time on….I mean devote time to.”
Then I saw the light
When I saw my Facebook & Twitter feeds filling up with posts about “I just pinned this to XYZ” (and I mean A LOT of posts), I figured I better check it out. As is typical in the online world, you have to go where your customers are. And it appeared to me they were caught up in the hysteria that is Pinterest. So I figured I better get there too.
A brief intro to Pinterest
If you haven’t ventured into the Pinterest jungle, here’s a very brief into to the Platform:
- It’s an online bulletin board.
- You choose visuals you want to “pin” to the board. The visuals can come from websites, but you can also take your own pictures and upload them.
- You add a short description of your visual and then pin it.
- You can have any number of boards.
- Like other social media platforms, you have followers of your boards and you can follow others as well.
So I drank the Kool-Aid
I’m sure by now many of you are questioning, “How in the world can a visual platform like Pinterest possibly have any applications in the insurance world? As it turns out, the possibilities are great.
I’ll be honest- I jumped right in without having any knowledge of what I was doing. But, quite honestly isn’t that how we all learn best- by actually doing? I was lucky that several of my insurance friends had dipped their toe in the Pinterest pond, so I studied what they had done and asked questions.
So, how did I start?
That part was actually easy. I started with building boards of personal likes. Like any good introduction, you let people get to know you before you launch into any mention of business (and leading up to this point can take a while). You wouldn’t say “Hi, I’m Carrie. Want to buy insurance from me?” It’s no different in the online space.
So, I created Boards for my interests, vacations, things that make me smile/happy. Personal stuff. People want to deal with other people. So you have to expose that side of yourself. Here’s a screenshot of all my boards to date:
And then came the insurance part
My friend Linda Rey had also just joined and I noticed that she had pinned all her blog posts to one board. I thought that was brilliant and asked her how she did it. She graciously walked me through the steps and I started pinning away. Here’s a look at her boards:
Tip: if you want to go this route, make sure your blog posts have at least one graphic in them. Pinterest will display all graphics in the post and you can choose which one you want to display. I have several posts where I never inserted a picture and NOW get to go back and search for an image to insert. So do it straight away and you won’t have this trouble, OK?
And without any further ado, 13 ideas for you:
Idea #1– I gave it away above, but create a board for your blog and pin each post. Note- I had to pin each individually and am still not done. There was no bulk import option that I could find. If you know of something that would bring them all in at one time, please speak up here. You’ll save people loads of time! Here’s a look at the board I created for my blog Confessions of an Insurance Goddess:
Idea #2– Create a Board for your agency-This was actually pretty easy. I pinned pictures of each staff member, including the office cats. I also have since added pictures of the inside, and am working on pinning special achievements/awards and special events we’ve participated in. You can pin so much here- company logos, pictures of products you sell (like a picture of a car, a house, you get the point). Here’s the board I created for my agency, Alan Galvez Insurance:
OR, if you’d rather have many boards for your agency, here’s several types of boards you could create
Idea#3– Your agency in the news (press releases, articles, online mentions)
Idea#4– Awards and recognitions
Idea #5– Showcase the people who work for/with you- give them their 15 minutes of fame
Idea #6– Special events
Idea #7– Here’s a mind-blower- how about having people physically write out testimonials in their own handwriting, you snap a pic and create a board called testimonials? Do you think that could have significant power? I JUST thought this one up- do you think I’ll be on this like white on rice? Well, as soon as physically possible that is……
Idea #8– If gathering the handwritten testimonials is too difficult, then snap a pic of a happy customer and add their testimonial beside it.
Idea #9– Create a board of your favorite insurance resources, such as a trade association- I can immediately think of such organizations as PIA, Big I, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, your state department of insurance, etc.
Idea #10– Put all your Insurance-related articles from other sources in one place. My friend Ryan Hanley is doing this and it’s a great resource. Here’s a look at his board:
Idea #11– If you have a great network of other insurance professionals, create a board to honor them. How cool would that be? You give them a sincere plug, and they reap the benefits. Do you think they’d appreciate this? Not a bad compliment, eh?
Idea #12– How about creating a board of your referral partners or businesses you partner with? Could be called “Trusted Partners”, made up of customers and non-customers alike that you work closely with.
Idea #13– Create a board for your customer communications, such as an archive of your newsletters.
I have no idea if some of these are possible, but what you see is me simply brainstorming the possibilities. And isn’t that how all great stories begin- with a great idea?
Check me out on Pinterest and I’ll be happy to do the same- http://pinterest.com/insgoddess/. Clever name, eh?