What was once a hot new trend has since become a mainstay that isn’t to be ignored. Social media is used by nearly three-quarters of all adults, according to a poll from the Pew Internet Project. As such, it is essential that insurance producer leverage social media, and do so properly.
Jamie Cox, managing partner of Harris Financial Group, said social media is “the easiest prospecting tool” he’s ever worked with, estimating that he has landed as many as 50 new clients through its use.
Take LinkedIn, for instance. Extremely different from its more social counterparts, this networking platform lends itself to professionals. While many insurance specialists have a profile on LinkedIn, Cox encourages them to dig a little deeper to use the platform to its fullest potential. He suggests looking for specific groups that with similar interests or professional experience and use them for outreach.
“You can go to the group and write a post offering your thoughts about the unique nature of their particular situation,” Cox explained. “The most important thing is to offer people something they can actually use – information about the company that manages their pension plan, or how their 401(k) works.”
While such contacts are intended to be informal, Cox’s experience dictates that these people may soon reach out to ask him questions, and may evolve into clients.
LinkedIn also recently debuted a new publishing platform, providing users with a way to publish original content that is then attached to their profile. This allows for a whole new platform to share their expertise and promote themselves as a thought leader in their field.
Concerns on Facebook
When it comes to sheer numbers, Facebook is far and away the biggest player in the social media game, with 71 percent of adults who are on the Internet using the site, according to the Pew poll. However, Josh Brown, a financial advisor based in New York, cautions insurance professionals to be careful with how they approach a Facebook page.
“For advisors who don’t want to have a blog, Facebook can be a place to share occasional longer-form commentary,” Brown explained. “But if you’re not careful, you’ll have your personal and professional life getting all mixed up on Facebook…”
There are also concerns regarding compliance. According to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, advisors need to have a social media policy in place, including supervisory procedures and an archiving system. This will help protect advisors, their firms and their clients.