Monetizing social media
Marketing-minded agents are hanging out their shingles in Community 2.0
By Tim Sawyer
Before Facebook, MySpace was adding users every three seconds. That’s faster than the birth rate in this country. A baby is born in the United States every eight seconds. Think about that for a moment.
The world has changed. And it has changed for the better.
The modern consumer lives online in a world of virtual communities—Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and other social networks.
The recent shift in the market, combined with the change in the way consumers find and choose an agent, has created an incredible opportunity for innovative agencies. And agents across the country are discovering the economic potential of the fastest growing segment of the Internet.
A small percentage of agents has done what most agencies can only dream of: embraced this new market dynamic and found a way to actually make money from it. These are the agents who get up every day and run to their office. They can’t wait to meet the challenges of a new day.
In short, they are psyched. Why? Because every day that this market lingers, and every day that their competition delays, they are gaining customers and increasing market share.
The best e-agents in the country have tapped into the market by creating social networks of their own. They have developed strategies to put their agency’s Web site at the center of the local community, a true hub of commerce. By linking local consumers with local businesses, they have taken back the community and created a way for both businesses and consumers to interact with each other. By the way, these savvy marketers also offer insurance. It’s an incredible win-win scenario for everyone.
Twenty years ago, local agents played an important role in the community, but they did so in a different way. They invested their time in local clubs and activities—Rotary, coaching, etc. They advertised on billboards and in the Yellow Pages. The referrals kept coming and the money came with it.
The community no longer functions the way it did 20 years ago. However, Community version 2.0 is alive and thriving on the Internet.
There are many examples of agencies like Paradiso Financial & Insurance Services, LLC (www.paradisoinsurance.com), Rough Notes magazine’s Marketing Agency of the Month in August 2009, that have found a way to put themselves at the center of the new community and, equally important, monetize their efforts.
Consumers want more than risk mitigation and low premiums; they want value. The best e-agents know how to deliver this value and they know how to turn that good will into money. Growing numbers of agents across the country are falling back in love with their agency and their clients. Each day offers new opportunities to innovate, have fun and win market share.
Tim Sawyer is president of Astonish Results, a digital marketing firm based in Rhode Island. He has trained hundreds of insurance professionals in every aspect of the business with a focus on leadership, digital marketing, and best sales practices.