When used properly, social media is an invaluable source for lead generation and connecting with potential customers. There are several highly effective ways to make social media work for your agency, but you should also be aware of – and avoid – the potential pitfalls of social media lead generation.
Using Social Media for Lead Creation
When considering new ways to get leads and convert them into sales, consider this:
- Facebook receives 100 billion hits every day.
- YouTube uploads 100 hours of video each minute and has more than 1 billion users each month who watch more than 6 billion hours of video per month.
- Twitter has an average of over 500 million Tweets a day, or about 5,700 Tweets per second.
Beyond the sheer volume of social media activity, there is the added benefit that they are free. Nothing says a YouTube upload needs to go viral to have a positive effect on business, but creating an innovative and imaginative short video that catches attention may do wonders for lead conversion. If exciting business changes are afoot, keep followers up to date using social media. Twitter is a great way to keep potential clients in the loop and increase awareness of a business. Many businesses already use Facebook as a marketing tool, posting the happenings of their companies. Maintaining a great Facebook page makes a business look even more appealing to potential clients.
Generating leads through Facebook works best using a Facebook Business Page. A business page (as opposed to a personal page) has “fans” instead of “friends.” Installing custom apps on a Facebook page does wonders for many businesses, providing contact information that morphs into leads. Posting great content that informs readers about how an insurance product can help them also works well, especially if it links to the firm’s website.
YouTube is a great outlet for firms lucky enough to have a member who is comfortable speaking to the camera and providing some interesting and helpful information to the public. Artfully crafted descriptive introductions for each video can help lead many people to the video. Even YouTube cartoons or slideshows work, especially when set to music with helpful narration.
Although Twitters is limited on the length of messages (140 characters), its immediacy makes it perfect for people’s interest. It also works well as a sort of “follow-up call” after doing a direct mail marketing campaign.
Converting Social Media Insurance Leads
Whatever the social media platform, the only way to convert the leads is to make a connection and engage people.
Prospective clients using social media look for links that take them to more information. Many apps capture visitors’ attention, especially when they take in information and then produce something usable regarding the insurance products they may need. All of this drives traffic to a site and creates viable insurance leads. Keep in mind, however, that making this happen requires creativity and attention to detail.
The best practice for handling leads generated from social media is considerate, well-timed and prompt contact with the potential clients. There are numerous apps designed to bring in new leads to insurance firms via social media. However, unless addressed in a timely fashion through personal contact, they are worthless.
The Buzz About Insurance Sales
It is important to have a presence on major social media outlets. Most consumers today spend a fair amount of time checking out a business prior to making first contact. Providing compelling content on various social media sites permits firms to highlight their services and reputations.
Any outlet used to garner leads should contain various ways to contact the firm. Be sure to provide email sign-up apps for those who want more information. Include links to other articles or sites pertaining to insurance products and the firm’s record. Finally, never forget the telephone number of the firm because, despite the proliferation of social media, many still prefer the telephone as their primary means of communication.
Social Media Pitfalls
As great as social media is, using it can also be a minefield. Poorly executed social media campaigns turn off potential clients, and mistakes can damage a company’s reputation. (US Airways accidentally tweeted a graphic photo in April 2014, and everyone remembers that.)
Many leading financial sites and periodicals outline different social media pitfalls to avoid. TheGuardian.com calls out “overly promotional” social media. This platform is social media: It is supposed to be about communicating and exchanging ideas, not shoving products and services down people’s throats. Posts that scream, “Buy me!” are out of place and, sometimes, offensive in the social media realm. Artfully phrased, high-quality “communications” often achieve a great result without blatant marketing showing through.
Additionally, social media postings must appear professional. Maintaining a professional image includes avoiding vulgarity and refraining from badmouthing others, as does careful consideration of any posted pictures, according to Enterpreneur.com.
At the same time, social media marketing should convey useful information:
- Well-written content that has been thoroughly proofread prior to posting is incredibly important. One misstatement or misspelling jeopardizes the campaign.
- Use images effectively.
- Vigilantly update social media content, including responding to negative posts.
Most importantly, a detailed plan for mounting and maintaining any social media marketing campaign is of the utmost importance.
The Importance of All Lead Generation Methods
Social media sites are a terrific platform for drumming up favorable business leads. However, never ignore the older, more established methods of lead generation. Direct mailing is an important tool, especially for reaching those demographics not as tied into social media sites. Telephone calls work, even cold calls. Many people want to hear a live human voice before they will even consider a product. Go out and meet people at different events by setting up a table or being a sponsor then tell them about the products available that would benefit them. Above all, develop and maintain an excellent reputation both personally and professionally. A good reputation results in lead conversion and increased profits.
Never forget that social media lead generation, Internet lead generation, direct mail generation and cold calling are never mutually exclusive. In fact, most complement each other very well, leading to even better conversion rates.