In a day and age when businesses are looking to get an edge on the competition, a social media presence can be a great tool to move ahead.
The problem, however, is not many companies are very SM savvy and therefore are losing out on a chance to further their sales opportunities.
One prime example is the insurance industry.
Having covered the industry for a decade, I witnessed first-hand how out of the loop some agents and agency owners are with social media.
To some agents, especially a number of older agents who have been in business for many years before the Internet even became part of the social fabric, reaching out to current and potential customers via social media
is a foreign concept.
While a business doesn’t necessarily have to hire a full-time social media person to effectively get its message out, it does take more than just a token approach.
Companies need to spend at minimum several hours a week communicating with current and prospective customers via such tools as Facebook
. Having a daily or bi-daily blog is also a good idea provided it offers useful information. Don’t blog just to blog … say something worthwhile.
In my recent job working for an insurance leads provider, we communicated with agents through Facebook and Twitter.
The goal behind Facebook was to put some topics out there and not only communicate with agents directly, but facilitate the discussion among the agents themselves. Depending on the topic matter, the discussions could be prolonged or rather brief.
When it came to Twitter, this was more of an opportunity to promote via links things like in-house articles, white papers and studies, etc. that were insurance-related.
When talking to agents directly, I would often hear their bosses were not all that good at using social media and hence promoting the products online their company could offer.
The days of hanging a shingle outside an agency and waiting for business to come through the door is definitely not the major means of attracting customers in 2011. Communicating via the Internet on what your agency can offer policyholders is and will continue to be a key facet of the insurance process.
Those agencies who adapt to today’s social media needs are more apt to successfully reel in consumers and keep them.
Whether your business is insurance or running the local eatery, having a suitable social media program is important.
If you choose not to migrate into the social media world, you may be left spinning your wheels while the competition drives on forward.