When it comes to their social media marketing, many brokers still forget the customer — which is why such efforts aren’t turning into sales, a digitally savvy broker says.
“It’s one of the most common mistakes brokers make when posting to social media: forgetting the customer experience. People want to know how much you care before they [want to] know how much you know,” said Jeff Roy, president & CEO of Excalibur Insurance, a member of the Canadian Broker Network. “It would help if you built trust and you’re not trying to sell all the time.”
Excalibur boasts 10,000 followers on Facebook, more than 2,800 on Twitter and about 600 on LinkedIn.
“We’ve built up an engaged following on our social media for a company with just 26 employees,” Roy said.
He said building this following took about a year of constant posting and planning — all with the customer top of mind — for things to really take off.
“At the end of it all, what gets said or typed counts for nothing unless someone sees or engages with you. In this attention economy, in which the average person gets 100 emails per day and sees 2,000 messages, how do you grab a piece of this distracted attention? Having a content strategy and building a content experience are keys that every brokerage needs to think about,” Roy said.
Where to start
Three years ago, Aviva Canada research revealed that while 86% of brokers used social media at the time, with the goal of increasing sales or leads, just as many didn’t fully understand how to use social media.
Not much has changed since, Roy said.
Many brokers don’t know where to start, while others just aren’t sure how to turn what they’re already doing into leads or direct sales, he said.
“Planning out a content strategy and calendar detailing what you’ll post for the next month or two, as well as using third-party software to schedule posts at the best times audiences will consume it, is a great way to start,” Roy said.
Brokers should also be giving customers a choice of content by using text, graphics and video, with video becoming more popular in building engagement.
Roy suggested producing a range of videos to garner attention in a variety of ways. A corporate video can showcase a broker’s corporate identity, how-to videos can help educate existing clients, and onboarding videos can help with new customers, for example.
“The biggest thing to remember is: don’t push insurance content 100% of the time. People want to be entertained or ‘edutained,’” Roy said. “Post things that have nothing to do with insurance, that make you stand out, give value, create emotional responses and relationships. We often do fun contests or trivia, with only about one in every four or five posts being a direct sales post.”
Brokers also have to grab social media users’ attention within the first one to two seconds.
“Great content isn’t always the stuff that sells the most, but the content people share the most,” he said. “If you’ve consistently worked to build a strong social media presence and brand, chances are when someone’s ready to buy or switch insurance, they’ll come to you.”
Converting social into sales
Brokers need to look at their social posts from the customer experience point of view and formulate a strategy that turns visitors and followers into engaged customers — and then into promoters who can influence others, Roy said.
He shared Excalibur’s digital experience blueprint, which advises brokers how to turn strangers to visitors in the buying cycle.
“The same strategy can be used to move people from visitors to leads with the right adverts and call to action,” he added.