Brokers may not want to invest heavily in social media, but a lot of opportunity exists at little to no cost.
“It’s always a question of how do you scale your expertise; by using social media, you can just reach more people,” Jeff McCann, CEO of Digital MGA Marketplace, said in an interview with Canadian Underwriter Jan. 21. “That may be existing customers, that might be prospecting for new customers. It might just be brand awareness and engagement. I think no matter what business and what industry segment, you can always do more.”
McCann was responding to a question about whether brokers are taking up social media, and if they should consider marketing themselves more often that way.
He said it may be difficult for brokers to focus on social media because it may not be an area of expertise, or they might not choose to invest in it heavily. “But there’s a lot of people on LinkedIn,” he said. “That’s prospective clients and existing clients.”
If somebody is looking for a brokerage or broker, they will also likely use Google or social media. “If they want to come work for you, or maybe they’re going to find out about you, if you don’t have that online presence, how are they going to be at home doing their research?” McCann asked. “That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to go and spend a huge amount of money on it. It’s just having a presence – so sign up for Facebook, sign up for LinkedIn, have an account… have information and populate the pages.
“I know for a fact that whenever I’m meeting with people, they’re always looking me up,” McCann added. “It’s the same thing when you’re a broker selling insurance, reaching out to somebody or getting a referral. Clients want to do their homework on you, and you do your homework on their business. It’s a free one-small-step.”
By using software such as HubSpot – a platform for marketing, sales and customer service, with a completely free CRM at its core – brokers can schedule their social media posts. “You can sit down for an hour and schedule out the rest of the month,” McCann said. “At least that way, you are active on your profile. You can collect email addresses and at least have them.”
If a broker does a lot of walk-ins, it’s easy to ask, “Do you mind if I take your email address for our customer relationship system?” McCann said. “Most people say yes. You’re collecting email addresses anyway. They’re your client, at least if you have a CRM, you can put it somewhere.”
Cross-selling is another option. “Maybe they have a huge book of auto, but they don’t cross-sell home, tenant or condo [insurance],” McCann said. “Everyone that walks in the door to become a customer, if you are asking them for their email address and now you have their information, a producer can just call them and say, ‘Hey, we’re already your broker.’ It’s not even a new sale, it’s just that relationship.”