Engaging Your Customers with Social Media

In February, we hosted a webinar on “Engaging Your Customers with Social Media” and informed our agents of the millions of people now using this new type of communication.  Facebook has over 845 million users, while Twitter and LinkedIn are going strong at 150 million each.  Kelly Barefoot, a staffing consultant, informed us of the $800 billion dollar purchasing power of the millennial generation.  Millennial’s are using social media to find information about products and gather information.  Therefore, it is essential that we, as independent agents, equip ourselves with the tools needed to communicate with this generation.

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube are just some of the tools agencies will need to use for better communication with millennials.  Adriane Little of The Willey Agency in Nags Head shared with us how their agency used Facebook to inform clients about Hurricane Irene.  During the storm, she posted updates about the strength of the storm and how to file a claim.  Many of their customers have secondary homes on the Outer Banks and were pleased with this on demand information.

Bryan Miranda of Darden Miranda Insurance Associates in Fayetteville told about how he regularly blogs on insurance issues to help educate his clients. Karl Sherrill of Senn Dunn in Greensboro shared some great insight into the world of LinkedIn. Producers can use LinkedIn to establish a warmer introduction to prospects and help inform clients about the producer’s knowledge of insurance from recommendations. Cindy Donaldson of The Founders Group in Connecticutt spoke about the usage of Twitter, YouTube and mobile applications.  Her knowledge of social media has helped to engage their customers and increase retention. 

One of the webinar attendees asked a very good question – how does an agency get started and what tools should they use to form a social media strategy? 

Well, my belief is you should pick either Facebook or LinkedIn to begin your agency’s venture into social media.  Start by creating an agency Facebook page or personal LinkedIn page.  Make a few posts on the site regarding community events and your agency’s involvement in those events. As Kelly stated in our webinar, you want your customers and prospects to see that you are community oriented.

Another question centered on who should be the person to update the social media site.  You need to select someone that does not mind having their name associated with the social media site.  Make sure this person can communicate effectively and is committed to posting something once a week.  Remember if you have people in your office that do not want their name on social media, just omit putting any personal information about that individual. Also, it only takes a few minutes to make a simple post to the site.  Do not be too concerned with the amount of time you will spend updating your social media site.

As you progress with your venture into social media, remember your association is here to help you. We have the ability to train you on setting up each platform and recommendations on usage of each platform.  If you have more questions, please post them here or contact me at grobertson@iianc.com.

Interested in viewing a recorded version of the webinar “Engaging Customers with Social Media”? Click here to view.