Social media is essentially free advertising. That’s why it’s a smart decision to use this powerful tool to promote your insurance business, not to mention your personal brand. But how do you find the platform(s) that are the right fit for you?
Firstly, your choices should reflect your overall marketing plan. While all social media offers some degree of visibility, not all platforms are built the same or reach the same audience. Additionally, there are some platforms that are better than others when it comes to marketing services. Once you’ve clarified your goals, you can review the pros and cons of each platform. Then, you can decide which will work best for your needs.
Secondly, a word to the wise. Don’t give in to the temptation to try to have a presence on every platform from the start. It’s generally a better idea to focus on a few, carefully selected social media platforms at a time. After all, the goal is to develop an audience genuinely interested in you and your business. That requires consistent, targeted engagement — not a “spray and pray” approach.
Thirdly, when you are creating content or posting about your business on any social media page, make sure that you are being honest about your company or services. Insurance and financial services are highly regulated industries. Dishonesty in a social media advertisement or post can have serious consequences — not to mention undermining the relationships you’re working to build.
Spot On Insurance and ILSA recently co-hosted a webinar, Compliance in the Age of Social Media – A Compliance Conversation. Join our panel of industry experts for this in-depth discussion.
So, with those points in mind, let’s take a closer look at several of the biggest social media platforms and what they have to offer your business:
When it comes to business, LinkedIn is one of the best social networking platforms. Created as a professional networking resource, its audience is primed to engage in serious business interactions. Thus, it is not only a great forum for sharing your ideas and services with targeted industries, it’s ideal for networking, learning, and discovering new talents.
Pros: LinkedIn is designed for professionals wanting to connect, engage, promote, and educate others. Any business trying to network, market B2B, grow, and learn needs a presence here.
Cons: If your business is trying to reach individual customers to directly market a product, LinkedIn may not be the best fit. Overt sales pitches (at least outside of their advertising program) are generally frowned on. Also, you may not reach as many potential consumers as on other social media platforms.
For more tips on building a powerful LinkedIn presence, check out Spot On Insurance Episode 74: Grow Your Agency with LinkedIn, featuring Joshua B. Lee.
Facebook has a massive number of users which means a larger potential audience. This size makes it an invaluable business tool for building a following of potential clients and marketing directly to them. Additionally, Facebook offers a range of free tools to help build your business page. Lastly, by using personal connections such as family and friends, you can reach a large number of people without using paid ads.
Pros: Facebook has millions of users who are customers and business owners. It’s the most common form of social media among a large variety of age groups.
Cons: Because Facebook is primarily a social network for casual socializing, the design doesn’t always encourage use by business-minded people seeking to connect.
YouTube is a tried and true video platform. Because viewers can easily access all videos at any time it allows businesses to share larger amounts of information. Posted content is also much less likely to get lost in the scroll of a busy timeline. By creating a channel for your businesses, you can catalog your services and videos in one convenient place.
Pros: YouTube provides for large amounts of content in one place available for reference for a long time.
Cons: Traditionally not a strong networking website, YouTube can require using a secondary social media platform to promote content.
Instagram is another popular platform. To gain followers and promote your businesses, however, takes some knowledge of the ways in which the platform works. On Instagram, content and hashtags are paramount. People want posts that help or teach them, so you have to showcase your solutions quite rapidly in the content you produce.
Pros: Instagram is popular and easy to use, making it a great choice to grow your number of followers. In addition, the widespread use of hashtags allows for easy searches by businesses and potential clients.
Cons: Content on Instagram needs to be visually appealing and direct to attract the attention of your target audience. Also, finding the right number of hashtags and daily posts to engage but not overwhelm them can take some practice.
Looking for great advice on building your brand on Instagram? Check out Spot On Insurance Episode 131: 25 Million Businesses on Instagram – Jump In & Stand Out, with Zach Benson.
Twitter is the birthplace of hashtags. The social media platform also has amassed a large number of users for both professional and recreational uses. Once you learn the basics, it can be highly impactful for your business. What’s unique about the Twitter experience is that users can set content preferences quite easily. Therefore, individuals from a specific sector — for example, the insurance industry — can tailor their Twitter experience to this focus.
Pros: Twitter offers an easily tailored experience and is professional-friendly. It’s also easy to create targeted ads using Twitter’s existing tools.
Cons: Because of the vast amount of people tweeting and re-sharing content, posts sometimes have very limited exposure to their intended audience.
More Social Media Options
Obviously, while these social media platforms may be the biggest, they aren’t the only ones. There are probably hundreds of social media platforms, and chat applications for smartphones, out there. With their low cost of entry and widespread availability, there’s no reason to shy away from any of that seem to work for you. Just remember, though, that every move you make on any social media platform represents your brand, so represent yourself well for current and future business success.