Amy McIlwain of Financial Social Media will again present attendees with tips on the best ways to leverage their businesses using social media at the NAILBA 33 conference in Hollywood, Fl., on Friday, Nov. 21, 2014 at 11 a.m. Here are some of the strategies and insights McIlwain shared at last year’s meeting:
Many in the insurance industry have been slow to adapt to the world of social media due to compliance concerns, skepticism and fear of the unknown. But more industry professionals are warming up to the idea each day as the potential benefits become harder to ignore.
Amy McIlwain, president and CEO of Financial Social Media, has been around the industry long enough to see the change firsthand. During a breakout session at NAILBA 32 in Dallas titled “Social Media — Back to Basics”, McIlwain explained how insurance professionals can overcome their concerns and most effectively use the top social media sites to grow their businesses.
What is social media and why should you care?
“Social media is fundamentally changing the way we communicate,” she explained. But what is social media? It’s not the networks themselves — Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn — but the conversations that take place on these networks, she said. It’s a dynamic environment that changes every day.
Social media has altered the way businesses work because it levels the playing field, allowing the smallest business to share equal footing with the largest. It also provides communication without borders, allowing people and businesses to contact anyone, according to McIlwain.
And social media is word of mouth on steroids. People are already talking about you and your brand on social media, McIlwain warned. “You have no say unless you join the conversation. They’re listening to someone — shouldn’t it be you?”
The session provided a breakdown of each social media platform and explained how it can best be used.
LinkedIn is the golf course of social media, McIlwain explained. People are there for business networking purposes. Many advisors say, “Social media isn’t working. I have a LinkedIn profile but it’s not doing anything.” But according to McIlwain, simply creating an account is like going to a tradeshow and not talking to anyone. You need to engage.
One way to do so is simply by ensuring you have a complete profile. “If you’re at a tradeshow,” McIlwain said, “you don’t want to be the booth in a corner with just a little table tent up. You want to have dynamic displays and interactive media. You want to be doing the same thing with your LinkedIn profile. Complete your profile, and add images and videos.”