Social media can be a powerful means of announcing news, engaging people in a dialogue and establishing a company’s credibility with potential customers.
Nowhere is this opportunity more important, and nowhere is this summons to communicate less common, than among the majority of life insurance agents. These individuals may have their own accounts on Facebook and Twitter, among many other sites, or their respective employers may have official pages with tens of thousands of “likes” and “followers.”
Put aside, for a moment, how many of these so-called fans are real, as opposed to bogus accounts that give the appearance of national or even international popularity, and focus, instead, on the posts and tweets that these companies publish. That content – and its conflation of typing with writing, as if banging on a keyboard will produce beautiful copy – is often nothing more than a sentence fragment and a link to some promotional page.
Please note: As a fellow life insurance professional, I have no interest in bashing my industry or condemning my competitors because, despite what some outsiders may believe, our business is not a zero-sum game; there is plenty of room for growth, which is another way of saying that we can – and we must – compete fairly while we cooperate with one another fully.
That means individual agents and life insurance companies need to provide substance – news people can use – and style, written in a way that resonates with readers and amplifies your (or their) distinctive voice. Or, as I like to remind various groups on Twitter: “If you have something to say, then it is worth saying well.”
Start this conversation by asking questions. Find out what your current and prospective customers want to know, and give them answers that are both accurate and accessible.
Which leads me to my final point: Personalize your message – be a voice of reason, not a shouter of gimmicks and slogans – so readers can learn something of value about buying life insurance. And yes, that task requires you to devote some time (at least an hour per day) to writing material that is cogent, concise and complementary (on behalf of the longer, more in-depth content on your website).
These tactics work.
They work because they teach rather than preach. They work because they reflect the efforts of an author (or a group of authors) with a style that is authentic and responsive.
Gone are the passive reactions of the past, worsened by the automated production of posts and tweets that say little and accomplish even less.
By fulfilling this assignment, and by having a conversation with customers, social media can advance an agent’s visibility and enhance a life insurance agency’s credibility.
These benefits are too great to dismiss, and too plentiful to ignore. The insurance industry has the will – and the power – to transform social media for the better.
Now is the time to honor the promise of this medium, with knowledge, enthusiasm, wisdom and sincerity.