It’s time to enter the 21st century, even if you have to do it kicking and screaming; and by that, we mean it’s time to get a Twitter account. Wait! Before you start thinking that Twitter is only useful for finding out how Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore’s relationship is going, you need to understand just how great Twitter could be for your insurance agency.
Twitter is one of the quickest and most effective ways of connecting with millions of people and developing a relationship with them. Sure, you aren’t going to become BFFs (uh, that’s Best Friends Forever in case you were wondering), but you can create a personable agency identity and sew the initial seeds of your relationship with millions of people who need insurance.
Of course, if you want to use Twitter to this end then you need to learn how to use it properly. If you don’t then you might waste your time following the wrong people and annoy your followers rather than building relationships with them.
- Find and follow prospects on Twitter: You have to begin on Twitter by getting yourself some friends. This can be more difficult than it seems because there are an unbelievable number of useless Twitter spam accounts you need to avoid. The first step is to go to Twitter.grader.com/location. From there you can search for the top Twitter users in the states you are licensed to sell policies in. These are users who have the most followers and the most pull with those followers so getting your name out among them is important. Using this list, befriend those top users who are individuals or small businesses—anyone who could be a prospect.Another place to locate users in your area is search.twitter.com. When you get to this site, in the search box just type Near:YourLocation. That will bring up a much more comprehensive list than Twitter Grader. Again, choose those people who could be prospects.
- Interact, don’t spam: Many businesses make the mistake of logging in to their Twitter account and just posting advertisements of their service. This is a huge mistake. When people log in to Twitter, they’re not looking for a bunch of commercials—no one likes commercials. Instead, you need to talk to people on Twitter. Respond to comments they have made by hitting the Reply link under their Tweet (a Tweet is a message sent on Twitter), make them happy by Retweeting their links to your followers, and draw them into a new conversation by adding an @TheirUsername somewhere in your Tweet.
- Send out your own links: Bringing your Twitter followers to your website is your main objective—even though the amount of Tweets you send to that effect is low. You can send out the occasional link to your newsletter (we’ve got a new option that allows you to post your insurance email newsletters to your twitter account each mailing), link to your blog posts and link to your website in order to encourage all of these prospects to your site. While there is no definitive formula, for every 5 interactive Tweets you create you can safely send out one link of your own.
After a few weeks, as you build relationships and trust with your Twitter followers, you should see your website traffic begin to improve. If you target your followers appropriately and send out useful information that educates and contains a call to action, you will hopefully begin to see some sales resulting from your efforts.