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I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll be saying it again until I’m blue in the face, but social media is absolutely critical when it comes to winning prospects over. Not only is social media a platform where you can occasionally establish new leads, but it’s also a crucial tool when it comes to managing and nurturing existing client relationships, especially seeing as though we live in a fast-paced, digitally inclined world. With all that being said, if you’re not already on social media, I would take a quick look at where you can get started, as well as the state of social media in 2016. For those of us who are already one step ahead of the game though, I’d like to give you 4 tips today on how you can ramp up your social media game that you may not have thought about already. Let’s get started.

#1: Social Proof in the World of Social Media

You may be asking yourself, “What exactly does he mean by ‘social proof?’” In simplest terms, social proof is a form of influence among peers. It is a psychological phenomenon where individuals observe the actions of others and then attempt to reflect what their mind interprets as “correct behavior” for any specific situation. Social proof is a way of indirectly building trust for your agency, and to acquire a better understanding of it, check out this quick video:

There are too many touch points to the social proof strategy when it comes to your insurance  agency’s social media. The first is to acquire Facebook reviews on your insurance agency’s Facebook page. When users can read  reviews to see what the customer experience is all about within your insurance agency, it helps influence them to work with you. To obtain reviews, simply ask your most satisfied customers before they leave your agency, or have a clause that asks for reviews in your staff’s email signatures. There are many more ways to request reviews as well, such as postcards or handwritten thank you cards – the possibilities are endless.

The second part of the social proof strategy is to get video testimonials from your insurance agency’s customers. The reason this is so powerful is because video is incredibly engaging, getting more engagement than any other form of content, especially on social media. Once your prospects can physically see one of your customers on camera happy with the experience you provided, they’ll want that same feeling of happiness to call their own; this is social proof in action. Acquire video testimonials from your customers, make sure they are professionally produced, and then spread them to your social media networks, and watch just how much of a difference it makes.

#2: User Generated Content is HUGE

Yes, user generated content is a great way to engage your networks. Why is engagement so important? Well, Facebook (and other social networks) have algorithms in place that help determine how efficient or how well a post will perform, in terms of hitting numbers and metrics. At the end of the day, we are looking to reach the widest audience we can in social media, and hit bigger numbers with our reach as time goes on. The key to the formula is that the more users engage on your posts (with likes, comments, and shares), the stronger your posts will perform overall, and you will reach a much wider audience this way.  

So how can we motivate our users to generate content? I’ll give two quick examples where our insurance agency recently capitalized on this strategy for you to take away and apply to your agency. We recently hosted a Flag Day event at our agency called the Flags from Paradiso, where we handed away free American flags, tee-shirts, and hosted a cook-out. With this campaign, we started off by doing some internal decorating in our office, and asked our customers for help via social media. We wanted to create a window pane decoration with pictures of all of our local veterans from here in town, and we had our audience submit their veteran photos to our social media. We saw quite a bit of engagement with this small campaign, and at the end of the day, we had a beautiful display that was hand crafted by our customers. The second step in our strategy is that we asked for our customers to upload pictures of their new shirts and replacement American Flags to their favorite social media networks using the hashtag #FlagsfromParadisoIns. With our users generating content and tagging our insurance agency to give us a quick thank you note, we were able to reach more uniquely established networks to maximize our reach. Not to mention, once our prospects saw our existing customers creating #FlagsfromParadisoIns posts, they wanted a tee-shirt and flag too, so we had some extras leftover in case more people came into our agency, and believe me when I say this, we were swamped.

#3: Target your Strongest Demographics

When it comes to sponsoring your posts, or what I like to call “paying to play,” you can target demographics that are specific to your insurance agency. This means that you can customize your target audience when using paid advertising, to hone in on age, location, interests, and gender. Facebook is where we do the most sponsored content, and we have found a lot of success using their “boost” service.

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To start a pay-to-play campaign, or a boost on Facebook, simply click the boost buttons on any one of your posts. After that, you’ll be asked for your targeted audience, which you can customize, and you can even save templates for each set of demographics you create, this way you can easily use them again in the future. By targeting specific demographics, you’ll see more engagement on your posts by targeting folks who are interested in your content, you’ll see greater metrics overall on your social media, and you’ll have less throw-away posts, or posts that simply don’t see engagement with your audience.

#4: Visual Content Marketing at its Finest

If you think there’s a more suitable platform for visual content marketing, I’d love to hear about it, because from our experiences, social media marketing goes from good to great with well-crafted visuals.

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Visuals are a way to represent your insurance agency’s brand, stimulate your audience, and improve on your story-telling within your digital marketing campaigns. At the end of the day, the numbers don’t lie, and your audience will be 80% more convinced to read your content if it has a well-crafted visual associated with your post (statistic provided by Hubspot).  Push your brand, tell a well thought out story, and engage your audience before your competition has a chance to by constantly pushing out visual content through your social media networks.

I hope you take the time to implement these four tips to up your social media game. To all agents and brokers, happy marketing, and I’ll see you in the social world!