In an age where ‘Content is King’ and it’s expected that companies all have social media accounts it can get a bit stressful in keeping up with it all. These days companies are expected to have a Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn account at the very least. And these days it’s normal to even cater to younger audiences with Snapchat, Instagram and YouTube.
But how does anyone working in the busy insurance or brokerage sector keep tabs of all these accounts and ensure that they are up to date with interesting, relevant content?
Well, these days many companies (particularly large and medium sized ones) will have hired entire teams dedicated to monitoring their social media pages, generating content and sharing other items on them such as videos, blog posts, memes and images.
However, when it comes to individuals and smaller companies there are often a lack of resources when it comes to monitoring and providing social media content and it’s not easy to constantly think about new content to churn out every day to keep audiences and clients entertained.
But those that do have a strong social media presence often set themselves apart and can end up keeping a head of the competition and gaining more and new clients. Constant engagement is also what drives their success.
If your company is struggling to stay ahead with its presence on social media here are some tips for maintaining them:
- Do a clean-up:Yes, you heard right! One of the best ways to start any project is often to take stock of everything you’ve done or what you have, do a spring clean and do away with things that aren’t needed – pretty much the same way in which you would clean your own house. So how do you ‘clean up’ in the social media world? This would involve the tedious task of going through your posts and looking at which ones haven’t done so well and getting rid of them. Take note of the ones that have done well and try and find the reason why they’ve done so well and see if you can emulate the same success again. It also pays to have a look at your followers to see if you can do a spring clean there. Unfriend and unfollow people and companies that are no longer useful to follow and that simply clutter up your feeds with information that isn’t relevant. If this task is too big to handle alone there are sites that you could use to help in this task, including Tweepi and or the Crowdfire app. Tweepi is a social media management tool that helps you in analyzing and managing your Twitter followers. It can also extract and analyse personal data from your Twitter account. You can alternatively use Crowdfire, another social media management tool, to clean and grow both your Twitter and Instagram accounts with ease. Obviously make sure you note these tools’ terms and conditions and any associated costs. There’s often a free version but with Crowdfire, for instance, there is a premium version which costs $49.99 (£38.28) per month.
- Identify your goals and objectives:It helps to have a clear plan and goal in mind. Do you, for example, want to gain another 1,000 followers on Facebook in six months’ time? What do you need to do to achieve that? What is your budget to market your business on the various social media platforms? What do you have to set in place? Do you have the right expertise? Do you have accounts that are right for the type of audience you want to attract? Answering these types of questions and having a strategy in place to achieve these goals are essential if you want to grow your audience/following.
- Get help with scheduling your posts:If you don’t have the time to schedule your posts there are ways around this. Time is precious and time, as they say, is money. If you post often then it’s important to make use of sites that can help you with this. This includes the likes of HootSuite and Buffer. They can help you upload posts to Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Facebook. You can do this in advance. Create a time in your diary when its quiet – perhaps on the first Friday of the month and take some time to input the copy into HootSuite (or the tool you wish to use) and let the site do the rest of the work while you get on with what you do best. These platforms aren’t free, particularly if you want to make use of them for your business. With HootSuite, for instance, expect to pay anything from £99 to £520 per month depending on what plan you need. The more social media profiles you need to populate the more you can expect to pay.
- Find and follow the right influencers:We’re not saying that you need to follow Kim Kardashian to get ahead. And it’s likely she won’t pay attention or even notice an insurance company or brokerage is following her on Twitter (unless of course she needs to get specific cover for her legs) so following a media personality like her or any other major celebrity probably won’t be of much use. What you want to do is find influencers that are relevant to and important in your industry. Again, there are tools that can help with this, including Social Mention and SmashFuse. Alternatively, you can use the search function in the social media accounts that you have to find hashtags or the influencers that you are keen on following.
- Dedicate time to managing your social media accounts:Reading feeds, following influencers and choosing memes that will engage with your audience can be all encompassing and distracting. You could spend hours on this and it could really cut into your work time and take you away from tasks that are more vital for you and your organization. It’s important that you maintain some sort of discipline and dedicate a fixed amount of time to social media and engaging with your followers and influencers. Once you’re done, you should switch any alerts off. It may be hard to do this for the first couple of days but once you get into a routine it will be easier. Make sure you also do posts and comments at a regular time so that your audience come to expect to hear from you at a certain point in time. Consistency can be key in maintaining a good social media presence and following.
- Make sure you respond to your audience:It’s also important to schedule time to answer any questions that you may get from your followers. They may be related to your products or service so it’s vital to keep on top of this. They may not always have questions, but they may interact with you by making a statement on one of your posts or memes. Social media also opens the door to your customers’ complaints. It may be an uncomfortable exercise, but it’s vital to respond to complaints and concerns. With social media you have to take the good with the bad. Ignoring complaints on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram etc., is probably one of the worst things you can do.
- Let your audience know that you have social media accounts:It sounds silly but lots of companies don’t have social media icons on their websites even though they have a presence on social media. It’s a small thing to do but it’s amazing how a little thing like social media icons add some professionalism and give your followers an easy ‘in’ to your world. Don’t be afraid to let everyone know you have a social media account. Of course, you shouldn’t spam your friends, colleagues and clients but a friendly reminder in your email signature, for instance, should suffice.
- Don’t be afraid to hire experts:If it all seems a bit much to keep on top of it may help to hire experts that can do all of the social media networking for you or provide you with advice on how to streamline it all.
Back in the 80s it was a simple case of advertising your product on a billboard or taking out one on the Yellow Pages or local newspapers and waiting for customers to come to you. But now it’s not so simple. Just having a website and hoping that people find it will get you nowhere. Having the best insurance products in the world will not help if nobody knows anything about them or your business.
At SchemeServe we can provide you with content, track your results and provide tweaks to your current offerings. We can help with the overall strategy, the execution or even both.
If you want to talk to SchemeServe about your social media needs, simply give us a call and we can help you with you put together a robust social media plan and strategy.