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Virtual networking and social selling tips for insurance agents

JUL. 06, 2021

When the first recognized social media accounts were created in 1997i the purpose was to help connect people with other users. Today, social media has many additional uses including sales, advertising of products and much more.

For the last 10 years, Nationwide has empowered and encouraged appointed agents to utilize their social networks to reach their existing and prospective customers where they are, a practice known as social selling. Social selling might seem like a buzzword that those in sales positions are hearing more and more, but what does it mean?

LinkedIn

LinkedIn outlines four elements of proper social selling.

1. Establishing a professional brand
Your professional brand is the first impression you make to customers and potential clients. An optimized profile will help you stick out from everyone else on social media and immediately position you as a trusted partner.

  • Components to establishing your professional brand include:
    o Upload a professional photo
    o Upload a cover photo
    o Use a clear job title that matches your business card
    o Add your location and select your industry
    o Add your current employer
    o Introduce who you are with a personalized summary
    o Add experience and write complete descriptions that summarize your current and past roles
    o Include volunteer experience
    o Add skills that accurately reflect what you do
    o Add education, make sure to include dates and any clubs/organizations you participated in

2. Finding the right people
Expand your network with quality connections will help you build valuable relationships, identify better prospects and key decision makers. This will entail expanding your reach and help position you to reach your prospects when they need you most.

  • When looking for the right people you, consider :
    o Building your network by utilizing the “People You May Know” feature
    o Connecting with your existing customers or prospective customers and colleagues
    o Joining groups that include prospective customers, thought leaders in your industry and those that have the same interests as you
    o Utilizing LinkedIn’s search tools

3. Engaging with Insights
Share updates that will create conversation will help grow your relationships with your prospects and potential prospects.

  • Post with a purpose
  • Talk about the things that matter to you
  • Post 3-5 times per week
  • Like, comment, and share content you come across on your timeline

4. Building Relationships
Establishing trust with those that are following you will help ensure you have a strong network of leaders and decision makers.

  • Personalize your connection requests, explaining why you’d like to connect
  • Engage with your connections’ milestones
  • Share insights with your connections as you come across them

Facebook

Facebook can be a useful tool in social selling by allowing customers to have another way to connect with your agency. Facebook’s search capabilities are not as powerful as LinkedIn’s, but you can use Facebook to build relationships once you’ve identified someone as a potential fit. This keeps you top-of-mind and your friend request is much more likely to be accepted because you are familiar.

Facebook business profiles are a great way to promote your business, staff and your collective expertise. When building your social media strategy you should create social posts that will resonate with your existing and prospective customers.

Here are four tips to keep in mind when using for Facebook for Business:

      1. Business Development
        • Connect with customers and prospects to deepen business relationships
        • Facebook advertising is a low-cost way to target your intended audience to help drive awareness and business
      2. Thought Leadership
        • Share interesting news with your audience
        • Create posts that steer users to your company blog or website
      3. Marketing and Advertising
        • Actively market your business and build your brand by posting content about the products and services your business provides
      4. Ease of Doing Business
        • Search relevant hashtags to learn about what is happening in your industry
        • You may present information that your customers weren’t aware that you offered or that they had a need for
        • Repost positive reviews and comments to encourage word of mouth

Twitter

Even with its smaller maximum character count per update, Twitter can have a big impact on how your business is viewed by the public. People will follow accounts that are proving value to them. If you have educational materials that people can learn from, share them to help others. They’ll benefit from the information and will not feel as though you are trying to constantly get them to buy from you. Twitter, like any other social channel can be used for:

      1. Relationship Building
        • Build meaningful relationships by connecting with customers and influencers. Use replies and mentions to reach out to people.
      2. Share Trending Topics
        • Retweet articles and photos to help drive audience engagement and show that you have a finger on the pulse of your industry
      3. Gain Brand Ambassadors
        • Building meaningful relationships with your followers could turn them into your biggest advocates
        • Share your followers’ content (with their permission) about your brand or industry
      4. Social Listening
        • Search relevant hashtags to learn about what is happening in your industry
        • Jump on to current trends with fun and relevant content that fits your brand

Instagram

Instagram is best known as a photo and video sharing platform, but it can also be used to introduce the public to your agency staff, community involvement and promote the products and services you provide. Here are five ways to think about using Instagram for your agency:

      1. Acquire new customers
        • Marketing services on Instagram can make prospects aware of your business and drive potential leads right to your doorstep
        • Utilize the “Link in bio” option to provide a link to your website or blog where people can find out more information about your business and staff
      2. Retain and cross-sell existing customers
        • Connecting with customers via Instagram keeps your services top-of mind and can help cross-sell additional products.
      3. Build a thought leadership platform
        • Delivering valuable Instagram content can differentiate your business while boosting your credibility and trustworthiness
      4. Connect with centers of influence
        • You can target people in relevant professions like CPAs, attorneys, or loan officers with relevant Instagram content to encourage referrals.
      5. Recruit agents
        • For teams looking to grow, displaying a modern social media presence on Instagram can help attract young, digital-savvy agents

Ninety percent of consumers buy from brands they follow on social media.ii Whether your business is new to social networking or you have established and executed a full social strategy, it’s important to remain consistent in posting updates, engaging with your followers, leveraging industry data and utilizing your resources to ensure you have strong social presence. To learn more about how social selling can impact your business or to get access to Nationwide Social Media Solutions, reach out to social@nationwide.com.