Q: “I know there are all these tools out there like Facebook and Twitter, but I’m an insurance agent. I want a page, but I don’t know what to write. How do you know what to post?”
A: That’s the $64,000 Question, alright. Setting up a digital marketing plan is fairly tricky. This is one of the big reasons people hire D. Cohn Communications. Good digital marketing requires more than just a pretty website and a Facebook page. Your website and your social media accounts need to tell your story to your fans. That means you need to understand your story pretty well yourself, and you need to be able to communicate it to people who will be interested in learning more.
1. Spend a while with a piece of paper, thinking of your customers. What are their most common needs and questions? What do you offer them? What sets you apart from your competition? What surprises or excites them about what you do? You may not think insurance would be very interesting, but everyone has opinions and questions about it. What do you add to that conversation? Use that.
2. Based on who your customers are, research which social media platforms they’re most likely using. Those are the ones you should focus on. I’ve said this before, but it’s important. Do your research and only choose social platforms you know you can use easily and post to with reasonable frequency – by which I mean AT LEAST weekly. Empty, unused pages and profiles are depressing, they don’t say anything positive about your organization, and worse, they’re asking to be hacked into. When my accountant who never posts to his Twitter feed suddenly starts hawking diet pills, I know he’s been hacked. So save yourself time and annoyance by only setting up accounts where you know you can reach your customers. This also means you only need to learn one or two platforms.
3. Your posts and updates should follow what’s known as the 70-20-10 Rule. This one has been around for a while. The numbers aren’t exact nor important; it’s more of a guideline than a rule. It’s a metaphor to help you balance what you post.
a. 70% of your posts should be informational, newsworthy, and entertaining to your clients. These would be events, photographs, happy customers, links to news clippings, reviews, upcoming projects, completed projects, and industry developments of interest to your clients. This is where you refer to your list of your customers’ most common needs and questions. Give them that information. Show them how you can solve their problems. Invite them to comment, ask questions, or make suggestions.
b. 20% of your posts should be shared from your network. These will be updates you believe your clients will be interested in. Repost co-workers or associate businesses’ updates, organizational details, infographics, community events, civic information, updates from industry leaders. When you share a post, comment with why you think your clients will be interested.
c. 10% of your posts should be ‘direct calls to action’ or sales. These are most effective when paired with something visual. “We did Jessica’s wedding makeup and she looks fabulous! Call us and set up an appointment for your big day!” Or if you’re an insurance agent, “Confused about how to sign up for Affordable Care Act Coverage? Call me and I can help.” You have a great source of inspiration sitting right on top of your shoulders. What do YOU like to see on social media? What do you click on? Is it mostly visual? Do you like long posts or short posts? Do you enjoy seeing personal updates from businesses? Follow your own instincts about what works for you.
Maybe you love pictures of puppies. Then find a way to work photos of puppies into your updates. Maybe not always, but occasionally. Do you love links to YouTube videos? Then maybe you need a few links to videos of your own. Remember that the point of social media is to be social – by which I mean you are trying to encourage “engagement” – the Holy Grail of social marketing. People need to feel there’s a real person at the other end of a social media account, someone they can engage with.
One last tip: if you’re not a writer, either keep your posts very, very brief, and spellcheck them like crazy, or hire someone to write your posts for you. There’s no shame in not being a strong speller -- but you probably don’t want typos and sentence errors speaking for your business.