Whether you like it or not, there is no way to avoid the fact that social media is here to stay. For insurance sales professionals who want to grow their client lists, you have no choice but to participate. According to an October 2011 study published by The Small Business Authority, 57% of sales professionals polled use social media to connect with new prospects. 58% use it to keep in touch with current and past clients.
As an insurance sales professional, getting the social media strategy down is not always easy. Below are some of the biggest missteps to avoid on your way to social media marketing success.
1) Creating Profiles and Then Never Using Them – You created profiles on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. You filled in the basics, but became too busy to ever go back again.
This is a huge mistake. These days, many professionals are in the habit of “Googling” people before they ever meet with them. They find that social media offers insights into a person and their business practices. If they find that you have nothing but a series of empty and neglected social media profiles, it sends the message that maybe you are not serious about what you do.
No one expects you to spend hours a day on social networking profiles – after all, you have to build your pipeline for lead generation and sales, follow up with potential clients, and build your book of business. However, 5 minutes every day is something you can spare. That is all it takes. You can even schedule your main updates ahead of time with an application like Tweetdeck orHootsuite.
2) Being Too Stiff – Face to face, you are a warm, engaging person who is a great listener. These are the traits that make you a successful insurance salesperson. Your social media accounts, on the other hand, are full of stiff and boring updates that are devoid of personality.
Social media is an opportunity to share your business’ voice with a wider audience than ever, as well as to stay connected to important people easily. Therefore, make sure your social media accounts reflect your unique “voice” that helps you close deals with insurance leads.
3) Using Social Media as a Venue for the “Hard Sell” – The biggest mistake made with business social media pages is seeing them as a venue for a hard sell. That is not what social media is about. It is about developing the relationships you need to attract clients. Using your Twitter account to blast a stream of hard-sell messages is considered spamming. Save the selling for your first sales meeting.
As you approach 2012, consider adding social media to your marketing calendar. Along with using actionable business intelligence, e-mail marketing, and referral relationships, social media is an integral part of your overall marketing strategy.