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If you’re like me, then growth is absolutely necessary to focus on, and that’s one thing that will never change. There is nothing that bothers me more than becoming stagnant, so I personally try to avoid it at all costs. Some agency owners are reluctant to take on change, while others may be a bit nervous about spending a few extra dollars on their marketing budget as well. While things like change or deciding on the right marketing budget can be a bit nerve wracking at times, it’s important that we take the bull by the horns when the time comes for us to face our fears. If not, we could be in danger of becoming stagnant.

Today, in an effort to keep up the momentum with agency growth, I want to speak a little bit about a somewhat controversial subject, which is the downside of social media influence. You may be asking yourself, what does he mean by a downside to social influence? Well, first of all, in order to have influence in the social world, you have to become a thought leader in your space. After that, it’s about having a strong following so that there are people out there that want to hear what you have to say. You may have a few of your mentors in mind, and if I’m lucky, I may even fall under this category for some of our independent agents in our space reading this. There is a downside when looking at these influential figures though, and it’s that sometimes, there are certain influential figures you’ll want to avoid following. Now, there is a solution here to building up your following, because as I mentioned, we are always looking to be bigger and better. Before we discuss how your agency can grow your presence online, let’s go over a few attributes of influencers you’ll want to keep in mind while choosing who you want to follow and who you’ll want to ultimately avoid.

Influencers you follow should be in the social world, and doing it bigger than better than you already are.

Yes, if you’re following someone on social media that says they can bring  your followers up to the thousand, but they only have a couple hundred themselves, there is a problem there. If you’re looking to be bigger and better, follow people that have a stronger following than you do. Like they always say, if you’re the smartest person standing in a room, you need to find a new room to stand in.

Social influencers who can’t take their own advice aren’t worth following.

If I were to tell you that you should be posting nothing but insurance posts to your social media (which you shouldn’t), but then you went to my agency’s Facebook page and saw a bunch of pictures from my staff and our agency having a good time, wouldn’t there be a problem there? Social media takes a balanced attack to be successful, with some posts being informative on insurance, and most posts being more personable so you can build a relationship with your audience. That being said, social media influencers who can’t take their own advice probably aren’t giving good advice to begin with.

Certain influencers didn’t gain their following through social media, but by other means.

Some folks follow celebrities or real life influencers on social media just because they happen to have a huge following there. At the end of the day though, certain figures have a huge social media presence not because of their strategy, but because they have a huge presence in real life too, such as celebrities. If you’re looking to build up your social media presence, it’s important to follow other folks who are huge online because of their strategy, not because of their presence offline, so that you can learn by successful examples of their work. My greatest suggestion here is to look for people specifically in the insurance space who are already out there killing it on social media, give them a follow, and see if you can get any take-aways from them over time.

If you’re still looking for growth, I’ve got some simple advice for you to leave with today.

Yes, these are all the folks you should be avoiding, but what can your agency do specifically to grow your presence online? Well, it boils down to a few key concepts. The first is that you should post more, yes more. Some people believe this to be “spammy” or invasive, but I can tell you that in the world of social media, specifically on Twitter, the more posts you push out the better. I have my marketing team manually push out a tweet daily to tag our network and thank them for any retweets we received over the last 24 hours, and they schedule five tweets to go out during the afternoon. In the morning hours, I personally tweet from my mobile device, and then in the evening I reply to any tags/mentions from my network as well. We are active around the clock, and that has seriously spurred our growth.

The other thing you want to focus on is taking a stand. The moment you realize that most social media advice out there is false, you will start to experience more growth. We went over the influencers you’ll want to avoid in order to dodge stagnancy, which are the false advisers. But in order to actually start growing at the same time, you have to take a stand and just take action for what you believe in as an agent. You have to communicate with your networks on their terms, but at the same time, build personable, and rewarding relationships with those you interact with online. As the great Winston Churchill once said…

winston churchill quote

Good luck with building up your social media presence everyone, and to agents and brokers everywhere, Happy Marketing!