There is an epidemic amongst the insurance agent community
An inability to really do well with social media. And it is really so easy if you know how.
Stay with me.
As the hosts of Insurance Soup, we see a TREMENDOUS amount of insurance agent activity on social media. With 30,000 in our free group, 4000 people on both our friends lists being agents, 4600 Agents on my Linkedin contact list, 8000 in our Linkedin group, and a horde of Twitter followers, our social media basically looks like it should be called LinkedInsurance or FaceBookofbusiness.
That said our news feeds are really bombarded with the messages Agents try and leverage to motivate and mobilize their audiences into doing business.
Here are 7 of the larger problems we see on the social platforms on a regular basis.
#1 – Lack of authenticity or fear of acceptance
This is problem numero uno for most Agents. The fear of being disliked online. Agents are so afraid that they are going to do or say the wrong thing that they wind up either staying very vanilla and opinion free OR do not really post at all and simply lurk and watch.
Understandable that you would want to keep your audience happy. But social media is a revolving door and you have the ability to build and craft an audience that falls right in line with all the things you are about.
Afraid that you have drastically different views than most of your audience but have a hobby or interest that you absolutely love? Use your platform to speak on that hobby or interest and join communities of like minded people and begin adding friends.
You are able to create an audience online that mirrors who you are… you do not need to try and mirror what you think your audience is comprised of. If you are trying to mirror your friends list you are doing it wrong. Your friends list should mirror who you are as a person and the audience is easy to build as most people at this point are open to new friend requests particularly if there are things or people in common.
#2 – Lack of original thought and content
This is an issue on multiple levels.
The first one really grinds my gears and I’ve addressed it in Insurance Soup.
Every now and then an Agent will have a tremendously powerful post. Perhaps theyre sharing a story or just driving an idea home in a way that just makes sense.
Its obviously an attempt at marketing to anyone within the industry. To a casual friend or contact it reads as a wake up call or reminder of something they need to take care of. People begin to show interest based on the post....
And then it happens.
A Rogue Agent will hop in the comments and comment “Stealing This!!” as an attempt to compliment the original poster. And the post comes to a screeching halt as future readers now look at the post skeptically and like the Agent was fishing for business and not sharing something thought worthy.
On the flip side, when Agents actually DO steal content or posts only to learn that oh it didn’t work with my audience.
Now normally these posts are the silly, off the wall, random posts and not the insurance related ones. These posts are to build edgerank.
Edgerank, if you are not familiar, is the momentum you have on the Facebook platform based on how much engagement and interaction you have. The more often someone interacts with you the more often they see your posts.
Low hanging fruit edgerank posts are not universal skeleton keys.
Think about it.
I am 40 and live in a liberal, white collar, upper middle class suburb. Do you really think that something my audience finds funny is going to be the same as yours if you are 25 and living in a conservative lower income blue collar rural area?
We are not the same. Travel the country a little. We live in different worlds. Different species of humans practically.
Utilize your noggin and put out your own stuff. Attract like minded people. Let people know who you are and what youre about. It goes far in building the know, like, and trust factor that most consumers are seeking.
#3 – Locking down their profile
Agents who do this make me scratch my head. I get it. You want privacy. You want to keep strangers away.
But you are also a business owner, an entrepreneur, and whether you like it or not, in a social industry that is forged with RELATIONSHIPS.
If you are on social media and trying to uncover opportunity and people come across you and your profile is locked down?
They aint going to work that hard to figure out how to get in touch with you.
We have tremendous capabilities to manage privacy on social platforms. Hell I have custom audiences for posts I do not want my family to see, posts I do not want Agents to see, posts I do not want anyone outside of XYZ circle to see…
Locking down your profile so no one can message you or send you a friend request is the quickest way to detur anyone from ever reaching out.
And yes ladies, I do know that you are bombarded with bullshit. You are solicited for dates, sent dick pics, and asked to do some really odd stuff by the creepers of the internet.
Unfortunately it is just part of what you signed up for if youre in the business and attempting to use social media for business.
Learn to love your block feature. Hell host a block party. Just do not avoid conversations online because some of them may ask for your hand in marriage if you would only move to Nairobi. I know I am writing about it more cavalier than how intrusive and offensive some of these requests and pictures you receive may be... but it is something that you just need to get past and understand that until society evolves a bit more its just a stupid thing you have to deal with that you do not like.
Simply eliminate those you do not like in your social sphere once you know who they are. Do not keep everyone at a distance out of fear of the occasional boogey man that you have the power to make disappear.
#4 Insulting Their Audience
This always perplexes me.
La-a (pronounced Ladasha), in a moment of frustration, throws out a post that is either a well-intended rant or a jab at something they just saw online.
Sure we can joke about it in Insurance Soup all we want. Its an industry water cooler. We all know the struggle and we are all fighting the good fight. A rant or jab at the consumers in a safe haven amongst friends in the trust tree.
But when it is done with your AUDIENCE?
It looks poor.
GO FUND ME IS NOT LIFE INSURANCE!
Think about that for a moment.
Youre just casually going through your newsfeed as a member of the public. And there it is.
GO FUND ME IS NOT LIFE INSURANCE.
Was not really sure what that was about but the insurance guy on my Facebook just yelled for some reasn.
Now imagine it if you are currently dealing with a loss and have a gofundme going.
That asshole just insulted me. Not going to work with him.
Even worse are the Agents who go on a rant about how irresponsible people are.
Will you get business from it? Will I get a comment on this blog post telling me that they yelled at people and got a policy from it?
A broken clock is right two times a day. That doesn’t mean it tells the time.
People like to feel good about the decisions they make and they like to feel smart and intelligent.
Guide and educate. Tell stories. But never insult someone that would buy easier if you were to make them feel good about taking the steps necessary to fix a problem then berating them for having the problem.
#5 – ALWAYS POSTS ABOUT INSURANCE
You know this Agent.
The only thing they talk about on social media is Insurance. How much money they saved someone. How many appointments they have today. Rates just went down. Im at BNI.
No one cares.
Don’t believe me?
Then look at your engagement. Conversation over.
#6 NEVER POSTS ABOUT INSURANCE
The opposite end of the spectrum.
One out of every 5-10 posts SHOULD be career focused.
The audience needs a reminder of what you do and if done correct will prompt many a quote request over the years.
Keep it light and fun. Tell stories about what happened at work or with a Policy Holder.
When you NEVER talk about your career on social media no one knows what you do… and that is just as big a problem as when you talk about it TOO much.
Do not make announcements about how much money you saved a fictional new client. People can not envision that. Tell stories about what the savings is doing for the new family. Tell stories about how you helped someone plan for the future or clean up a mess from the past.
“I just saved a man $116 a month on their car insurance! Whos next!” is not a real strategy.
It also attracts price shoppers. Our favorite clients.
#7 – The Group Spammer
You know this Agent. Hell maybe you ARE this Agent. Hopefully not.
Theyre a part of 217 groups… and once a day your notifications go off and you get all excited that there’s some new stuff to check out… only to find out Cletus is at it again posting the same post in 19 places the last 74 seconds.
Not only does Cletus get kicked out of several groups every single day that are ripe for the picking if he just knew how to navigate… but the ones he is NOT kicked out of are definitely not paying an ounce of attention to anyone that just walks into a group, screams something, and leaves.
Could you imagine doing this anywhere else?
Walk into your BNI next week and just yell that you’ve got some great insurance rates and helped one of their neighbors earlier today and walk out.
Go back to your office.
Report to me at the end of the day how many people did business with you from your announcement at BNI.
You need to get involved in your local community groups and be a resource. Honestly, we advise you go a step further and start your own community group and be THE resource.
What other things do you see Agents doing wrong on social media?
Chime in the comments section and let’s all work together to help one another not make big mistakes while navigating the social media jungle
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