Keep Your Ears Open: Practice Social Listening

“I just heard that our agency is not going to offer policies anymore for homeowners whose houses are located within 1,000 feet of the ocean,” posted one woman to her social media account recently. “Anybody have any ideas?” The replies poured in almost immediately from friends and business associates, offering advice that ranged from phone numbers of brokers to recommendations for various direct insurers to contact. This was a fairly straightforward situation, but sometimes the lines aren’t so well drawn–and those who want to make the most of their insurance agency marketing plans have to turn up the volume on their listening skills to make an impact.

So-called productive listening is a proactive behavior and a lost art. It’s also one of the most under-utilized tools in your marketing wheelhouse. Far too frequently, agencies have let themselves get lulled into a false sense of complacency in terms of monitoring their social media streams as a means of connecting with their prospects and clients. Rather than simply watching the posts for someone to ask a question that requires a customer service response or making a negative comment that warrants a public reply or correction with evidence to the contrary, active social listening requires firms to take a proactive stance in staying poised to react to people who mention what amounts to the need for what you do–obliquely or directly–as those mentions are basically sales and marketing opportunities in disguise.

Make it personal

Engage your audience from the very beginning by building your company story and team pages online. People may rely on machines more than ever before, so perhaps that’s why they still crave a seemingly personal, customized connection whenever possible. They want to support something they have a personal connection with, not just the company and the product but their mission and their philosophy must jibe with the customer’s point of view. That’s why your “About Us” section has to be compelling and draw in people with engaging photos of your team that reflect your culture, your business personality, and make consumers feel like they fit in with want you represent.

When well performed, insurance agency marketing is somewhere between science and art. Make your efforts for your own firm sing by plugging in at every level, and making sure that when prospects come to view what you have to offer, you draw them in with an attractive, open door.