Start tweeting and stop tinkering. Ramp up your social media presence with a targeted strategy that puts your audience first.
Should you play in the social media arena? Or, maybe a better question is—if you do, how will you manage your online presence and prevent liability? Social media channels like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn are great business tools—and social media is the fastest-growing marketing vehicle, as people embrace the value of connecting with brands. Sure, your audience is looking for insurance. But what they also want is a partner who gets them, listens and provides information that applies to their life.
Social media marketing is all about engagement. And to use it effectively, you’ve got to know the rules of engagement. That means developing a social media strategy with clear goals and steps that can be implemented. There must be accountability. Who’s going to manage your social media, when and how will they execute the strategy? And, above all, you’ve got to be sure your social media voice aligns with your brand.
Ready to get social? Here are the keys to developing a successful social media strategy for your business.
What’s the Point?
Launching a social media strategy is similar to any other marketing strategy. You’ve got to set goals: What’s the point? What do you hope to achieve? Answer these questions before opening accounts on major social media channels. Always keep in mind that social media is a long-term strategy aimed at creating and strengthening your brand identity and relationships as opposed to quick sales.
Create a Plan
Your plan should address which social media networks you want to use and how often you’ll post. You also need to decide how to integrate your social media strategy with the overall communication strategy of your company. Remember, social media is one piece of the marketing puzzle.
Draft a Social Media Guru
If you have the resources, it’s always better to hire a social media manager to handle the day-to-day efforts than to learn and do it all yourself. Consider outsourcing social media to a digital marketing firm that understands your brand voice and can execute the task for you. If this is not possible, identify someone at your company who can be the social media champion—and be sure to allot hours in his or her schedule to complete the job.
What’s Your Angle?
Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Reddit—the list of social media outlets continues to expand. Every network comes with its own weaknesses and strengths, threats and opportunities. So, research and determine which networks can work best for your company and your target audience. Talk to industry peers about their experiences.
Say Something Interesting (Engage)!
This can be a most important aspect of your social media strategy. Your audience is the most important part of your overall strategy. You need to engage with your audience if you want them to “like” you. That means delivering content that answers their questions and speaks to their needs. What does your audience actually care about? Start there.
Measure Your Progress
Keep track of all major statistics: the number of updates, the number of new followers you have added, feedback, comments, and other significant actions. Objectively analyze and measure these metrics against your social media goals on a weekly or monthly basis.
Be Flexible—Learn and Adjust
Change and improve your strategy according to audience demands. You’ll learn some lessons the hard way. Maybe you find out that posting a dry Facebook update about a healthcare regulation wasn’t that interesting (zero likes). So, step back and figure out how your audience wants to be talked to. Was the information you conveyed a problem—or how you communicated it? Look at your social media networks as if you were the follower. And ask your audience for feedback. Don’t be afraid to engage by soliciting their opinions. It might be the most valuable measuring tool you have.
Be sure to talk to your insurance agent to ensure the policies you have protect you and your business as you build your digital presence. Have questions? #letstalk.