For a lot of site owners, the lure of the big numbers being bandied about around social media is simply mouth watering… for example:
These are stats taken from their own corporate pages…
As you can see it is easy to see the lure of these big numbers. But should you really care? I would argue no, you shouldn’t.
As insurers and brokers, you will have target audience for your products and using social media should be more about reaching those target audiences, which are, buried quite deep in each of these platforms.
So how do we reach them? Here are a few ways to drill down and find pockets of potential customers who have attached themselves to sub communities within the platform/s that you can reach out to and engage with.
There are a number of different ways within Facebook to find your customers. The main two that I want to share here are Groups and Pages. There will be a large number of Groups on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/browsegroups/) that you can search for. These are simply Forums within Facebook for likeminded people to join and engage.
So, if you are a landlord insurer you could look for groups of property investors (We saw a few groups with over 2,000 members in each). If you are classic car insurer – you can find classic car enthusiasts (Again we saw lots of classic car groups on Facebook). You can join these groups as an individual and then start interacting with the group. NOT HARD SELLING, but being engaging and trying to help. Which is good advice for any forum setting.
You could also reach out to people who like a particular page (https://www.facebook.com/pages) – be it a competitor or related product provider.
You can also take this one step further if you have an advertising budget and advertise on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/ads) directly targeting these groups and page followers. In this way your actual advertisement can be presented to people based on the groups they like, the pages they follow or something they have mentioned in their interests or hobbies. Facebook advertising is very, very powerful if you understand whom your customer is, Facebook gives you the ability to advertise to them, and is most cases more cheaply than Google. You have a vast array of options where you can drive people to your website, drive them internally in Facebook to your company page or your own group. Have them download your mobile app.
Depending on what works best for your business, there will be an option of Facebook to advertise directly at your target group.
With their sheer number of members, drilling down in Twitter to find your potential client basis is best done via advertising.
Using Twitter you can easily find people talking about your products or your competitors’ products. In this way, you can reach out to them via advertising or even directly via twitter message to introduce your products.
Twitter search (https://twitter.com/search-advanced) shows live results so you can see, in real time, people talking about things related to your business.
Using the advanced search you can even look for positive or negative statements around a term. Talk about a way to easily find your competitors’ disgruntled customers….
Using a tool such as Tweetdeck (http://tweetdeck.twitter.com) you can have a browser screen full of different searches streaming in real time around the products, services or industries you serve.
Spending time to engage and connect could be a great way to attract more business from Twitter. Again this is not a hard sell but maybe sharing insights, advice or links to articles that you have written to help people with information and answers to questions.
Looking at questions on Twitter can give you a huge opportunity to create very detailed and up to date FAQs. This can then be shared via Twitter in response to questions. In this way, you are helping people with their questions and then they could be more likely to visit your site and finds out more about your business.
While LinkedIn is primarily B2B, there are still a large number of sub communities in the form of Groups that you can join and connect with. You can also find groups of people related to the industries your products are suitable for. Boat Insurer? Maybe there is a boat manufacturers group (There is with 878 members). Or a marina and boat builders group (Oh yes – 4599 members!)
Searching LinkedIn Groups will open up a large number of possible communities, people and companies you can reach out to. Even with a free LinkedIn account you can join up to 50 groups, and if you need to, you can have other staff members join other groups so you spread the ability interact.
LinkedIn advertising (https://www.linkedin.com/ads/) is also an option but from our experience this works best as a way to get people to sign up to a mailing list in return for providing a free useful guide on a relevant topic for the prospect. It is not really suitable for a hard sell as while it is a business community, the advertisement itself is fairly small and hard to convey a selling context.
As you can see, while there are a vast number of people on these platforms, it is only by mining deep into these platforms that you will find the true benefits, where relevance rather than actual possible numbers is more important.
Social media does give you a fantastic opportunity to find your customers in a safe environment where they feel more comfortable, as they are in more in control of the interaction with you, and the key is you are engaging not selling.
This is only three platforms, clearly there are a large number of other platform options. Find what is most suitable for your business and use those. It could be a more visual social media platform such as Pinterest or Instagram. Or it could be Video so Youtube or Vimeo could be an option.
Jason Hulott is Business Development Director at Digital Marketing Specialists, Speedie Consultants. He is Google Partner certified. His role is to identify and implement traffic generating and revenue increasing ideas for our client base.