You may have heard the term “engagement” thrown around in relation to social media. On its surface, social media engagement seems to be about the response you get to your posts–likes, comments, and shares. It’s about how well your followers respond to your content.
Well, that’s not entirely accurate. Dig a little deeper, and you’ll find that social media engagement is a little like a garden. It is something that needs cultivation and nurturing to produce yields (in this case, better conversions and customer relationships).
Engagement goes a little deeper than just forming good customer relationships, though. You may have loyal, happy customers who choose you first for their insurance needs. But do they interact with you socially? Customers who engage with you through social media are more likely to see you as not just an insurance agency, but also as a member of their community. This means they’re more likely to turn to you with questions, trust your advice, and recommend you to others.
There are many strategies you can put to work for increasing your social media engagement. Here we’ve assembled a few of our favorites.
Increase your social media engagement through visuals
Having quality visuals is one of the main components of an effective social-based marketing strategy. Great images and video catch a user’s eye better than text alone. In addition, a person who hears or reads a piece of information will remember about 10% of it within 3 days. But that number jumps to 65% if an image accompanies the information. Therefore, if you want your content to be noticeable and memorable, it is important to use visuals. Here are a few ways to do so:
– Ask followers to caption an image
Users love contributing their two cents, so inviting user participation is a great engagement strategy. Find or create some interesting images that tell a story, and invite your followers to write an appropriate caption. For instance, an image of a dog surrounded by a destroyed living room could inspire your followers to come up with some creative and funny captions.
– Spotlight agency staff
Many people contribute to making your agency great. Your followers should know how great these people are, too! Post a photo and a short bio of a staff member. You may choose to have this be a professional photo, or just the staff member’s favorite fun picture of themselves. Getting to know the faces behind your agency helps your followers identify more with your business.
– Host a photo contest
Everyone loves a little healthy competition. Challenge users to post their best photo of a certain subject–something tied in some way to what your agency does. So if you sell travel insurance, you might ask followers to respond with photos of their luggage, their favorite vacation spots, or their number-one travel essential. You’ll likely get an even better response if you offer an incentive. Consider featuring the winning photo in one of your posts for the week. Or perhaps offer a prize for the winning user, such as a gift card to a local establishment.
– Utilize live video
On Facebook, video is the most engaging form of content. Videos reach more users than image posts, and three times as many as text-only posts. Within that, however, live video draws the most engagement. On average in 2017, static videos on Facebook drew 928 reactions, whereas live videos had 1043 average reactions. Therefore, creating live video content is a great way to boost your page’s engagement. Consider hosting live video events such as how-to demonstrations, informational talks, or commentary on community events involving your agency.
– Make a collage
Sometimes it takes more than one photo to get your message across. Creating a collage allows you to feature several photos in one image, so users won’t have to click or scroll through a gallery. You can, for instance, create collages made of photos from events your agency has participated in, such as charity fundraisers, volunteer events, or conferences. You may also want to create collages of photos submitted by happy clients. There are many free online tools to help you create collages of your agency’s favorite photos.
– Post a throwback
Nostalgia can be powerfully attractive. Just look at the success of Facebook’s “On This Day” feature. Users love to take a look back at old photos, posts, and videos. Your agency can share a little of its own nostalgia, as well. Old photos of your office space and team members can make for a fun flashback. If your agency has ever rebranded, consider sharing your old logo. You may even consider asking team members to submit their baby pictures for sharing on your page, so that followers can see what your team looked like as children. A little nostalgia can be a lot of fun!
– Share visuals from events and travels
It’s smart to include details of your business travel in your social-based marketing strategy. It lets your followers feel like they are a part of the exciting things happening as you travel to industry events, conferences, and symposiums. And as we all learned in high school English class, showing is always better than telling! Share pictures and videos of important moments from your travels, or even just a simple view of your team having a little down time. Show that you’re not just attending these events for yourselves. You’re doing it for the benefit of your clients as well.
Increase your social media engagement by blogging
You already know that the insurance blog can be a powerful tool for establishing your agency as a team of insurance experts. On it you can share education, news, commentary, and entertainment. If your agency doesn’t already have one, it should! Choosing quality topics and soliciting feedback from your followers are great ways to start a conversation with users that centers around your blog content.
– Craft engaging headlines
A great headline has an emotional hook that inspires curiosity in the reader, making them more likely to click through to your blog to read the rest of the article. To learn how to craft a great headline, browse through your own social media feeds. What articles are you most tempted to click, and what do their headlines have in common? Some headline formulas that tend to be successful include, “[#] Ways to [Do Something] to [Produce Desired Result],” “What is the Best [Topic] for [Achieving Desired Result]?,” and “How to [Do Something] That Will [Help You Achieve Desired Result].” Plugging your own topics into these formulas is a great way to craft great headlines, but creating your own emotional hook will yield fresher, more exciting content for better results.
– Share posts from your insurance blog
An insurance blog is great on its own, but only if people are finding your content. Sharing your blog posts with your followers on social media is the best way to make sure your content gets to the people who are most likely to be interested in it.
– Update your blog on a schedule
If you’re creating great blog content, that means that your followers will look forward to your new posts. However, as a user, it can be frustrating when you’re looking forward to new content and it’s not posted on time. In order to keep users’ interest, create a blog update schedule, and stick to it. That way, users will know to look for your new content weekly, bi-monthly, or however often you choose to post.
– Become a guest blogger
Your blogging talent doesn’t need to be restricted to your own blog. A great way to get exposure for your agency and your agency’s blog is to write guest articles for blogs on other sites. Before doing this, it is important to already have at least a modest backlog of blog articles on your own site, so that you will have examples to share with potential publishers. Next, reach out to publishers for whom you would like to write a guest blog. These can be other insurance agencies, online insurance publications, financial websites, or insurance-related organizations. In your inquiry, include links to samples of your past blog articles. Guest blogging can help you reinforce your credibility as an insurance expert, as well as gaining traffic to your blog and social media sites.
Increase your social media engagement by engaging with your community
Of course you want your followers to engage with your agency on social media–but earning good engagement means returning the favor! When it comes to engagement, you have to give a little in order to get a little. In terms of time investment, though, the returns are more than worth it. Spending a few minutes each day engaging with your followers can result in higher customer satisfaction, more cross-selling opportunities, and a better conversion rate.
– Ask questions
Users love being asked to share their opinions and experiences. Try posting questions to get your followers talking. You may want to ask for feedback about your agency, such as why your clients chose you over other agencies. Try asking them about the products or features they would most like to see your agency offer. Ask them questions that are semi-related to your products (e.g. if you sell boat insurance, you could ask, “What is you best memory of a day on the water?” Or you can even ask questions just for fun, such as, “What are your plans for the weekend?” Showing an interest is a great way to start new conversations with your followers.
– Respond to comments
When users interact with business pages, they don’t always respect to get a response–but they’re always pleased to get one! Making an effort to respond to followers’ comments and replies on social media platforms shows that you care about their input. It means a lot to the user, even if you’re only saying, “Thank you!”
– Hold Q&A sessions
It’s likely that you’ve let your followers know in the past that they can call or message your agency with any questions. However, many users are still hesitant because they may feel that their questions are unimportant or “stupid.” But remember, there are no stupid questions! Holding a Q&A session over social media is a great way to invite users to ask their questions in a low-pressure environment. Hosting a live video Q&A can be a great way to do this, responding live to comments as users post them. You can also simply do a Q&A in a post or a tweet, responding to comments and replies in the order you receive them. Be sure to promote the event ahead of time, both on and off social media, to ensure that people are aware of the opportunity and can make time to log on.
– Comment on posts from other businesses
Other businesses, especially local businesses in your area, can make great partners. It is just as important to cultivate these professional relationships on social media as it is in real life. Therefore, when you see other pages asking for feedback and sharing updates of your own, don’t hesitate to offer your input or support. The more you engage with other businesses in this way, the more they will feel comfortable doing so with your agency–and bringing their own clientele with them.
– Tag other pages
Engaging with other pages and businesses includes tagging them. Have you done a guest blog for another business, publication, or organization? When you share the news on your social media, be sure to tag their account in your post or tweet. Do members of your team enjoy patronizing local businesses, such as nearby restaurants? Create a post about enjoying their products or services, and tag their page. Are you excited about the launch of a new product, service, or perk from a nearby business? Gush about it on your social media, and tag the business’s page. When you tag a page, their followers can also see the post–meaning that you’re giving your agency’s page a boost as well.
– Offer congratulations
It’s a good idea to take time here and there to browse your own news feed. When you see good news from pages that your agency follows, take a minute to offer congratulations–whether it’s for an anniversary, a new product launch, or whatever! You may even consider going a step further and sharing their post on your agency’s page.
– Participate in groups
While pages can’t be members of groups on Facebook, you can join groups from your personal account on behalf of your agency. There are many insurance-related groups to join. Use them to share news about your agency, or blog posts that you are proud of. However, don’t share too much of your own content–this can be seen as spamming. Instead, spend most of your time in groups answering others’ questions, offering input, feedback or congratulations. LinkedIn also has many insurance-related groups that can be valuable as a part of building your social media engagement. Becoming a part of these communities can help your page gain quality followers and quality clients.
– Give back to your community
Increasing your social media engagement can be about more than interacting on social media–it can extend to making a difference in the physical world, as well. Participating in local organizations or volunteer efforts is a great way to give back to your local community, thereby positioning your agency as a trustworthy establishment. But don’t forget to promote these events and causes on your social media. Invite your followers to participate and donate to the causes you support. In this way, you’re both helping clients feel good about choosing your agency, as well as benefiting the community in which you run your business. Everyone wins.
Increase your social media engagement through great content
As we all know, quality content is key to a successful social-based marketing strategy. You can be doing everything else right–but none of it will matter without quality content to back it up.
– Post tips and tricks
Lists of tips, tricks and “hacks” are perennial favorites. Whether you create these lists yourself on your insurance blog, or share links to tips from other sites, be sure that they are relevant to your agency’s goals. For instance, if you sell auto insurance, then the article, “20 DIY Car Care Tips for Busy Professionals” would be a great content choice for your page.
– Pass on industry-related news
The insurance industry is always changing, and many of these changes affect your clients. Position yourself as the source of their insurance industry news by sharing articles that are relevant to the concerns and interests of your followers. Sites like Insurance Journal or Property Casualty 360 are great resources for the latest updates from the world of insurance.
– Promote local news or events
Because many of your followers will likely be located in your area, they will be interested in what is going on in their community. Are winter storms having an impact on local businesses this year? Is local infrastructure getting a long-overdue update? Is a new, exciting business opening in the area? Share updates like these–because your agency is a part of the local community, too.
– Keep it educational
Educating your customer is beneficial both to the clients and to your agency. It helps them make more informed decisions regarding their insurance needs, and positions your agency as an expert in the industry. Your blog is a great place to create your own quality educational content, but it is also beneficial to share educational articles and videos from other sources. Additionally, infographics and video can also be utilized for consumer education.
– Repurpose content
Sometimes, content is so good that you can’t post it just once. While you don’t want to re-share the same content within a short window of time, look out for a good opportunity to present old content in a new way. For instance, you may want to share a list of barbecue safety tips in the lead up to summer grilling season, and then again around Fourth of July and Labor Day when you know that a lot of people will be having cookouts. Additionally, don’t limit your content to just one platform. If content does well on Twitter, be sure to share it on Facebook or LinkedIn as well–because, chances are, it will be just as successful there.
– Make sure the timing is right
Browsing your social media feeds, you may see content that other users have posted within the last hour, and notice that it’s right above content posted two days ago. Therefore, it may not seem like it matters much when you share your content. However, posting at peak traffic times has been shown to result in better engagement numbers for posts by brands. Keep an eye on your analytics on your different social media platforms, and note the timing of your top-performing posts. Were they posted around the same times of day? Look for trends, and try to make the majority of your posts around these times of day.
Increase your social media engagement with Insurance Social.Media
By automatically posting great content, soliciting feedback from your followers, and engaging with your community, Insurance Social.Media takes all the guesswork out of your social-based marketing strategy. We aim to increase engagement on your social media accounts by employing many of the strategies above, plus a few handy tricks of our own. If you aren’t already a subscriber , what are you waiting for? See how effective Insurance Social.Media can be for your agency. Sign up today for our 30-day free trial.
Your agency’s social media success is measured in part by the quality of user engagement. By employing the strategies listed above, you’ll be able to get the most out of your social media presence. Engaged customers are better customers.
–By Mallory DuPuy