7 top social media tools for FMOsArticle added by David Shields on February 28, 2013
David Shields

David Shields

San Antonio, TX

Joined: February 07, 2012

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Ignoring social media is no longer an option, especially if you want to recruit fresh agents in their 20s and 30s. Below, you can find seven essential social networking sites — besides ProducersWeb, of course — that your FMO needs to have a stake in.

If you own and operate an FMO or work for one, an important part of your job no doubt includes reaching out and trying to recruit new independent agents. This isn’t always the easiest task. Attracting prospects’ attention usually involves promising quality leads, offering marketing solutions and rolling out largesse as if it were a dessert buffet bearing cash prizes, Caribbean cruises, iPads and other goodies.

The most challenging part of this process is raising awareness of your company and what it does. You could advertise on radio, television and in trade magazines, but ultimately, these methods, as effective as they sometimes are, cost money — often, a huge sum of it.

Consequently, more and more FMOs are turning to social media to supplement their traditional marketing strategies. Most sites offer their services free of charge, whereas others have scaled pricing, depending on the type of service you’re looking for.

Ignoring social media is no longer an option, especially if you want to recruit fresh agents in their 20s and 30s. Below, you can find seven essential social networking sites — besides ProducersWeb, of course — that your FMO needs to have a stake in.

1. Facebook

With over one billion registered users, Facebook is a no-brainer. Setting up a business page is relatively easy, as are posting status updates, upcoming events and special offers (you need at least 400 likes to use this feature). Paid ads are also available.

2. LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the number one networking site for professionals, and its company pages is the best way to reach them. Here, you can share your company’s story, make important announcements and discuss your products and services. For a monthly fee, you can also run agent recruitment ads.

3. YouTube

Behind Google and Facebook, YouTube is the third most-visited website on the Internet. This alone should encourage FMOs to embrace their inner Steven Spielberg and start posting recruitment videos that link back to their homepage.

4. Twitter

The 140-characters-or-fewer networking site boasts about 500 million registered users — half of what Facebook has, but robust nonetheless. Because of the brevity of the messages, or “tweets,” Twitter is rife with sound and fury, but its status as a leading social media site necessitates that you participate.

5. Yelp

Although not as well known as the previous sites, Yelp is nevertheless an important tool for FMOs. With Yelp, a directory service site, company owners can announce and promote themselves locally, as well as allow customers and partners to write reviews.
6. StumbleUpon

For those who aren’t familiar, StumbleUpon is a type of search engine that discovers and distributes original content across the Internet based on your personal preferences. If your FMO has its own blog (and if it doesn’t, why not?), you can recommend that a few of your best articles be cataloged in StumbleUpon’s system, which will then distribute them to users with similar interests.

7. Hootsuite

Have too little time to manage all of these social media sites? Hootsuite is the solution. For a monthly fee, Hootsuite serves as the virtual command center for your digital marketing enterprise. With a click of your mouse, you can send status updates to multiple social media accounts, as well as allow Hootsuite to choose the most optimal delivery time.

Honorable mentions

Google+

Even though it launched back in July 2011, it’s still not entirely clear what Google+ is or stands for, other than an alternative to Facebook. There’s no harm in having an account, of course, but don’t expect it to do much.

Foursquare

Similar to Yelp, in that it’s another directory service site, but not quite as customizable.

Deep cuts

Pinterest and Instagram

These hugely popular picture-sharing sites link images to your homepage. The problem, however, is that life insurance and annuity sales aren’t among the most visual of topics. As frequently visited as Pinterest and Instagram are, they’re just not relevant — at least not explicitly — to our industry.

Myspace

The struggling, decade-old social networking site is currently attempting to rebrand itself, complete with a new look and layout. It’s too early to make a reasonable prediction about the new Myspace’s relevance or whether it can shed its teenybopper image (or if it’s even interested in doing so).

Remember, just registering for an account on any of these sites isn’t enough. To make your efforts count, you must post regularly and interact with other users. Cast your net wide!
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