Among the most popular social media platforms that exist today, there’s one whose userbase is too broad for insurance agencies to ignore – and that is Facebook. However, marketing an agency on this platform comes with its own unique set of do’s and don’ts, compared to say Instagram or LinkedIn.
“Three-quarters of adults in America check Facebook at least once a day,” said Becky Schroeder, chief marketing officer at Insurance Technologies Corporation (ITC). “That’s a pretty significant statistic right there and a case for why you might need to be on Facebook.”
Notably, the platform is being used by adults of all ages. While you may have heard that millennials or Gen Zs aren’t really using it – and they may not be using it as much – there’s a fairly even spread of users from most age groups present on Facebook. Schroeder added that Facebook is the most popular social media platform for seniors as well as people in rural areas, so if an insurance agency is trying to target either of those groups, this makes Facebook an even better channel to focus on.
The benefits of insurance agencies making full use of Facebook include staying connected with their existing clients, reaching prospects, as well as supporting their local communities.
“If you’re an agency that is focused on marketing yourself as a local business, as someone who supports your local community, a great way of doing that is on Facebook,” said Schroeder.
However, something to avoid with this channel is making Facebook the hub of all the business’s marketing because by doing so, an agency is allowing someone else to control the center of all their marketing.
“While Facebook is likely not going away, Facebook can do what Facebook wants with your page,” explained Schroeder. “If they want to limit your reach so you start buying ads to get more visibility, they can do that so that’s the reason why you want to make sure you have a really good website for your insurance agency. That [then] becomes a hub and Facebook is just another channel to have a conversation with your audience.”
Schroeder also advises that agencies make their profiles as complete as possible, with a profile picture, a cover photo, a completed ‘About’ section, hours and an address, and the URL to the website.
An incomplete profile can be frustrating for anybody who’s trying to find the business or find out more about it, as is a page that doesn’t have a ton of posts on it.
“A neglected page is far worse than having no page at all, so you want to figure out a cadence for posting on Facebook that you can maintain and hold yourself accountable to,” Schroeder continued. “That might be something that you as an agency owner can outsource to a marketing firm or vendor, or if you have somebody on staff who is really passionate about using social media, in terms of promoting the agency and their business, let them have the autonomy and control over publishing content.”
Posting every few months, or once a year, or posting frequently for some time and then not at all can hurt an agency’s ultimate engagement. If anybody visits the business’s page to follow it and sees that the agency hasn’t posted in several years, they may reconsider following that page.
As for the content that an agency is sharing, leaders should focus on posts that the audience will find valuable. This doesn’t mean posts that are always insurance-related.
“Share news or information about the community so that your audience sees you as a resource,” said Schroeder. “What you don’t want to do with content on social media is make it all about you or make it a hard sell. Using Facebook or any social media as a potential source of sales is possible, but you have to do the hard work first of building the audience and earning their trust before you do any sort of sales pitch or try to use it as lead generation.”
On the other hand, when an agency is buying advertising on Facebook, they want to make sure that they’re identifying the correct audience to target with ads and setting a budget correctly so they don’t accidentally end up overspending. Schroeder warns that this can be easy to do in the click-to-pay model that Facebook uses.
Read more: Why agents should ‘like’ Instagram
“You also want to make sure Facebook has a pixel that you can put on your website so you can track any conversions you get through those ads,” she said, adding, “Facebook advertising is not something that you want to set up and forget. You want to be checking it regularly to see how it’s performing so you can adjust your target audience if you need to, your ad copy if you need to, or your spend according to how it’s performing and what your goals are.”
ITC has found a few tried-and-true posts that tend to encourage more audience engagement, and those are images and graphics that involve and spotlight its team.
“A blog post about how to save money on your insurance policy may not be as engaging as something that shows a book club-lunch club or something from your insurance agency that you do once a month,” said Schroeder. “What I’ve definitely seen work for us are the posts that show the people and personalities behind the brand.”