Insurance carriers are encouraged to invest in social media management software and update social media policies as often as necessary to provide agents with the confidence to be the face of well-known insurance brands. (ALM Media LLC) Insurance carriers are encouraged to invest in social media management software and update social media policies as often as necessary to provide agents with the confidence to be the face of well-known insurance brands. (ALM Media LLC)

According to a recent Aon Programs survey, insurance agents are betting on social media to give them the biggest marketing lift this year. In fact, of the 33% of agents expecting a boost from social media, 41% expect Facebook and 33% expect LinkedIn to be their top performing platforms.

As agents increase their reliance on social media to build their brands and connect with customers, there are four social strategies that they should tap to gain the best ROI.

#1: Take a ‘less is more’ approach

While agents should be active on social media platforms, it is equally important to focus on quality content over quantity. No one likes an over-poster who is just cranking out content for the sake of it without a clear message. Agents should make sure that every post they share is relevant to their audience.

Along the same lines, agents should concentrate posting on their top-performing platforms. You don’t want to bite off more than you can chew. And why would you need a YouTube channel if your clients and prospects aren’t on YouTube? Being targeted in your social strategy is the way to go to drive the best results.

#2: Create snackable content

Would you read a 10 sentence social media post? How about a five-sentence social media post? We are living in an era overloaded with digital media and it can be overwhelming. So, how do agents combat digital fatigue on their business platforms? Keep posts snackable!

Delivering a short but impactful message will up your chances of your post being read — and well-received. And remember, the bite-sized rule applies to all formats — from visuals and motion graphics to text. If you want to give your followers the option to dig deeper on a topic, provide them with a link to a longer-form piece.

#3: Let video take center stage

If you haven’t already jumped on the video bandwagon, start making your plans! Whether it be on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter videos are the format of choice these days. In fact, according to HubSpot, 72% of customers would rather learn about a product or service by way of video. Often times when we see a face and hear a voice delivering a message it feels more personal and can be more appealing than one-dimensional visuals or text.

And the best part is that video is so easy to create today — put together a few talking points, find a professional backdrop and hit record on your smartphone or tablet. Just remember to keep it short. For the most part, social media videos should remain in the safe range of 30 to 90 seconds.

#4: Be authentic

If there has ever been a time for authenticity, it is now. Professionals need to be able to trust the brands they work with and even those who they like and follow. If agents commit to transparency in their social media strategy, they’ll build deeper relationships with their network— and they’ll even build their business. According to Cohn & Wolfe’s most recent Authentic 100, “91% of consumers are willing to reward a brand for its authenticity with a purchase, investment, endorsement, or something similar”.

So how do you maintain an authentic voice on social media? Social media started out, well, social! Personalizing your content with showing your team’s personality helps to boost authenticity. One way you can do this is by using authentic photos with your posts. Another way is by pairing self-promotion with expressing gratitude to others. People want to know that there are real people behind the like button. On that note, it is sometimes better not to comment on a sensitive matter if you can’t confidently back yourself on the positive side of the issue.

Social media is ever-changing but these four tips for better ROI never go out of style. By merging these foundational basics with trending topics and tactics, you’ll be on the right path to building social relationships that garner real business results.

Lex Daniele is the assistant vice president of marketing at Aon Programs in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania and leads the development of broker-centric marketing strategies while also helping individuals execute multichannel digital campaigns. Lex can be reached at [email protected].

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