With more people looking to gather quotes online or working with operators at a call center, it’s challenging to highlight the advantages of having a local agent working face-to-face with prospects and clients.
Although our world is moving toward digital communication, customers still want to buy insurance from people that they know, like and trust. Agents can use social media as a tool to build relationships, provide value and ultimately create a community that may lead to new business and satisfied customers.
Facebook, with its 1.5 billion users (as of the third quarter 2015), has used its database to not only connect people with others, but also to connect people with businesses. Although Facebook is still a great tool to reach potential customers, organic reach is more difficult in 2016 than it was in 2012 because of an algorithm that filters content on users’ news feeds. Your agency may post something on Facebook, but it may not show up on your audience’s feed because of Facebook’s design. More exposure on the platform comes at a premium by paying to run ads or “boost” posts.
I’ve used social media in my marketing efforts for the past three years, and one app that I’ve been paying attention to that is beginning to gain traction, and will continue gain attention, is Snapchat. The insurance agents who understand how to use Snapchat to provide value to customers and prospects will be the agents who reap the rewards of social media in the next two to three years.
Snapchat is a mobile app that allows users to share videos, pictures and messages both individually or to a group of people. The app has more than 100 million monthly active users and almost 70 percent of those users are under the age of 35. If you’re completely unfamiliar with the app, here’s a video that will show you how to use it.
I’ve personally used Snapchat for business purposes, and have set appointments with the app that led to sales.
Here are 11 practical techniques that insurance agents can use to do the same:
Snapchat allows you to record 10-second videos at a time.
Do you have clients who love working with you? Ask if they’d be willing to share a testimonial with your followers on Snapchat.
What’s nice about the Snapchat video is that it comes across authentically and your clients’ testimonials won’t sound scripted or rehearsed, which will gain more credibility.
This Snapchat shows a client how to save money on insurance premiums. (Photo: Louis Lee)
Show before and after pictures
As insurance agents, we’re familiar with the minute changes that can make a large impact on our clients’ policies.
If you’re working with a client and see something that can make a big difference, share that with your followers.
This will help people learn more about their own policies and will also showcase your knowledge on specific details of your products.
Give weekly tips
We have tips and tricks to get the most out of an insurance policy, and your followers would benefit greatly from hearing about them.
Get creative with something similar to an “Insurance Tips Tuesday”: Every Tuesday you use Snapchat to share tips and information that the public is unfamiliar with.
This not only provides value, but it also generates consist engagement with your followers.
Use Snapchat’s messaging feature
Snapchat goes beyond pictures and videos.
It also allows people to message each other quickly and it’s a way to communicate that stands out from the crowd.
Most insurance agents communicate via email, but you’ll be able to differentiate yourself by messaging on Snapchat, an unorthodox approach that not many others in the industry are doing.
(Screenshot: Louis Lee)
Show what’s not covered
Insurance is a product that covers pure risks that are sudden and accidental.
Unfortunately the things that are between “sudden” and “accidental” have many different variables, which creates a lot of gray areas when it comes to what’s covered and what’s not.
Snapchat should not be used when dealing with a claim, but you may be able to provide knowledge to your followers before a claim happens by sharing with them what would not be a covered peril.
Think about the claims you’ve come across in past years that have been rejected. Describe similar cases to your followers and explain why a similar claim would be rejected and what they can do instead.
For example, you could be on the way to work and come across a building that has a damaged roof after wear and tear, and you’ve had a client who submitted the same type of claim. Take a snap of the roof and send it out to your followers explaining to them that this would be something not covered by insurance.
Use it for market research
Once you have a few followers that engage with you regularly, use Snapchat as an opportunity to gain information on the market.
Ask your followers such questions such as, “What’s the most difficult thing about your insurance?” or “Have you had the same agent for a while? If so, what do you like most about their service?”