The average person spends almost an hour per day on Social Media. The vast majority of the billion plus social media users are spending the dominate amount of their time on Facebook. For any business that sells to consumers (and that would be most every business), a successful presence on Facebook can make a huge difference to the bottom line. For example: last month alone, our company gained several clients as a direct result of our Facebook presence. From this small impact, we will see thousands of dollars in gross revenue over the lifetime of our relationship with these new clients. Social media, especially on a venue such as Facebook, can contribute to the growth of the company. However, if you do not have a tailored message and a specific strategy, media can be a “black hole” of lost funding with nothing to show for the time or money.
So what if you are not a business that aims at consumers as your main audience? Even “B2B” businesses should craft an effective social media strategy. The people that represent the companies you are selling to also spend time on social media. If you want to stay visible, go where your people are. For the purposes of this article, I am going to define social media “success” as exposure, which we will define by the amount of “likes” received and the engagement of your audience.
So what’s unique about The Choice Insurance Agency’s approach and foundation? The Choice Insurance Agency is an insurance agency and financial services provider that is having awesome success with social media and is using this venue to generate income. If you scan our competitors, most of their pages have 100,200, 300, or maybe 400 likes. Yet, The Choice Insurance Agency has been able to attain over 2,700 “likes “during the course of only a couple of years. The Choice Insurance Agency has never purchased “fake” likes. We did it the old fashioned way – we formed relationships and we earned them. We have made a commitment to being present where our customers are, crafting a message and content that is beneficial to our clients and, as a result, we are creating success in social media.
When we post content on our social media venues, the post can show up in over 2,700 news feeds! That’s a lot of people. In addition, every time we promote a post, the post can be seen by the friends of everyone who likes our page. Our potential exposure is multiplied many times over by extremely simple, consistent strategy. Even better, every “like” is an informal endorsement of our business that helps us establish trust with new potential clients and ultimately earn their business. In our current market, statistics show that consumers value the input of their peers over the reviews by a business or a more “formal” entity. Having high consumer interaction on your page speaks volumes to potential clients.
Think about it for a second. Insurance is a product that most people do not rave about, much less “like” (pun intended)! If an insurance agency can grow to over 2,700 likes in a couple of years by following a few simple guidelines, so can your business.
Here are The Choice Insurance Agency’s SIX STEPS to SOCIAL MEDIA SUCCESS:
- Post frequently. Interesting business pages post new content on a frequent and consistent basis. Pages that do not post frequently appear stale and unengaged and do not attract likes. Have faith and keep creating content. Results in social media, like most things in life, are not instant but they will come. Content scheduling is a feature that helps with posting on a consistent basis. Like articles from your website, blog or other relevant source and schedule the time and date you want the ad to run. You can program out a day, week or month at a time. Don’t forget to check-in periodically to interact with responses or “likes” on your page. Just like in a personal conversation, if you aren’t interacting, people stop talking to you. Also, don’t forget to “boost” your posts for increased visibility!
- Provide a budget. Success in social media is not free. Facebook earns their revenue by charging to have your posts “boosted”. You must pay to play. While anyone can go to your page and see all of your posts, if you wish for your posts to appear in news feeds, you have to pay Facebook. We generally spend $5-10 per post to boost a post to be seen by 300-1000 people. This step is critical to visibility. If your posts are engaging and interesting, 1-3% of the people will like your post. In addition to boosting posts, you may run a campaign for Facebook to promote your page and gain likes. When we started promoting our page, we spent $5 per day to promote our page. The greater you set your budget, the faster you’ll grow likes to your page. When creating a campaign, take a moment to craft a strong message, use eye-catching visuals and consider providing something back to your viewers (such as a free gift card or a seat to the next seminar/event your business is hosting). Offering periodic “free” giveaways just for participation increases the attention given to your page because consumers are on the lookout for the next free thing you’re giving away.
- Assign someone on your team the task of handling your social media. If nobody is responsible for making it happen, it’s not going to happen. Successful social media campaigns take time and they require frequent interaction and attention. Social media posts can be scheduled in advance so your media manager does not have to go on the page every day to make a post. They can set up a week’s worth (or more!) of content at one time and schedule them out to make the most efficient use of time. Also, when scheduling your posts, think about that time of day you would like them to run. Think about when people are most likely to browse social media. Some of the highest view times are between 11 am-2 pm when people are on their lunch breaks. Consider scheduling your posts earlier in the day on Fridays, as many people are more likely to leave the office early on Fridays.
- Invite everyone to like your page. Any administrator of a page can invite all of their friends to like a business page. If somebody is friends with you, then they should like your business page! Take a moment to go to your business page and invite all of your friends to like your page. Ask any other administrator of your page to do the same thing. Once a person likes a post on your page, you may invite them to like your business page even if they’re not your Facebook friend. Everyone who likes a post should be invited to like your page. Trade business page likes with your offline friends. Of course, ask our clients to like your page and include the request as part of your email signature!
- Post relevant, custom content. In order to drive engagement with your audience, your posts should be relevant and created by your company. There are content companies that you can subscribe to but their content looks generic and uninspiring because they do not reflect the personality of a business. Content that attracts engagement will need to be created by you and your team. Posts about your team almost always gain attention! Custom-created posts about your business and industry which reflect your specialization will also receive a high level of engagement. Consider posting links to BLOG content on your website. Your BLOG should have interesting, relevant content and posting to social media allows your BLOG to be promoted to a much greater audience and helps your website gain SEO traction. Success stories, advice, even disaster stories are interesting. Be creative. We will often take a news story and then write a BLOG post from our “insurance perspective” and then post a link on social media. If the current event is trending, it will gain interest and engagement.
- Include photos or videos in every post. Photos and videos get a lot more attention than posts without them. Photos and videos created by you and your team are also much more interesting and will gain more engagement than media purchased from websites. Be aware of using “stock” photos that you have not paid for. To avoid royalty liability issues, check out sites that provide free images and media that you can use in your posts.
All The Best,
Kelley Carter, CPIA
The Choice Insurance Agency, Nationwide
The Choice Insurance Agency’s mission is to help you get from where you are to where you want to be financially by planning, achieving your plan and protecting your plan from unexpected events. In the process, our goal is to deliver insurance services in a manner that exceeds your expectations. See what The Choice Insurance Agency can do for you today. Give us a call at 757-416-5100 to speak with one of the licensed, professional members of our team or request a contact here. The Choice Insurance Agency. We’re on YOUR side. 757-416-5100.