Last week, we looked at several general ideas about social media that can help agents start off on the right foot, including these five key selling points:
- Social media is excellent for soft-sell marketing
- It’s a tool that naturally combines traditional business and personal environments
- It’s incredibly important for building online clout
- It’s a great way to build and maintain client relationships
- Social media becomes more valuable the older you are
This week, I want to introduce additional online tools that will help you target your market. Market research is essential to selling any product, and it is even more valuable in the mammoth online market. Before investing a significant amount of time and energy into social media, it pays to know where your customers are, so that you can choose which social environment will give you the greatest return. These three steps will set you up for success.
1. Target your market with tools that analyze consumers.
For a long time, companies like Nielsen controlled market research, charging large companies a lot of money for their information. Today, the world of marketing is far more egalitarian. Even small insurance agencies can use a variety of cheap and inexpensive tools to find customers. It’s imperative to know if your customers use email, Facebook or Twitter before spending hours establishing and using social media accounts.
The following tools will target your market online:
What Your Peers Are Reading
Social Mention: Social Mention tracks social media trends in real time. Simply type in a word or two for analysis and tell it to search. The advantage of Social Mention is that it allows you to track not only Facebook and Twitter activity, but also blogs, microblogs, networks, comments, news and images. A broader search like this can help a company design and allocate resources far beyond social media.
Kurrently.com:Kurrently searches Facebook and Twitter, the two largest social networks. The advantage to Kurrently is quick comparative analysis:It searches in real time. The disadvantage is that this tool does not handle complex word searches well. However, Kurrently is an excellent tool for starting social media analysis. It is simple to use and easy to interpret.
HowSociable: How Sociable tracks online “brand magnitude.” In other words, it measures how often certain words and search terms show up in different places on the web. This tool is designed to track names and brands, and it is helpful for gauging how and where certain insurance products or companies are broadcasting themselves on the Web.
2. Upgrade your knowledge with the right services. Services are tools plus a lot more. These are usually fairly inexpensive at the lowest level, rather than free.