Last month we talked about establishing a web presence for your insurance business—and now we’ll delve deeper into it by taking a closer look at Facebook, an integral part of your online marketing strategy.
Facebook is a powerful business tool—one it’s becoming increasingly difficult to do without, especially as an independent or semi-independent insurance agent. These days, your customers expect you to be on Facebook—and you can stay front-and-center in their minds, make it easy for customers to recommend you, and get the word out about your policies by establishing a business presence there. Here are a few tips to get started.
Set up a page for your business. Facebook doesn’t let you set up a full individual account for a business—but you can set up a page. These used to be called “fan pages,” and customers could become “fans” of certain companies—but being a fan implies a certain amount of endorsement that many customers weren’t that comfortable with. These days, business pages are just “pages,” and visitors can “like” the pages instead—a much more casual endorsement. Even so, the people who “like” your page see its updates in their feeds—so you can get your messages out to them easily just by typing updates on your page wall.
Attract new “likes.” Once you’ve got your page set up, Facebook will suggest that you invite all your friends on Facebook to “like” it. Your friends on Facebook, however, may not be your prime audience—unless you’re Facebook friends with a few customers and colleagues. Even if you are, there are better ways to get the right kind of attention for your Facebook page.
You can get your actual customers involved in your Facebook presence in a variety of ways. One way involves Facebook’s Social Plugins widgets. These are freely available on Facebook and can be installed on your company website and blog, allowing visitors to “like” your content on Facebook by clicking the “like” widget on your site; send your content to friends on Facebook, advertise their activity on your site on their Facebook pages, or more. Check out the Social Plugins page on Facebook for more info.
You can also use the email contact list you already have. If you already have an online newsletter, invite the subscribers to find you on Facebook. Publicize your new Facebook page in the body of your newsletter. If you have a hardcopy newsletter, write about it there, too. You might even offer incentives such as prizes or discounts for people who join you on Facebook.
You should also add a link to your Facebook page to your online signature—and mention your page on Twitter if you have an account there.
Promote yourself. You can promote your blog on your Facebook page—use the “notes” feature to post copies of your newest blog post, or just post the first paragraph and include a “read more” link that tracks back to the blog page. Promote the content on your website, invite your customers to ask questions about insurance and answer them on the Facebook page, offer news and tips on insurance, or highlight discounts and promotions there. The possibilities are endless.
For more information on how to use Facebook to promote your business, check out these helpful articles from Pingler, Facebook’s press page, there are over 800 million users on Facebook. Putting up a page for your business is free, easy, and the only way to reach all these potential customers in one place. The question isn’t whether you should use Facebook to promote your business. The question is, why aren’t you already?