Social Media Not a Silver Bullet

With more than 750 million users spending 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook, it’s a platform agents can no longer ignore.  But how can you tailor the tool for a return on investment for your agency?

Cindy Donaldson, director of marketing and sales at Founders Insurance Group, Jeff Yates, ACT executive director, and Rick Morgan, chair of ACT’s Social Web Work Group, recently addressed that question during an Agents Council for Technology (ACT) webinar attended by almost 1,000 agents.

“There is no silver bullet when it comes to social media,” Morgan said. “None of these tools are going to solve every marketing problem you have. All of these tools need to be integrated into what you are already doing with your marketing plans. They help brand your organization, but this doesn’t replace a lot of what you’re doing in the traditional space.”

“Social media is here to stay and is the way the next generation communicates,” Donaldson said. “People now buy based on what others post online in reviews. Facebook is just one medium and should be a powerful part of your overall marketing plan.”

Donaldson stressed the importance of agencies setting up their own business page, once known as a fan page.

“Business pages give your website or blog black links,” Donaldson said. “If you post something on your business page, it is very interactive and will link back to your other sites in a powerful way. You can connect with all your fans in one click and spread a post, article or video virally to an enormous online community.”

What makes a business page successful? Donaldson explained it simply as quality over quantity. She isn’t worried about having the most fans, but having people who genuinely enjoy reading what’s going on in her industry, community and company.

“For me it was really all about brand awareness and plugging for the local nonprofits in the community,” she said. “I don’t talk about insurance all the time. I talk about Friday picnics with co-workers, fun stuff that makes you a person instead of a name behind a brand.”

  • Bring focus to your social media program: Know your page’s purpose.
  • Update it often with useful content.
  • Makes sure your Facebook link is included in n your email signature.
  • Talk about awards you’ve won and your nonprofit efforts.
  • Get your employees involved.
  • Use pictures.

“Social media is connective,” Donaldson said, “blogging, tweeting, Facebook posting—put  them all together.”

Tyger Danger (tyger.danger@iiaba.net) is IA online editor.