How I lost my focus with social media marketing
True story: when I first started online several years ago, I became quite the student of social media marketing. I started with Facebook, then moved onto Twitter, and eventually established a presence on the major social networks such as Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn and so many other flash in the pan networks I honestly can’t remember now.
As you can well imagine, I spent HOURS posting and commenting on these networks- easily 8 hours a day.
My Come to Jesus moment
There was just one problem- I had an insurance agency to operate. I basically ignored the running of the business until the day came that our main carrier took the agency to task for failing to meet basic production requirements and said we better get in gear or risk losing our contract.
And their criticism was spot on- I had gotten caught up on the “social” nature of the platforms and was having a great time connecting with people, but to the exclusion of the work that actually put food on the table. I was spending tons of time on a variety of social platforms because I felt like I had to to be successful. Like I would be left behind.
But in my zeal to be everywhere, I was going nowhere. And here’s what I learned.
It is OK to NOT be on every social media platform
Yes, I said it. But so many of you need to hear it. I know there are a lot of my well-meaning colleagues that say you need to be on Pinterest, Instagram, and at least half a dozen other platforms, all at the same time, spouting out original content on each platform. But you know what happens as a result?
You burn out (been there, done that). You begin to resent creating content (raising my hand). It becomes just another item on your already too long to-do list. You post content just to post it, not necessarily caring if it resonates with your brand or creates value for the reader (yes, yes, and yes).
And most important, I think the unconscious message that begins to seep into your brain is that you’re a big fat loser because you’re NOT everywhere. You start to feel inadequate and eventually give up entirely because “How in the world will I ever be able to do all of this?”
I don’t want you to get to this point. EVER. So read on for my approach to social media marketing both personally and professionally (my insurance agency- Alan Galvez Insurance) and my recommendation for a starting point.
Here’s how I “do” social media marketing
I am most active on Facebook. Second is Instagram. Facebook is used for both personal and professional (personal profile and business page, respectively). Instagram is a personal account only.
Yes, I have a LinkedIn account and refresh the bio from time to time, because I think that’s an important platform to establish your professionalism. I also publish articles on my account from time to time. That’s an important piece of my social media marketing since I’m a writer.
I’m also on Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and Periscope. Twitter is used much more frequently than the others. I can’t tell you the last time I posted on the others.
And it’s OK. I made my peace with it a long time ago. Because I’m only one person and can only do so much and still be effective. Why beat yourself up about all the stuff you’re NOT doing and instead focus on what you CAN do and do it well? Much more productive and satisfying in my book.
If you’re just dipping your toe into social media marketing for your insurance agency, here’s my number 1 tip- Focus. Choose one platform and learn how to use that platform to your benefit
There will be many that disagree with me and that’s fine, but I truly believe that it is impossible to establish and keep a presence on half a dozen social media platforms and do it effectively. The exception to this rule are the agencies that have stand-alone marketing departments.
But most agencies I speak with don’t have that luxury- they are one woman or one man shows that have to handle everything. I get it- I’m an agency owner, but also handle 98% of the agency marketing activities, whether traditional or digital. I’m also a producer. And the HR department. You get my point. And I bet you’re in the same boat.
I can’t physically be everywhere at once. Do one right and do it well, not half a dozen things half-assed. Yep- you can quote me on that 😉
My recommendation- Start with Facebook
The reasons are simple:
- Largest population
- Your customers are here
- Allows you to be conversational and let people see who you are as a person- remember people do business with people, even if they are CEO’s of corporations.
- Pretty simple user interface
Create your account and then go search for people to friend- your actual real-life friends and referral partners are two great places to start.
Pro tip: when you meet new people in real life, friend them on Facebook next. You can certainly ask them if that’s OK or let them know you plan to send them a friend request.
Here’s a great list of resources about using Facebook to market your insurance agency (and general marketing too)
- 100 Facebook Marketing Tips and Ideas for Insurance Agents– InsuranceSplash is one of my favorite resources. Not only does the owner believe in providing practical, useful information you can use TODAY, he’s got a wicked sense of humor.
- The GROW program. There are many articles here about Facebook marketing- many written by other insurance agents actively using Facebook to market their insurance agency and having success creating brand awareness and generating leads.
- Paradiso Presents– Chris Paradiso embraced digital and social media marketing long before anyone else in the insurance industry. His tips, recommendations and strategies are proven and tested in his own agency. In other words, he walks the walk.
- Brent Kelly– former insurance agent turned sales and marketing coach, Brent is a wealth of useful information about insurance marketing, sales and personal development.
- Agency Nation. There are a few articles here about Facebook marketing , but what Agency Nation provides is more of a holistic view on digital and content marketing for your insurance agency. When you’ve gotten comfortable with the basics, come here and take a deeper dive. I promise the value you receive from the articles will be well worth it.
- This site. Two popular articles include Small Business Owners Guide to Creating Engaging Content on Facebook Pages and How to Increase Facebook Page Reach- Make Your Posts Personal. I am a firm believer in posting practical, useful information that comes from my own experiences in my agency. What works, what doesn’t and the lessons learned.
Time to focus. Are you ready to join me?
If you have questions or need additional assistance, please contact me. If your need goes beyond a simple answer, I offer one-on-one consulting as well.