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For the sake of social

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“Emails should be kept to five lines.”
“Social sellers are more successful.”
“There is no longer such a thing as undivided attention.”

These were the words of Betsy Hubbard and Dr. Debra Jasper at the recent LIMRA Social Media for Financial Services conference in San Francisco. Hubbard and Jasper were there to teach us all how to communicate more effectively in a world of digital distractions and shortened attention spans.

The duo knows a thing or two about catching — and keeping — the attention of people online. Both former Ohio State professors, they joined forces three years ago to start Mindset Digital, a social media training organization that focuses on helping those in various industries get their social media messages heard.

The majority of the conference focused on how agents and advisors can better use social to build their brand, attract new clients and engage their audience. And though many of you are already successfully using social media to do just this, the speakers at the event stressed that everyone can do it much more effectively.

Chris Brogan, author and social media marketing maven, asked the audience, “If people can buy online to replace you, what are you doing that’s irreplaceable?” He said that agents and advisors should remember to equip prospects and clients via social channels, instead of trying to sell to them. He said those in the industry should focus on five things when engaging others via social media: being frictionless, being nimble, being personable, offering next-level service and providing a sense of belonging.

We are, after all, in an industry that, unlike others, requires emotion and a skill of relating to others and forming close relationships.

“I would argue, for your firms, you’ve never needed advisors more,” said Clara Shih, founder of Hearsay Social. “The personal trust and relationship that still comes by spending time with someone has become even more valuable. In a time when everyone’s on their phone, there’s a premium for human attention.”

Moral of the story? The role of life insurance agent isn’t an easy one, but one that’s needed. It’s also one that can be improved through the use of social media and self-promotion via digital marketing.

You’re in the business of helping people. Be proud of that, and shout it from the rooftop (or, for the sake of social, from your business’s Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages).