Episode four of The Show answers a question from Ashley Fitzsimmons of the Fitzsimmons Insurance Agency,
“What social media should we be using as independent insurance agents?”
Social media marketing is heavy topic on many insurance agents minds. We can spend a lot of time on social media and if we’re not doing the right things, in the right places, that time spent can be a complete waste.
The following video outlines the top four social media platforms for insurance agents looking to be efficient and effective in their marketing.
Top Four Social Media Platforms for Independent Insurance Agents
Today, we have a question that’s actually going to come from one of you. It comes from Ashley Fitzsimmons, and her question is:
“Ryan, what social media should we be using as independent insurance agents?”
That’s a question I get quite a bit, and it’s a good one.
Social media is very prevalent in our world. There are lots of new platforms, lots of misinformation about where you should be, and a lot of chasing the shiny object.
What we’re going to talk about today real quick for episode four is four social networks that you should consider using as independent insurance agents.
Social network number one is Facebook.
Facebook is the juggernaut. It is almost a “can’t not use,” regardless of what industry you’re in.
People use Facebook. People run businesses. So even if you’re B2B, you’re going to find value in using Facebook if you’re using the targeting features.
Facebook is where people are.
There are more people there than any other social network. They’re active there.
Don’t believe the articles where this generation or that generation are cycling out. Everybody is there. Everybody is using it in different ways.
There are so many different things you can do inside of Facebook.
- Post on your personal profile.
- Post on your business profile.
- Use Facebook Live.
- Upload native videos.
- Share images.
- Get involved in groups.
- Facebook pages now have groups, so you can create little subgroups inside of your pages.
- You can tell stories (long-form content inside a blog post is working really well on Facebook now).
So there are all kinds of things you can do in Facebook, including Facebook advertising.
If you’re going to use Facebook and be successful there and reach a broader audience and, more importantly, reach the right audience with the right message, using Facebook advertising is an absolute must.
You can really dial in with your amount of spend and your messaging and your imagery and whether you link out whether you’re just building brand value or whether you’re looking for engagement.
There are all kinds of things you can do with Facebook advertising and spend peanuts – $5, $10, $50 – and really find out what message resonates and what doesn’t with your content and target very specific people on a local level by job title, by income, by purchase history, by purchase intent.
Facebook is number one. It’s number one for a reason.
Number two is also number two for a reason, and that’s LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is almost another must-use for independent insurance agencies, especially if you’re B2B but also if you’re B2C because again everyone has a job, everyone is using it for different reasons.
Used correctly, you can get a lot of value B2C out of LinkedIn as well.
Long-form content inside of LinkedIn posts is working really well.
You have the LinkedIn Publishing Platform where you can repurpose blog posts.
They just added native video. So like Facebook has native video, LinkedIn has video now. I’ve been playing around with that and getting some good engagement.
LinkedIn is where people go. I think LinkedIn has really looked at what Google+ was doing from a newsfeed standpoint and taken a page out of their book. A lot of the features that made Google+ so much fun and such a great place to connect, even though it was only for a short period of time, LinkedIn has started to implement that in their own platform.
The premium features inside of LinkedIn, if you’re a hungry producer or you’re looking to meet new people or looking to get into companies that you may not have a connection at, LinkedIn is the place to be.
It’s number two, and it’s another must-use for independent insurance agencies.
This may or may not surprise you, but number three for me is Instagram.
Instagram is just an across-the-board platform.
Again, every generation is using it.
They’re using is because it’s simple, it’s easy, it’s pictures. But now with the Instagram story feature where you can actually do a day-by-day story feature, you can now tell stories using Instagram.
I’ve got my video set up here, so I’m pulling off my camera. This is just really powerful stuff. You can see right in there, there’s the feed. There’s little Tracy Cotton doing her thing. You hit this button, and any one of these are stories. They are people’s stories. If I use the little camera feature right there and I click on that, now I can tell stories and you can actually see me talking. Now I’m going to hold this. What’s actually happening is I am going to be taking a short video and posting it to my feed. There you go. There it is. Now, if you were to check out my story feed today, you would see that post in that story feed.
So it’s like a Snapchat-ish feature. I think Instagram is going to make Snapchat obsolete to a certain extent.
I’m sure there will always be people that love it, and Snapchat is definitely a viable company, but they’re not doing well fiscally.
When you have Facebook and Instagram and everything is connected and you can use all that targeting, it really becomes tough for me to see why you would want to use Snapchat over Instagram at this point.
Instagram is building the personal you, the humanizing you, the insurance agent. Instagram is where you do that.
You’re using Facebook because everybody is there. You’re on LinkedIn to capture people who are in that business mindset. And then Instagram brings it all the way back and allows you to humanize yourself as an agent. It allows you to humanize your business through simple imagery, through using the Instagram Stories timeline.
Instagram also transcends all the generations, so you’re going to find everybody there. It’s a wonderful tool, and it’s where I would be.
It’s the third social media platform that I would consider as an independent insurance agent.
The fourth social media platform, and this is probably obvious considering the medium that you’re watching this on, is video and in particular YouTube.
YouTube is a social network. It’s a great place to share video.
The videos are searchable. That means that you can find them in both Google search and in YouTube search. They’re easy to share. It’s easy to comment. They’ve done a great job removing the spam and all that kind of stuff that comes along with YouTube.
The whole Vimeo is for professionals and YouTube is for bloggers or vloggers thing is complete crap. No one goes to Vimeo. No one searches Vimeo. Vimeo doesn’t show up in Google search. So putting your videos on Vimeo is a complete waste of time in my opinion.
Now if you’re trying to become a professional videographer and want the indie scene or the Hollywood scene to check out your videos, the go ahead and post your videos on Vimeo. Good luck.
But if you are an independent insurance agency and you’re trying to have your videos found by potential customers or prospects so that they can be drawn into your agency, YouTube is literally the only choice.
Now there are certain instances where self-hosting platforms like Wistia make sense. I know Vimeo has a Pro option that you can do similar things, but I would rather have Wistia even though the cost is a little more for the few privately-hosted videos that you may want to use and put everything else on YouTube.
We can talk about why you would want to use a privately-hosted video versus a YouTube video in a separate episode, but YouTube is a must-use.
Again, you’re going to have to take some of that video and natively upload it to Facebook or natively upload it to LinkedIn now, but that’s okay. Have that platform on YouTube. It’s so searchable.
It’s another front door for your agency, and it’s an absolute must at number four.
Now, guys, you may be asking yourself:
“Ryan, you only mentioned four social networks, but there are tons of social networks.”
You’re going to read a lot of things about a lot of social networks. I used to write about Snapchat a little bit.
Disregard if you aren’t crushing it on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube, which is a lot of work.
Even me, a professional marketer who doesn’t have to sell insurance every day, struggle to build, grow, maintain, provide value on all four platforms simultaneously.
If you’re not crushing it on those four, don’t even consider the others.
Pinterest? You’ve got to be kidding me. Snapchat? Guys, there may be power in some specific edge cases where a Pinterest or a Snapchat or a Twitter makes sense, but I’ve found them only to be edge cases by certain personalities and certain niche markets that seem to click for whatever reason.
To spend an inordinate amount of time in those places is not making you money. It’s not moving your brand forward, and it’s not connecting you with the people that you want to do business with.
Focus on the big four social media networks: Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube.
You crush it on those four, and I’ll teach you how to use the others.
Those are the social networks you should be on. Ashley, I hope that answers your question.
On a side note, you should read Ashley’s phenomenal article here on Agency Nation: Let’s talk about sex.
Thank you for your questions.
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Guys, it has been my pleasure. I’m out of here.