As of this writing, Mutual of Omaha has nearly 65,000 Facebook followers. MetLife has nearly 24,000 Twitter followers. GEICO has nearly 156,000 Google+ followers.
So what sort of numbers can you anticipate when you launch your agency’s social media accounts—or recommit to social media marketing gone stagnant?
Well, not to put it too bluntly—you definitely shouldn’t be expecting numbers like those above.
At least not right away (hey, “realistic” doesn’t have to mean “pessimistic!”)
Seriously, though: there are a number of reasons why your followers are bound to be far fewer than the handful of insurance companies we’ve mentioned here—and a number of reasons why it will take you time to build even a small following.
- New ventures take time. A new agency doesn’t launch with hundreds of clients, and an agency’s new social media account isn’t going to launch with hundreds of followers.
- It can be more challenging for B2B brands to build large social media followings than it is for consumer brands. (An important point regarding Facebook: if another corporate Facebook Page Likes your agency’s Page, that number will not be included in your Facebook followers; only individuals—Facebook Profiles—that Like your page are included.)
- Brands that are already being talked about have an easier time building a social media following than brands that are not. Similarly, companies in fields that may pop up in conversation—food or entertainment, for instance—have an easier time than companies in other fields.
Does that mean you shouldn’t even bother? Far from it! Use every tool at your disposal to build your social media following—but make sure you are building a real following, not just increasing your numbers.
- Social media is an excellent way to stay connected with existing clients, and strengthen your relationship. Include links to your social media accounts in every email you send out, make sure those links are prominent on your website, and consider an email campaign telling existing clients how they can connect with you on social media.
- Targeting a specific industry for business insurance packages? Begin interacting with companies in that field on your social media platforms, Liking and Sharing posts and commenting when you have something to add to the conversation. Proper use of hashtags (especially powerful on Twitter and Google+) can help draw new followers to you. And, again, an email campaign to your target industry can alert them to your social media presence as well as to the great service you offer.
- Content, content, content. If you don’t offer great content on your social media platforms, it’s going to be very tough indeed to build a following.
It will take time to build your numbers on social media platforms—and those numbers may never be in quadruple digits for your agency. But as long as you’re making real connections with people, offering valuable content, and showcasing your knowledge, expertise, and quality service, the current and prospective clients you connect with will be followers who stay with you—virtually and in real life.