Episode 15 is all about how to market yourself on social media. By subscribing to this podcast, you’ll also get access to our e-Book titled: “Social Media Marketing for Insurance Agents” which goes into greater detail on how to market yourself using social media.
We begin this episode by discussing something exciting that FitBit has in the works to allow users to share their health data with healthcare providers and manage chronic conditions. Then we do a deep-dive into how to market yourself on social media.
First off, what is social media? Sarah and Jessica start by discussing the basics of social media and how to use it successfully to grow your business. This includes how to select your target audience, social media compliance, understanding types of content, creating a social media strategy, social media platforms, and more!
Utilizing multiple social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn is key when marketing yourself online. Our e-Book gives you step-by-step instructions on how to create profiles on each platform and best practices for remaining compliant. Sarah and Jessica touch on all of this in the podcast and more!
Plus, we end on a positive note with our very own Director of Digital Engagement, Jenn Pratt whose team was responsible for putting together the e-Book on this topic. She tells us an inspiring story about how even though all the odds were stacked against her, she overcame adversity to get where she is today.
Sarah: Welcome to Selling SMART with Sarah Smith….
Jessica: And Jessica Vara!
Sarah: Today’s episode is all about how to market yourself on social media. Lucky for you, if you’re listening to this podcast, you also now have access to our e-Book titled: “Social Media Marketing for Insurance Agents” which will go into greater detail on how to market yourself online using social media. We also discuss something exciting that FitBit has in the works and we conclude with a feel good story from our Director of Digital Engagement, Jenn Pratt!
Jessica: So by the time this podcast is out, Fitbit will have launched a brand new service called FitBit Premium!
Sarah: That’s right! This paid service will develop personalized wellness reports allowing users to share their data with their physician, including health data trends and analyses of activity, heart rate, sleep and weight fluctuations.
Jessica: Which is awesome! They also plan to launch a personal coaching product in 2020 for users who are managing chronic conditions like diabetes.
Sarah: And they will have a limited pilot available for that at the end of this year! So big things are happening!
Jessica: Yes, big things for sure! With these new developments, people will be able to export their wearable data from the Fitbit dashboard in order to share it with their provider, although it doesn’t integrate directly into the EMR.
Sarah: The subscription service will also include sleep tracking, customized fitness and diet programs as well as health reports like we mentioned earlier.
Jessica: The premium cost will be $9.99 per month or $79.99 annually and will be included under Fitbit Care which is a one-year-old connected care platform for employers, health plans and health systems.
Sarah: Yeah, so just be aware! This may be something that would be of interest to you or people you know. It sounds like a great tool and just one of the many innovations emerging in the marketplace to help improve healthcare and people’s personal wellness! We got this information from HealthcareDive so make sure to check out their website, they have a lot of great content related to breaking news in the healthcare space.
All Aboard the Knowledge Train:
Sarah: Okay so as we mentioned earlier, today’s episode is all about how to market yourself on social media! If you want a copy the e-book so you can review this information later, we’ve got a link in the description on our podcast website! DOWNLOAD HERE
Jessica: So before we dive into how to market yourself, let’s start with an overview of social media and the insurance industry. We have entered a new era of communication. Gone are the days of the one-way stream of communication from business to customer. Social media now allows for a dialogue between the business and customers. Today’s accessibility to people and brands is unprecedented! Businesses are successfully taking advantage of this new gateway, and using it to reach their audiences. You should too!!
Sarah: But how does an insurance agent like you actually take advantage of this new tool and use it to market yourself? Let’s start out by understanding the basics of social media.
There are many forms of social media and chances are, if you haven’t been hiding under a rock since the dawn of the internet, you have used at least one social media platform in your lifetime, if not many. But the way you use social media as an individual is very different from how you should use it as a business.
Jessica: Understanding how to market yourself on social media really depends on your industry. If you’re listening to this podcast, than there’s a high probability that you are in sales or would like to be. And there’s an even higher probability that you are in Medicare Sales. We all know Medicare is heavily regulated, which means you can’t just post whatever you want on social media to market yourself. You must remain compliant. We will cover compliance a little later in this podcast. But the biggest thing to remember about marketing yourself on social media is that you should use social media to humanize your business, build relationships with potential clients, and spread the word about your business. Ultimately, you are using social media to market yourself and generate leads.
Sarah: If you are in the Medicare space, you know that not all, but a large majority of your clientbase will be made up of seniors. This means your main target audience (individuals who you want to engage with) will be seniors. Okay so you may be thinking, but wait Sarah and Jessica… do seniors even use social media? The answer may surprise you.
While it may seem like individuals 65 & older aren’t using social media, they absolutely are. In fact, Pew Research Center found that 67% of seniors use the internet and 34% of Americans ages 65 & older use Facebook and Twitter. That’s a lot of potential leads right there that you could be missing out on if you aren’t marketing yourself on social media!
Jessica: Unlike millennials, seniors tend to use social media more as an encyclopedia, to gain knowledge on particular topics that interest them. You can tap into this desire by providing Medicare-eligibles (whether they be seniors or not) pertinent information about their health, new technologies in the healthcare space and educational information regarding Medicare.
Okay so now that you have a background in the basics of social media for business, we want to talk about one more very important topic before we discuss how to market yourself on social media and that my friends is COMPLIANCE. DUH DUH DUH.
Sarah: Yeah yeah we know. Compliance is one of those things that no one likes to talk about, one because it tends to be dry and 2 because well if you’ve received a compliance violation you know it’s a big deal. And it’s no different when discussing how to market yourself on social media.
Jessica: There are very strict guidelines that CMS puts on social media marketing and they are written directly into the Medicare Marketing & Communication Guidelines which CMS updates and releases every year. If you want to know more about the guidelines for 2020, we will cover them in more depth in a later episode with our compliance manager. For the purposes of this episode, what you really need to know is that social media is less about marketing and more about communication.
The main thing to note is that you cannot market specific products or aim to steer a beneficiary towards any specific plans or carriers. Keep everything you post on social media generic in nature. Focus more on educating beneficiaries on Medicare-related topics rather than plan-specific details or benefits.
Sarah: Here are some big no-no’s:
- Just because someone likes your post, follows you, or comments on your post DOES NOT mean you have permission to contact.
- You can answer questions via social media, but do not address them beyond the scope of the question or statement
- Never buy social media leads or referrals. This will not give you permission to contact.
And for your reference, we’ve got a ton more information on social media compliance within this awesome e-Book!
Jessica: Okay now that we got that out of the way, let’s get into the fun stuff! Well, we think it’s fun since we do this for a living. But honestly, you can have fun with it as well! How to Market Yourself on social media using Content Marketing! Okay so if we want to go back to the basics, what exactly is content?
Sarah: When talking about social media, content can mean a LOT of things. It refers to things like posts, blog posts, photos, infographics, videos, podcasts, eBooks, articles, webinars, case studies, promotions, etc.
But just knowing all the types of content that you can post on social media won’t really get you anywhere. What’s most important is the quality of the content that you’re posting. Think about how much content you consume each day and start thinking about what brands stand out to you and why?
Jessica: Right, you always want to put yourself in your target audience’s shoes. What do they want to know? What information are they searching for? What would make them want to engage with the content you post? These are all really important questions when thinking about how to market yourself on social media. Its similar to selling right? People like to engage with people they know and like. Similar to sales, if they don’t trust you and they don’t like you, they probably won’t want to engage with your posts and therefore will keep scrolling.
Sarah: Okay so what are some of the most important factors when coming up with a strategy for how to market yourself on social media?
- Know Your Audience. We talked about this a bit earlier. If you’re in the Medicare space, your target audience should be Medicare-eligibles which mostly consists of seniors. So think about what seniors would be looking for when scrolling through social media and what sorts of images, videos and messaging would catch their eye. You can even do some market research to help! Google is your friend people!
- Establish Goals. If you want a more in-depth guide to Setting SMART goals We have a whole podcast on this topic but for now think about what your end goal is. (Access Ep. 5 here). Why are you posting on social media? How many leads do you hope to generate? How often do you want to post? These are some of the questions you should be asking yourself as you set your social media goals.
- Create & Curate Quality Content. All this means is you can either create your own content to post on social media so in other words, write your own blog, create a video explaining something, etc. and/OR you can repost content that already exists! Just make sure you’re giving the proper credit. Give credit where credit is due! There are pro’s and con’s to both so make sure to check out the e-book we’ve provided to dive into greater detail! You can find a deep-dive on pages 21-28 where we discuss tips for creating and curating content, writing resources, design tips, image dimensions for different social media platforms, avoiding plagiarism and more!
- Time Management. Don’t take up too much of your time on social media. It doesn’t have to take all day if you’re doing it right! Just a few tips that may help you stay on track include: creating your content all at once, creating a content calendar, using a content management tool to schedule posts, and posting timely content as needed.
- And Lastly, Review Your Analytics. What’s the point in posting all this awesome content on social media if you never check to see if it’s working? Reporting is incredibly important. You should consistently review your posts to make sure that what you’re posting is in fact generating you leads, generating interest, or hitting whatever goal that you’ve set for yourself related to your social media strategy.
Jessica: Alright now that you know the basics on how to market yourself on social media, let’s talk platforms. How do you know which one to use? Well the answer is, it depends. But we’ve selected four platforms to discuss today that we think best suit the needs for insurance agents like you!
- Let’s start with Facebook – Facebook is great for client engagement. Facebook is probably the most used social media platform by your biggest target audience, seniors. Make sure to read pages 37-42 of the e-Book for a step-by-step guide on how to create a Facebook Business page! You’ll want to separate your personal profile from your business profile because mixing the two can get confusing for your potential clients and privacy of course.
- Twitter – Twitter is great for engaging with clients & colleagues. With Twitter, you’ll want to follow other insurance professionals and engage with content that would get your profile seen by your target audience. You can tweet your own content, reply to others tweets, retweet other people’s content (in other words repost), and like content! Using hashtags is also a great way to gain followers and engagement with your tweets. And if you want a deep dive into how to market yourself on twitter, read pages 44-55 in the e-Book!
- LinkedIn – LinkedIn is great for engaging with colleagues. You could use this for networking purposes with other agents and maybe even get some cool new ideas and sales techniques!
- Forums – Forums are a great way to engage with colleagues as well. You can talk with others about what works, and what doesn’t work. And it’s just another really great place to make connections and share your expertise.
Sarah: Now that you have a solid foundation for how to market yourself on social media, it’s time to get started! Know your audience, set some goals, create profiles on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and begin creating and curating content. Don’t forget to analyze your strategy and make changes based on the results. Social Media is an ever-changing space, so always stay up to date on the newest trends and don’t be afraid to try new things (as long as they’re compliant of course!)
Jessica: This podcast episode just scratches the surface of all the amazing information our Digital Engagement team at Senior Market Advisors has put together for you in our e-Book: Social Media Marketing for Insurance Agents so make sure to download that and get going on developing your own social media strategy to grow your business!
Ending on a Positive Note:
Jessica: Alright we’re here on Ending on a Positive Note and we have our very own Director of Digital Engagement, Jenn Pratt. So thanks for being with us. I know it’s really cool to have you on this one since we’re talking about these social media marketing e-Book that your team put together and how amazing it is.
Jenn: Yeah great to be here!
Jessica: Yeah we’re excited to have you! And you’re going to talk about overcoming adversity right?
Jenn: Yes definitely. Something that really holds true to my heart is – I grew up in a very disadvantaged family – single mother, homeless half my childhood, and I came out of my neighborhood… I was the only one that graduated high school, went to college, and got my MBA as well so I had all the odds stacked against me and I just decided I wanted to have a good life and I didn’t want to get in the same things that the other people in my neighborhood did – you know gangs and drugs. Even though my mom was a single mom, she always pushed education on me and that’s what I’ve done with my boys. And the fact that I went through all that and still came out, as my kids have said, half okay, you know I really love hearing stories of people like me that have overcome a lot of challenges and that’s another way that I’ve always given back to the community.
I’m also in the process of getting a foster child so I can give someone else a good life that would not get it otherwise.
Jessica: Wow that’s amazing! How do your boys feel about that?
Jenn: They’re a little iffy about it but they understand that they have a wonderful life and they want to share that experience too.
Jessica: I’m sure that whole experience is going to teach them a lot and shape them into real great people as well.
Jenn: So we’re super excited and hopefully we’ll get our foster child within the next two months.
Jessica: Do you know which age range or if it’s a girl or boy?
Jenn: We said any age, any nationality, any gender. We’re welcome. They said there is a long waiting list for younger children so we’ll probably end up getting an older child which would be fine. We’re more than welcome to it!
Jessica: Is this something that you’ve always wanted to do?
Jenn: Yes, it’s something that I’ve always wanted to do specifically because I went through all that adversity and I just want to give back to somebody else.
Jessica: That’s amazing, wow! How heartwarming. Thank you so much for sharing that.
Jenn: Your welcome!
Sarah: Want more Medicare sales related content? Follow Senior Market Advisors on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter – links in the description. We post new episodes every other Friday so make sure to follow and like us to stay up to date with all the newest content! If you’re liking our podcast, share our posts with the hashtag SELLING SMART to be entered to win an Amazon Echo Dot!
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Sarah: If you want to learn more about how Senior Market Advisors can be your home for success this AEP, give us a call at 844-334-6066. If you want to be featured on the podcast, visit www.seniormarketadvisors.com/podcast and click on the button that says “Share Your Story.”
Jessica: We appreciate you joining us this week on Selling SMART
Sarah: with Senior Market Advisors!