Last month, I shared five tips for using social media to promote an employee benefit agency with no marketing budget and minimal time to invest. Whether you are just starting out, or you want to expand your existing marketing plan for 2016, social media can be a fun and cost-effective way to promote your agency. Here are five more ideas you may not have considered yet:

1) Tag other people and companies in your posts. Tagging other people and companies in your posts (linking to their social media pages) is a powerful way to ensure that your posts have a reach beyond your followers. On some social media platforms, tagging means that your post will be visible not only to your followers, but to the followers of the people or companies you tagged. Also, if you are sharing something positive about the people or companies you are tagging — a compliment, congratulations, an acknowledgement of excellent service — that person or company is likely to re-post your content by liking, sharing or re-tweeting it, which instantly expands your audience and can earn you new followers.

Also see:5 tips for using social media to build your agency.”

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2) Use social media as a tool for promoting content. When I first started using social media for my agency, my brief posts were my content, and I would get discouraged if they didn’t get shared, liked or re-posted. I really had trouble seeing the value in maintaining my social media presence. Then I started creating separate, more meaningful content like one-sheets, case studies and blog posts, and using my social media channels to promote that content. That was a turning point for me, because the things I was posting had value to my clients, prospects and strategic partners. I got more traction and social media became a much more interactive and fun experience for me.

3) Find a social media mentor. If social media is new to you, find a mentor who is using social media in a way that you admire. Follow them, see how often they post, and note the content that you find interesting. See how other people interact with them via comments, shares, likes, etc. You could even reach out to them and ask how they built their social media presence. I have made some great friends by reaching out to people I admire and asking for their advice.

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If social media is new to you, find a mentor who is using social media in a way that you admire.

4) Make sure your contact information is easily accessible and up to date. Every social media channel is a sales tool, and people who are interested in working with you should be able to easily find your contact information and get in touch with you. Make sure your profile is up to date with a phone number, professional email address and website. This seems to be a particular issue on LinkedIn, where I often see profiles that have outdated contact information, personal email addresses, or no contact information at all.

5) Send handwritten notes. I think of handwritten notecards as social media because they are a unique, personal and thoughtful way to connect with people. (Even more impactful if you include a Starbucks gift card or a lottery scratcher to say thank you for a referral or great service.) I also send Happy New Year cards with handwritten notes to my contacts at the start of the year. This year, I was delighted when one of my contacts posted a photo of my card on LinkedIn and shared it with his network. Social media at its best!

Also see:EBA’s 2016 Rising Star brokers embrace the advantages of youth.”

The world of social media is enormous and constantly evolving, but it is possible to develop a focused strategy that only requires a few minutes of attention each day. By using these tips, I have created an agency presence and a brand that reflects my personality and values. Social media continues to be a big part of my strategic plan for 2016. Use these tips to create a social media plan for your agency, and remember to stay positive and have fun with it.

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Amy Evans

Amy Evans

Evans is president of Colibri Insurance Services, an employee benefit insurance agency that helps small businesses (up to 100 employees) design and execute comprehensive and cost-effective employee benefit strategies.