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6896958376_9d3ca24ab6_zIf you have thought about getting your insurance agency on a novel social platform, consider the photo and video site called Instagram. Now, you’re probably thinking that your agency is already on so many other social media sites that it doesn’t need to be on any more, but I’m going to tell you why adding your agency to Instagram is a smart marketing decision.

As the popularity of photo sharing apps continues to rise, more and more businesses and marketers are opening up and taking advantage of Instagram. As you know in the social arena, there are a variety of tools and apps you can use to enhance your social media presence and increase awareness and engagement with your online community. Instagram will allow you to accomplish this through sharing short videos and photos, all while enhancing your agency’s brand. So now this begs the question- why is your agency not using such a powerful social platform?

In order to get started on Instagram, let me give you a brief summary on how to open up an account. Signing up for an account is rather easy, as you can use either your email address or your Facebook account. Once your account is set up, make sure to set up a username that is consistent with your other social media accounts, as well as adding your profile photo or agency logo. The next step that can be extremely useful and a big time saver is connecting your Instagram account to your other social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler, or Flickr. When you integrate Instagram with your other social media sites, it will be much easier to share content simultaneously throughout your online network community.

When using Instagram, we have to remember that this site is all about visual content. If you really want to make a splash on this site, you must choose a diverse mix of content that combines your agency’s brand and its identity, along with elements of your business. Remember, social media is all about your audience, so make sure you’re not just posting about insurance, otherwise your followers will become bored and disinterested. A good rule of thumb is the 80-20 rule- 80% of your posts should be non-insurance related, and the 20% should be related to insurance.

Making short videos for your agency should not simply be about a product or service- it should be about the people in your agency or your community. Make sure that if you do chose to post a video that it is effective within your agency’s identity and its brand. A few examples of images you may want to post could be any of the following: products that you offer, pictures of your employees, office location photo or tour of your agency, the services you offer, pictures with the agency owner and clients, events you are hosting, events you may be attending, and, of course- blog posts.

An important thing to remember when utilizing Instagram is the use of hashtags. Whenever posting photos on Instagram, it is essential to include relevant hashtags that are related to the post. Hashtags make it easier for users to search for specific content, trends, or locations on a variety of platforms like Twitter, Facebook and, of course, Instagram.

For example: if you’re posting a picture related to your insurance agency, you would want to add the hashtag “#insurance”- this way, when people want to stay up-to-date in the insurance industry and search for insurance, it will allow your post to come up in the results.

The last piece of information I would like to discuss is the use of analytics and how they are affected by Instagram. In order to continue to refine your posts and your strategy, you must monitor your analytics. A couple tools that you can monitor your analytics are Blitzmetrics and Curalate. These are two great areas that will allow you to see your performance and monitor your analytics in the Instagram world. Both are paid services but remember, if you’re serious about having an ROI for your business in the social media arena, it’s going to take an investmen such as this.

Now that we have spent several paragraphs discussing Instagram and how it works along with examples of what you may be able to post for your agency, the key is how (and when) your agency implements a strategy within the Instagram world. In the ever-growing competition within our industry, each and every one of us has to set their agency apart. This is a great tool that will help your agency’s brand in the social world. Remember, this platform is being used by a very young generation today, but as you know, the older generations will catch up, just like Facebook, so don’t look for an immediate ROI on this platform. Look at it as a way to brand your agency to a younger generation and prepare them to understand who your agency is for the future. Instagram is not something we should look at and say “we will open up a page in next few months or so.” It’s a platform you need to open up immediately. Don’t sit back, get aggressive and allow others to understand what your agency really stands for.