He stumbled across an article I wrote for American Agent & Broker recently (shameless plug) called “4 Strategies to Avoid the Social Media Time Drain.” He said, and I quote, “The Internet leads I subscribe to are drying up and I’m looking for new ways to bring in business.” Fair enough- aren’t we all really? He was intrigued by the article and wanted to discuss how social media might help him. He warned me he’s a skeptic, but I love a challenge 🙂
His first question was typical of insurance folks (especially company folks)- “What’s the return for the time you spend?” He wanted hard dollar figures- cue the fireworks and theme music- “ROI.” And my answer to him was:
Sometimes I think just building awareness is enough. It’s about being human, engaging with others, enlightening, educating, showing that you’re a resource. If you do it well enough, people will seek out your services. We live in a shareable society and if you are present where your audience is, letting them know how you can help, they’ll gladly share and respond. You’ll build community that way, and eventually customers. Maybe that sounds too simple, but I honestly don’t think it needs to be complicated. Don’t get me wrong- I do have a focus and a plan for what I do online, but it’s not micromanaged down to each tweet (that’s just not how I work).
Here’s why I think all insurance professionals need to incorporate social media into their marketing plan:
- The more presence you have online, the more likely you’ll show up near the top of the search engines. My new friend is 100% Internet sales. Don’t you think he has an especially vested interest in this?
- You could never afford the amount of advertising that establishing a solid presence on social media can bring. (I can personally speak to this- the above article as well as my recent interview with Insurance Journal are great examples. I couldn’t buy that kind of publicity if I tried.)