The number of social media users worldwide in 2018 equaled over 3 billion – 3 out of every 4 internet users engaged on social media regularly.
With those numbers, you know that there are some prospective leads out there.
Using social media to engage with existing and prospective clients isn’t a maybe for your agency – it’s a must.
But where do you start?
With a plan that helps you begin – and stay on track with – your social media marketing efforts.
How to Build a Simple Social Media Marketing Plan for Your Insurance Agency
When you’re new to social media marketing, it’s easy to feel a little overwhelmed.
Between the different platforms, target demographics, and hashtags it’s easy to get lost at first.
One way to counteract this feeling of ineptitude is to get very specific about why you are embarking on the social media marketing endeavor in the first place.
Why are you here?
If your answer is to ‘get followers’ or ‘engage with prospective leads’ then your goal will be a hard one to measure for success.
Be sure that your goal is S.M.A.R.T.
That is to say, make sure it is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based if you want to be able to track your success.
Some examples of good S.M.A.R.T. social media goals include:
- Grow your Facebook following by 50 people per month for the next 6 months.
- Bring in 5 leads through social per month.
- Increase brand name mentions by 25% in the current quarter.
Once you have specific measurable goals in place for your marketing strategy, the next step is to prepare yourself to meet those goals.
Know Your Followers
Social media marketing isn’t about you. It’s about your followers.
Your goal shouldn’t be to promote your business but, rather, to position your business as a valuable resource for existing and prospective clients.
That’s why the second step in your social marketing plan needs to be getting to know them. You want to be sure that your social marketing efforts are working towards solving their problems.
Getting to know your followers will help ensure that your social marketing efforts are targeting the right people.
There are many avenues you can take to help you get to know your followers, including utilizing:
- personas you’ve already developed for content curation
- demographic and analytical data you’ve collected from customers and leads
- information gathered from competitors’ social profiles
Getting to know your followers is instrumental in answering some of the social media marketing questions that you’ll need to decide about, including:
What platform should you use?
If you determine your agency’s audience is comprised of middle-aged professionals, your best bet is to find them on Facebook or LinkedIn.
If your ideal clients are a younger group, you may want to meet your millennial audience where they are, on platforms like Instagram.
What is your voice/ tone?
In using the above example, you aren’t going to have the same tone with a middle-aged professional as you would with a millennial. While it’s important to base your voice on your audience, it must also always align with your brand.
What type of posts will you make?
Maybe you’re targeting 30-something parents who would benefit from advice articles or maybe busy 20-something millennials who would be more receptive to short, humorous videos.
Curate Content to Share
Your social media strategy + your content marketing strategy = a one-two punch that will be a knockout for your followers.
Social media is a perfect way to get more eyes on the meaningful content you’ve created to help solve your audience’s problems.
Keep a close eye on your content strategy while you’re putting together your social media strategy, assuring that the two align with solving problems for your audience.
Consider the following when laying out your social media content plan:
- How will you promote your own content?
- How often will you share your own blog posts?
And remember to add social sharing buttons on your blog so that followers who read your articles can easily share them out.
Warning: Don’t only share your own content on your social channels.
It’s important to remember that making it about you too much can have a negative impact on your social media marketing, including:
- Focusing too much on self promotion instead of engaging and losing people’s interest.
- Forgetting to build relationships with other businesses and industry leaders and missing out on opportunities for growth.
Marketing experts typically recommend an 80/20 rule when posting on social media: 20% of your posts should focus on your own brand, product, or services, while the other 80% should be content that your audience finds interesting, engaging, and entertaining.
Find a balance between promoting your own content, posting relevant content sourced elsewhere, and engaging with your followers.
Decide How Much Time to Invest
You’ve worked out most of your social media strategy, now you need to decide what kind of time investment you want to make for your social marketing.
Do you see yourself investing five minutes a day to light ‘liking’ and commenting, or do you need to commit to deeper engagement like seeking out relevant hashtags and joining relevant conversations for longer periods of time?
Don’t forget to set aside part of your time budget for researching best practices and new developments for social media.
A basic rule of thumb for social media marketers is to expect a 1-5 hour per week time commitment.
You want to find a balance with the time you invest, making sure that it fits in your schedule but does not sacrifice the effectiveness of your social media marketing.
Now that you’ve got an idea how much time you’re able to commit to social media, you’ll need to decide how to allocate your time budget, deciding:
How many times to post per day.
Will you be posting once or three times a day? A week? And on which channels?
When to post on social channels.
Utilize your demographic information to help you determine when your followers are most likely to be online.
How much time to spend on engagement.
Once you’ve completed the work of posting, how much time do you have left to engage? Be sure to strike a balance.
Social media scheduling tools come in very handy, and save you a lot of time, if you want to schedule out your posts in advance.
And never underestimate the power of a well-ordered spreadsheet. Try using one to track what posts you want to share, when, and to which channels.
Congratulations – your plan is in place!
You’re ready to start setting up your accounts, writing your bio, and engaging with your followers.
But your social media marketing strategizing isn’t complete yet - because it never is.
It should always remain a work in progress.
Remember those measurable goals you set at the beginning of your plan? Track them and make adjustments to your strategy if you’re not meeting them.
When it comes to marketing, there is no other tool like social media to get you interacting with clients and prospective leads. Where else can you meet clients on a personal level daily and share your content to a large audience?
Now that you’ve set up your plan, you are ready to utilize social media marketing to help you meet your agency goals.