By now most insurance agencies realize what a powerful marketing tool social media can be.

However, too many agencies are not getting the full benefit of social media.

What if there were a few simple social media tweaks which could drastically improve audience engagement and ultimately your agency’s success using social media?

Well, there are, so read on…

One thing marketers have learned in 2016 is that increasing engagement, more than increasing followers, has a bigger impact on lead generation and sales.

It’s no coincidence that increasing engagement is also more difficult than increasing followers, because it requires more interest from potential customers.

The real value is in keeping those followers once you have them – 66% of 18 to 24 year-olds and 39% of 55 and older Americans are more loyal to the brands they follow on social media. (Source)

Generating engagement, especially when your agency is new to social media, can be a frustrating endeavor.

Fortunately, we’re going to change that.

The following are 13 simple social media tweaks you can make to increase your social engagement immediately and start building your fanbase of loyal customers.

1) Schedule Q&A Sessions

Answering questions is a great way to increase engagement and create a conversation with your followers.

The problem is your followers might not be asking very many questions yet.

An easy solution is to schedule a specific time for Q&A on a regular basis, such as once a week or month.

This gives you time to promote your Q&A sessions and invites questions from followers in a friendly way.

You can also start by making up your own questions. This will prime the question pump. I’d recommend live video on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, or Instagram as a platform to begin this process.

2) Use Your Own Hashtag

You’ll often hear that using hashtags on social media is great for attracting engagement.

However, so many people use the same hashtags that your message easily gets drowned out in the noise.

Begin to mix in niche hashtags and branded hashtags. Not only does this encourage your followers to use your hashtag, but it also makes tracking engagement even easier.

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3) Tag People in Posts

Hopefully you are already sharing useful content from other brands and influencers in your industry. Whenever you do so, tag their profile to encourage engagement from them directly.

If you’re responding to a question or comment from a follower, tag them to make sure they are notified. Brands get more engagement on social media when they act like people, instead of companies.

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4) Post When Your Audience is Most Active

It takes some trial and error to figure this out, but certain times are better than others for posting on social media if you want to increase engagement.

There are plenty of statistics available, but the best time varies widely.

To find the best time for your audience, schedule several posts throughout the day for a month.

At the end of the month, access your analytics and look for engagement patterns.

Now you know when your audience is most active and when you should be most active, as well.

SEE ALSO: The Insurance Agent’s Quick Guide to Facebook Insights

5) Discuss Current Trends

Publishing blog posts on industry trends is great for content marketing, but the broad pop-culture trends are easy topics for social media conversation.

When you post about something that’s on everyone’s mind already, they’re more likely to engage in conversation with you.

6) Add Images to Every Post

Visual content is more engaging in every way. Posts with images get more likes, shares, and comments than posts with only text.

According to the research, when people read information, they’re likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later.

However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65% of the information three days later.

7) Improve Your Post Consistency

Companies that are consistently active on social media get more engagement.

However, an extremely high post frequency isn’t always the solution. Consistency is better than frequency.

In fact, brand engagement on Twitter decreases if your brand is tweeting more than 3 times a day. (Source)

8) Respond to Comments

insurance social mediaIt sounds obvious, but few brands actually respond to comments and replies from their social media followers.

Apparently, five in six messages that need responses are not answered by brands on social media. (Source)

Don’t be one of those brands. Social media engagement is a two-way street and you have to give to receive.

9) Always Include a Call-To-Action

Sometimes getting what we want is as simple as asking for it.

We understand the value of a strong CTA when trying to get prospects to sign up to our email list or make a purchase, but the CTA is often neglected on social media.

If your audience isn’t engaging with your posts they might just need a simple nudge.

10) Tell Stories

Humans have relied on stories for centuries to pass information from one generation to the next.

There’s a reason we are drawn to stories – they activate more areas of our brain than normal conversation or text.

Incorporating stories into your social media posts is a powerful way to attract more engagement.

SEE ALSO: From Fiction to Fact: How to Tell the Story of Your Business Online

11) Follow Back

An easy way to stand out from other businesses on social media is to follow back people that follow you.

However, you don’t want to get carried away and follow everyone or it loses its value. Follow those that regularly engage with you or are loyal customers already.

This is a simple gesture that goes a long way for building brand loyalty and encouraging engagement.

12) Be an Early Adopter

Whenever a new social media platform is released (think Instagram) brands often hesitate to join until others test it out and report back.

This approach causes your business to miss out on a tremendous opportunity to interact with people.

It’s easier to get engagement on social media platforms with less users, because there’s less competition.

Being an early adopter also helps you reach an entirely new audience.

13) Pull Quotes From the Content You Share

When you share a link to a blog post or other content, try making it more personal, instead of simply posting the title and URL.

Take one of your favorite lines or key takeaways from the content and post it as a quote.

This gives your audience a better sense of why you’re sharing that post and what you liked about it.

Also, it’s more intriguing, which sparks engagement.

If you use WordPress for your website, there are inexpensive plugins, such as Tweet Dis, which make sharing quotes from blog posts to social media incredibly easy.

[tweet_box design=”default” float=”none” inject=”#agencynation “]Digital marketing pros never let a good quote go to waste.[/tweet_box]

The Rub

Often, with social media marketing, small tweaks can have an enormous impact.

If you follow the 13 social media tweaks above there is no doubt your social engagement will increase. More engagement, in turn, can lead to more sales and retention for your agency.

Thank you,

Ryan Hanley

P.S. Don’t forget to connect with Agency Nation on Instagram.

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