September 20, 2022

4 Ways to Modernize Insurance Sales by Adopting Social Selling

The insurance industry is built on — and amazing at! — assessing risk. But the industry’s risk aversion has put insurance marketers between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, modern customer expectations mean agents need to leverage their relationship-building skills to gain ground online. On the other, unfamiliarity and fears about compliance are driving slow social selling adoption across the industry. While the concept may seem novel to some insurance leaders, that doesn't mean their competition is standing on the sidelines. After all, rival carriers aren’t twiddling their thumbs; many are jumping headfirst into social selling strategies and generating the new business to show for it.

The good news is that adopting social selling doesn’t mean the industry has to reinvent the wheel. Rather, it should feel natural because this kind of digital communication is simply an extension of what agents are already doing. Instead of viewing digital marketing and social selling as an entirely new strategy, remember that it’s built on the same bread-and-butter relationship skills that trusted insurance advisors have always used with their customers. Insurance leaders must acknowledge social media as a sales channel, just like cold calling and in-person meetings, and must integrate social selling into the fabric of their organizations.

How to Advocate for Social Selling

Social media isn’t going anywhere. It’s where consumers are interacting with each other, looking for advice, and learning new things. This means intermediaries have to be there, too. Insurance agents need to reach their clients and prospects alike on social media, and the carriers and agencies they’re part of can help.

With this in mind, insurance marketers and leaders must advocate for social selling throughout the organization. And everyone has a role to play. While marketers will stay busy coordinating paid ad campaigns to reach new target audiences and managing the branded social media, agents and other representatives of the brand must be on board as well: They need to be posting, liking, and replying to build relationships and bring a human touch to the broader social media strategy. Getting this buy-in means bridging the gap between sales and marketing — and educating them on why social selling works. If you're ready to sell-in social selling, here are four ways to get started:

1. Get Everybody on the Same Page

While some marketers may already be comfortable with the concept, social selling is still a recent marketing innovation for the insurance industry. Marketers need to get up to speed on strategy and execution, while also educating the organization (especially intermediaries — have we mentioned how important they are?).

Start by defining social selling. This is our shorthand definition:

Social selling is using social media to sell a product or service. It’s using social to:

· Showcase thought leadership

· Engage with potential customers

· Interact with existing customers

· Build trust and relationships

Sounds pretty straightforward, right? While the execution can be trickier — think balancing paid and organic advertising, tracking analytics to calculate ROI, and overseeing the social media accounts of all the intermediaries — starting simple helps ease everyone into the process. This is especially important for advisors with limited social media experience. Lead with empathy to help them adjust to the new face of insurance marketing.

2. Speak Their Language — With Stats to Back You Up

Intermediaries want to build relationships and drive results — and social selling can help them do it — but only if they understand its potential. Highlight the value social selling has for both the company and individual intermediaries. Thankfully, this is one of the easier parts of selling social selling: The stats can do all the heavy lifting.

Gather good information from trustworthy sources. If you’re going to be persuasive, you have to paint the picture of what social selling can do. Some of our favorite data comes from LinkedIn. Sales reps scoring higher on LinkedIn’s Social Selling Index experience:

· 45% more sales opportunities

· 51% higher likelihood to hit quotas

· 78% outselling peers who don’t use social media

And don’t be afraid to share the success you’ve had with brand social media, too. Brand social media and intermediary social selling, paid social ads, and organic social media content: All of these are chapters in the greater narrative of successful digital marketing strategies.

3. Seriously, Bring Up the Data

Raw numbers are well and good, but case studies marry data and narrative in a uniquely compelling way. Countless other industries have had success with social selling, and insurance needs to pay attention. Share these stories about what social selling has accomplished for so many other businesses. The housing industry, for one, has been particularly astute with social selling in recent years, especially when it comes to mortgage lending.

In addition to formal case studies, bring the concept to life with experiences anyone can understand or has likely seen in their personal social media feeds. Local real estate agents are great examples of an industry that’s exemplary at utilizing social selling tools. Instead of starting from scratch, look to adjacent regulated industries to guide the way.

4. Create a Culture of Q&As

Don’t assume leaders know that social media is a sales channel — but also, don’t talk down to them when explaining the state of digital marketing. This means creating safe spaces where pros can ask questions (and not feel silly). Have a coffee; grab lunch. Give someone permission to be vulnerable and learn. Their aversion is likely rooted in misunderstanding. And remember, more experienced professionals may never have used social media for anything other than personal sharing. Empathy is your best friend. Walking alongside leaders and agents as they dip their feet into social selling will be so much more effective than talking down to them from the podium of knowledge. Building a strong foundation of understanding and a desire to learn will go a long way toward activating a social selling strategy.

Social media marketing for insurance intermediaries may seem like a radical concept, but it’s more radical to not be using social as a sales tool. Sure, it may be new and feel risky, but educating the team and arming them with resources will make social selling feel not only prudent but necessary. To learn more about how social selling can help you reach your audience, request a demo today.

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September 20, 2022

4 Ways to Modernize Insurance Sales by Adopting Social Selling

By
Nola Morris

The insurance industry is built on — and amazing at! — assessing risk. But the industry’s risk aversion has put insurance marketers between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, modern customer expectations mean agents need to leverage their relationship-building skills to gain ground online. On the other, unfamiliarity and fears about compliance are driving slow social selling adoption across the industry. While the concept may seem novel to some insurance leaders, that doesn't mean their competition is standing on the sidelines. After all, rival carriers aren’t twiddling their thumbs; many are jumping headfirst into social selling strategies and generating the new business to show for it.

The good news is that adopting social selling doesn’t mean the industry has to reinvent the wheel. Rather, it should feel natural because this kind of digital communication is simply an extension of what agents are already doing. Instead of viewing digital marketing and social selling as an entirely new strategy, remember that it’s built on the same bread-and-butter relationship skills that trusted insurance advisors have always used with their customers. Insurance leaders must acknowledge social media as a sales channel, just like cold calling and in-person meetings, and must integrate social selling into the fabric of their organizations.

How to Advocate for Social Selling

Social media isn’t going anywhere. It’s where consumers are interacting with each other, looking for advice, and learning new things. This means intermediaries have to be there, too. Insurance agents need to reach their clients and prospects alike on social media, and the carriers and agencies they’re part of can help.

With this in mind, insurance marketers and leaders must advocate for social selling throughout the organization. And everyone has a role to play. While marketers will stay busy coordinating paid ad campaigns to reach new target audiences and managing the branded social media, agents and other representatives of the brand must be on board as well: They need to be posting, liking, and replying to build relationships and bring a human touch to the broader social media strategy. Getting this buy-in means bridging the gap between sales and marketing — and educating them on why social selling works. If you're ready to sell-in social selling, here are four ways to get started:

1. Get Everybody on the Same Page

While some marketers may already be comfortable with the concept, social selling is still a recent marketing innovation for the insurance industry. Marketers need to get up to speed on strategy and execution, while also educating the organization (especially intermediaries — have we mentioned how important they are?).

Start by defining social selling. This is our shorthand definition:

Social selling is using social media to sell a product or service. It’s using social to:

· Showcase thought leadership

· Engage with potential customers

· Interact with existing customers

· Build trust and relationships

Sounds pretty straightforward, right? While the execution can be trickier — think balancing paid and organic advertising, tracking analytics to calculate ROI, and overseeing the social media accounts of all the intermediaries — starting simple helps ease everyone into the process. This is especially important for advisors with limited social media experience. Lead with empathy to help them adjust to the new face of insurance marketing.

2. Speak Their Language — With Stats to Back You Up

Intermediaries want to build relationships and drive results — and social selling can help them do it — but only if they understand its potential. Highlight the value social selling has for both the company and individual intermediaries. Thankfully, this is one of the easier parts of selling social selling: The stats can do all the heavy lifting.

Gather good information from trustworthy sources. If you’re going to be persuasive, you have to paint the picture of what social selling can do. Some of our favorite data comes from LinkedIn. Sales reps scoring higher on LinkedIn’s Social Selling Index experience:

· 45% more sales opportunities

· 51% higher likelihood to hit quotas

· 78% outselling peers who don’t use social media

And don’t be afraid to share the success you’ve had with brand social media, too. Brand social media and intermediary social selling, paid social ads, and organic social media content: All of these are chapters in the greater narrative of successful digital marketing strategies.

3. Seriously, Bring Up the Data

Raw numbers are well and good, but case studies marry data and narrative in a uniquely compelling way. Countless other industries have had success with social selling, and insurance needs to pay attention. Share these stories about what social selling has accomplished for so many other businesses. The housing industry, for one, has been particularly astute with social selling in recent years, especially when it comes to mortgage lending.

In addition to formal case studies, bring the concept to life with experiences anyone can understand or has likely seen in their personal social media feeds. Local real estate agents are great examples of an industry that’s exemplary at utilizing social selling tools. Instead of starting from scratch, look to adjacent regulated industries to guide the way.

4. Create a Culture of Q&As

Don’t assume leaders know that social media is a sales channel — but also, don’t talk down to them when explaining the state of digital marketing. This means creating safe spaces where pros can ask questions (and not feel silly). Have a coffee; grab lunch. Give someone permission to be vulnerable and learn. Their aversion is likely rooted in misunderstanding. And remember, more experienced professionals may never have used social media for anything other than personal sharing. Empathy is your best friend. Walking alongside leaders and agents as they dip their feet into social selling will be so much more effective than talking down to them from the podium of knowledge. Building a strong foundation of understanding and a desire to learn will go a long way toward activating a social selling strategy.

Social media marketing for insurance intermediaries may seem like a radical concept, but it’s more radical to not be using social as a sales tool. Sure, it may be new and feel risky, but educating the team and arming them with resources will make social selling feel not only prudent but necessary. To learn more about how social selling can help you reach your audience, request a demo today.

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Independent agents are taking over the scene — 62% of property and casualty premiums in the U.S. were written by independent agents in 2021 — so competition is fiercer than ever. Independent agents who want to stand out need to build up their personal brands online to reach customers and keep relationships strong. When agents use their personal social networks to find prospects, build relationships, and grow their thought leadership, they’re using one of the most powerful strategies available to them: social selling.

Social selling might be a familiar strategy for captive agents who have their carriers’ built-in marketing support, but independent agents must create their business (and relationships) from scratch. More and more, those relationships are built over social media. That’s the challenge for agents in this new landscape, but it’s also the big opportunity. People buy from people, and building personal relationships is what insurance agents have always done best. They just need to translate those rapport-building skills into modern digital spaces with a few key strategies.

Adopt social selling as a go-to strategy.

Social selling unifies sales and marketing, transforming social media into a revenue driver by giving agents an avenue to showcase their thought leadership, engage with potential and existing customers, and build trust and relationships in the process. It is similar to offline selling: Build trust with customers, get to know them, and explain how your product helps solve their problems. But it proves even more powerful — 78% of social sellers outsell their peers who don’t use social media.

To get ahead in social selling, agents must harness the power in their relationships and personal networks. Research shows that content shared by employees gets eight times more engagement than content shared by a brand. A social selling strategy can not only help agents reach more people, but also can also help them humanize their own work and brand.

For independent agents, personal branding can make all the difference. Agents shouldn’t be afraid to be unique and show their authentic selves on social media. From sharing personal photos to comments on client posts, the more clients see agents as personal friends and unique people, the more engaged they will be.

Why does letting personality show matter for agents? Credibility has become increasingly important for customers, with 88% of consumers citing authenticity as a key factor in deciding what brands they like and support. Clients want to know they can trust their agents, especially when making decisions that majorly affect their families and lives, so social selling content should reflect authenticity and relatability.

Understand and accept agents’ evolving roles in the changing landscape of digital insurance.

The sales process has gone digital in many ways, but that does not change the value of human guidance from an insurance advisor — the role of the trusted insurance advisor isn’t going anywhere.

Human connection remains a meaningful part of the insurance transaction. When people’s lives change, their relationships with their agents matter, and the work that agents have put into fostering trust and strong relationships will pay off.

Social media is a crucial tool in keeping intermediaries connected in this digital age and agents need to be comfortable using modern social media marketing and sales strategies.

Don’t go it alone — look for trusted support resources.

When independent agents are active in social selling, they shouldn’t go it alone. The resources agents have been consulting for years often have active blogs and social accounts from which they can source content. Many carriers and insurance industry thought leaders also offer curated social content that is ready to share and can typically be personalized by the agent.

A social selling strategy powered by a thoughtful content mix can help independent agents not only reach more people, but also reinforce the thought leadership and trust-building they’ve been demonstrating to clients outside of social media for years.

Find the right tools.

Curating content, creating a regular cadence of posting, monitoring multiple social channels — there are a lot of moving pieces in an independent agent’s social selling strategy. Social selling is just one of the many things an independent agent has in their sales repertoire. This makes it so important to have technology built for social selling specifically. The less time agents spend on the organizational aspects of social selling, the more time they have to build customer relationships, communicate authentically and, ultimately, build trust online.

This article was originally published in Insurance Journal.

It’s that time of year again. Nope, not Christmas (not yet, anyway). Instead, it’s time for marketers everywhere to reflect on the past year and plan their social media strategies for the year ahead. As consumer expectations for personalization rise, meeting customers’ needs for connection is no longer just a “nice to have.” It’s essential for building trusting business relationships. The financial services industry already understands the power of personal connection through intermediaries. That’s why empowering them through social selling — helping them forge connections with customers and prospects alike — should take center stage in your 2023 marketing strategy.  

Need some extra convincing? First, consider that social media has become entrenched in consumers’ lives and wallets. Accenture expects social commerce to grow to $1.2 trillion in just three years, with Millennials and Gen Zers propelling most of that growth. And their spending power continues to skyrocket. Most important? They’re using social media like search engines when researching financial products and services. In fact, about 40% of Gen Zers said they’d sooner use TikTok and Instagram for search than Google. Whether you’re in insurance, banking, or mortgage, both your brand and your individual experts need to be discoverable on the channels that matter, building trust with authentic and educational content.

With that in mind, here are three tips for building a successful 2023 social selling strategy:

1. Expand to Short-Form Video

Short-form video is taking over social channels such as YouTube and Instagram — not to mention the meteoric rise of TikTok. Now more than ever, social users expect their feeds to include short, easy-to-watch clips that educate and entertain them. It’s called “edutainment,” and it can be a powerful (and authentic) tool in a social selling strategy. Whether you’re planning to adopt TikTok or post content on an existing network such as Instagram, your social selling strategy for 2023 can include video to set up your intermediaries as experts who can influence their prospects and customers.

Need content ideas? Empower your social sellers to provide financial planning ideas or market trend analyses, for example, to get the wheels turning for prospects and customers. Your marketing team should ask themselves questions such as: What topics confuse your target audiences? What questions do prospects and customers have? How can your intermediaries break down these confusing topics into “snackable” content? Younger audiences are looking to channels such as Instagram to find personalized content like this. Your social sellers should meet them there, ready to engage (and entertain!) with authenticity and empathy.

2. Combine Organic and Paid for Maximum Impact

If 2022 taught us anything, it should be that it’s a matter of when — not if — social media algorithms change, so you need to be ready to adapt your marketing strategy accordingly. For instance, as social networks continue to show a preference for individuals over brands, you can and should funnel more resources into social selling for your intermediaries. However, investing in paid social media advertising is also a good idea, especially as search-driven social behavior accelerates.

You cannot control the organic algorithm, but with paid social advertising, you can manage who you reach and with what message. Don’t worry, your social sellers don’t need to become paid social experts. We recommend marketers execute paid on behalf of their social sellers. This allows you to maintain control of your budget and frees up intermediaries to engage with their audiences through their organic posting or leads generated from paid. Be sure to advocate for your social sellers as you negotiate your paid social budget for the year. Consider redirecting brand funds or advocating for additional spend for your intermediaries. (Need help marrying your organic and paid strategies? We have resources for that!)

3. Keep It Consistent

Your social selling strategy will only be as impactful as it is consistent. Maintaining a consistent posting cadence is absolutely paramount. For one thing, it will help you overcome some of those tricky algorithmic changes. Plus, if your social sellers aren’t posting at least a few times a week, their audience engagement will quickly peter out as other content fills the void.

Consistency in messaging is just as — if not more — important. Your social sellers should stay on message for the brand or brands they represent, but staying compliant in a regulated industry is also crucial. The good news is that Denim Social makes consistency and compliance easy. For example, our content approval workflows ensure that nothing goes live without your team’s permission, protecting your brand voice and keeping your intermediaries compliant. On top of that, our shared libraries of preapproved and customizable content mean your intermediaries’ social feeds stay full. The result? You’ll never face content logjams again, and your intermediaries’ audiences will remain engaged.

The 2023 tea leaves are clear: You’d be wise to invest your resources in social selling to connect with and serve an engaged online audience. Want to build your 2023 social selling strategy but don’t know where to start? Check out the Denim Social 2023 Trend Report.

Personal relationships are the bedrock of the financial advice industry. Nearly 75 percent of investors prioritize personal relationships when evaluating investment providers, Deloitte found. That’s why providers—even online brokers and robo-advisory firms—are taking care to preserve the human touch. Even with a growing trend toward digital automation to streamline trades and more, human connection is still paramount.

Bank marketers should reflect that by personalizing the digital experiences that they create for wealth management clients and prospects. Investors are accustomed to receiving personalized content online, including from their favorite retailers. They expect the same levels of customization from their service providers.

The benefits of customer personalization are mutual for investors and banks. When customers receive content tailored to their needs and financial situations, they understand their investment opportunities better and feel empowered to make the right financial decisions. And when they see wealth advisors addressing their specific needs—such as estate, retirement or education planning—they will naturally feel like those advisors understand their needs and can help them.

By contrast, when banks and advisors neglect personalization, they risk what Bain and Company calls “hidden defection,” or customers buying high-margin products such as loans, investments, and credit cards from competitors. Even if investors do not leave, they will go elsewhere to place their investments and purchase new financial products. Many customers who defect are attracted by personalized direct offers. That said, almost 80 percent of customers surveyed by Bain said they would have bought from their primary financial institutions if the banks had made equivalent offers.

It is clear that by creating improved digital experiences, banks can retain their clients’ business and even gain wallet share. So, how can they adjust their bank marketing strategies to prioritize customer personalization and build relationships?

1. Embrace a social selling strategy.

Whether financial advisors like it or not, their digital profiles affect how prospects view them. Almost 50 percent of investors say social media impacts whom they hire as a financial professional. And 33 percent report they seek financial advice online, according to Financial Advisor reporting on a Hartford Funds survey. Wealth advisors need to use social media to build rapport (and trust) with clients and prospects. When they demonstrate their value routinely, they’re more likely to be top of mind when customers are ready to purchase. That’s how strong digital profiles lay the foundation for social selling.

Social selling adheres to the same core principles as in-person selling: building relationships with customers, demonstrating knowledge, educating them and helping solve their problems. It all just happens online. Social selling empowers financial advisors to add value for customers through digital means when they wouldn’t have had the opportunity otherwise. Ultimately, sales reps who regularly share content are 45% more likely to exceed their quotas. So it is worth wealth advisors’ time to beef up their social profiles and engage with contacts.

2. Join customers on their preferred channels.

Investors are getting their information somewhere. it is essential to find out where that information comes from and to meet investors where they are.

Then, financial advisors should create profiles on those channels and organically engage with prospective clients. Why? Twenty percent of investors told Hartford Funds that a wealth advisor’s social media was their sole deciding factor when evaluating a financial professional.

For older investors, this might be traditional news channels’ Twitter or Facebook feeds. For younger investors, this could be newer channels such as TikTok. More than one-third of Gen Z Americans say they get financial advice from TikTok, and only 24 percent of investors in this age group get advice from financial advisors, according to a recent Vericast survey. That represents a big opportunity for financial advisors to win young investors’ business by meeting them through these channels. The key is to make any engagement enjoyable and authentic so that clients don’t feel like financial advisors are just trying to sell to them.

3. Create connected customer journeys.

Posting on social media is a great start, but if bank marketers want to drive ROI, they must create more robust digital journeys. The key to connected investor journeys is to avoid digital dead ends and always offer clear next steps.

At the start of the journey, wealth advisors must interact and create two-way dialogue online with existing audiences. They should then expand their audiences through tactics such as paid social media advertising, which can help them reach investors similar to their current customers or new target audiences.

In their social posts, financial advisors can drive audiences to content-driven landing pages that contain resources to download in exchange for contact information, which can help capture leads. Every step of the way, investors need to see the value, whether through educational content that wealth advisors share, access to more in-depth resources or complimentary consultations.

Banks benefit when they embrace customer personalization in their marketing strategies to keep customers engaged, build rapport and ultimately close more sales. That starts with giving wealth advisors access to the right processes and technology to deliver personalized education and offers. Once properly empowered, advisors can meet clients where they are, establish themselves as trustworthy, generate more leads and reduce the risk of “hidden defection” over time.

This article was originally published in ABA Bank Marketing.

As a financial marketer, you know that the past 12 months have been a prime time for social selling. Social media usage has been on trajectory to rise 7.8% in 2022, with steady growth expected to continue over the next five years. This growth is fueled by consumers increasingly consulting social media for help making decisions — a habit that offers big opportunities for financial institutions.

As the new year rapidly approaches, it’s a great time to plan your future social selling strategies with the latest social media trends in mind. Wondering what’s popular on social networks? How should trends inform your social selling strategy in the coming year? Here’s what you need to know as you plan for 2023 and beyond:

1. Video content is taking over.

Videos, particularly shorter clips, are having a major moment on YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram Reels. Social users are increasingly consuming short-form (call it “snackable”) content, even on legacy social networks. For example, bite-sized videos earned 57% of YouTube views in the second quarter of 2022, versus just 21% the year before.

Many of these videos attract viewers by seamlessly blending education and entertainment. Financial concepts are perfect for the “edutainment” treatment, too. Think about it: With more than 89% of TikTok users actively trying to learn more about finance, it only makes sense to add financial video “edutainment” into your social selling strategy.

That said, not every social selling post needs to contain a video, and not every video needs to be a highly produced affair. Easy-to-consume content is the name of the game, so think short and concise. Quick, pithy videos such as selfie commentaries or quick tips from your social sellers can make your content feel more authentic. No matter what video style you pursue, short clips will stop scrollers and make them more likely to engage with your intermediaries’ posts.

2. Financial advice influencer culture opens up social selling opportunities.

Social media probably seems like the last place most people would turn to for advice about money, yet finance-focused influencers are attracting lots of interest, particularly from younger social media consumers. Gen Zers are five times likelier than older Millennials and Generation Xers to get their money management suggestions on social media. With consumers seeking answers to their business and personal questions via online influencer personalities, you can’t afford not to put your intermediaries on social media to engage these audiences thirsty for (and often unable to find) credible information.

If you haven’t already, plan to empower your producers (agents, loan officers, financial advisors, and other rock stars at your organization) to share their expert advice on social media. When they do, your social sellers’ audiences can build up their financial literacy with insights from qualified professionals. Those prospects’ and customers’ lives will improve, and their loyalty will grow.

Note that your social selling team members don’t have to become superstar influencers for this strategy to work, either. Micro-influencers in their communities also gain plenty of loyalty — and sales as a result. Because social algorithms favor individuals over brands, it’s time to get more of your brand representatives to highlight their expertise on social channels.

3. Social networks as search engines enhances discoverability.

Social is the new search engine. Almost 40% of Generation Z searchers go to apps such as Instagram and TikTok first for search capabilities. In other words, they bypass Google in favor of social networks. That’s huge. And we at Denim Social think this online behavior is sure to catch on across generations. We also think the best way to make use of this trend is to have social sellers active on social media. When more of your employees are on social networks, you’re more discoverable.

Another surefire way to take advantage of the social search trend is to make sure your social selling strategies include both organic and paid tactics. When organic and paid elements work together, you can be where consumers need you at the time they need you.

Otherwise, optimizing for search on social isn’t much different from any other SEO work you’ve encountered. A fast way to enhance the discoverability of social selling copy is to ensure that it incorporates strategic hashtags, including nods to trending topics. Remember, it’s fine for social posts to include numerous hashtags, as long as they all make sense. SEO keywords can also fit nicely into social selling content and ad copy, just as they do in website copy and blog posts. All that optimization drives the social media search engine, ensuring users find your content when they’re seeking information that could lead them to decisions.

Social media has changed the game for marketing and has made person-to-person communication (and selling!) an essential strategy. As with any social media strategy, being up to date on trends is critical for social selling success. Guiding your intermediaries to add short videos, credible advice, and search-boosting features to content will strengthen your social selling strategy for 2023.

A financial conversation is already happening online, and your institution needs to be part of it. It’s time to launch a social selling program if you haven’t already. And if you have, let these trends be a clear sign that it’s time to expand your efforts. People are choosing to work with financial professionals they find on social media, and your intermediaries can meet them there. Want more insider knowledge about applying social selling techniques? Download our exclusive 2023 Denim Social Trend Report today.

Smart financial marketers know social media and social selling are essential  to effectively reach and build trust with today’s consumers. But how does your digital marketing strategy measure up against competitors?

Denim Social is here to help. We collected social media data from 177 institutions across banking, mortgage, wealth management and insurance to help you get the pulse on the social media performance. Take a look and see how your institution stacks up.

Ready to learn how you can adopt these trends? Book a demo to learn more.

Content is king. And in today’s digital market, social media is the queen consort. Considering that 40% of Generation Z prefer to use social media over Google as a search engine, every brand (in every industry) needs to be thinking about how to stay relevant and discoverable on social media. So, how do you, as an insurance marketer, help your brand stand out? Include your agents in your strategy by activating a social selling program, empowering them to post unique content to their own social networks to leverage social media as a viable sales avenue.

Including social selling in your brand marketing strategy is so important because consumers want to speak with more than just a brand; they want to feel connected to the services they use and the people who provide them. The distribution of genuine content — from both carriers and local agents — helps humanize insurance and forges stronger connections between agents and the communities they serve. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, as about 70% of young insurance agents already use Facebook and LinkedIn. But being on social channels means little if intermediaries don’t have the compelling content needed to drive engagement.

So, that sparks a few basic questions: What does effective social selling content look like, how can insurance marketers and agents curate and create the right content, and what tools are necessary to execute a social selling program at scale? Below, we’ll demystify the process of creating and distributing high-quality social selling content that fuels customer connections and, ultimately, sales.

High-Quality Social Selling Content: What Does It Look Like?

Above all else, social selling content should be personal, authentic, and tailored to both the community an agent serves and the audience they hope to reach. An insurance agent’s social outreach should illustrate not a provider-to-customer relationship but a human-to-human relationship — after all, people buy from people. As the marketer, it’ll be your responsibility to help intermediaries understand how to do this. But your efforts will pay off in your social metrics: Content shared by employees receives eight times the engagement of posts from brand pages.

So, what are the essential components of great content?

• Personal connection — Social selling content should bring agents’ personalities to life to help customers feel connected to them. Whatever skills they leverage to connect with clients in real life are the same skills they should lean on when posting to social media. Are they always cracking jokes? Digging into the latest industry topic? Or maybe relating to clients through a personal hobby? Creating content for social should be an extension of the personality agents bring to their desks when sitting across from clients.

Personalizing goes beyond just posting, too! Engaging and interacting with others’ content that aligns with your skills, hobbies, and professional strategy is just as important. Including yourself in conversations not only keeps you top of mind, but is also an easy way to diversify your content strategy. Adding context and perspective to others’ content adds variety to your presence and takes the pressure off always having to come up with something from scratch.

• Authenticity — Anything you share on social should come from the heart; 88% of consumers cite authenticity as a key factor when choosing between brands. An agent should be real about the value they offer others, the problems they can solve, and the real-life experiences they’ve navigated. Agents can share behind-the-scenes peeks into their daily work lives, such as updates about meetings (and photos, with permission!) with long-tenured clients or snapshots of their lives outside the office. Maybe they took their dog to work and can share a photo — possibly alongside information on commercial property insurance for pets at the office.

Using firsthand storytelling is an authentic way to form deeper connections with customers. If your intermediaries feel nervous, remind them just to be themselves! After all, they’re in sales for a reason. The connections they make are equally real, regardless of whether they happened in person or on social.

• Community focus — Local agents have an advantage over national carriers because they’re living within the communities they serve. When agents speak with local perspectives, they solidify their reputations as trustworthy and knowledgeable.

When agents share snippets from their own lives, they can easily transform themselves into micro-influencers within their communities. For example, if agents are grabbing flowers for the office, they can tag their local florist in a shout-out on their agency social accounts. If one of their carriers donates to local causes, the agent could highlight what the support means to the community (and themselves).

When your social selling content hits the trifecta of community focus, authenticity, and personal connection, agents are most likely to be bringing in leads and harnessing all that social media has to offer. But understanding what high-quality social selling content should look like is only the first step; the next steps involve building out your content distribution process, or the steps between drafting a post and hitting “publish.”

Bringing Social Selling to Life

As a social media marketer in the insurance world, you’ve likely thought about empowering your intermediaries on social. There are many considerations, such as building a library of meaningful content agents want to share, empowering agents to create their own unique content, weaving paid advertising into the mix, and making it all easy. With the right tools, insurance marketers can accomplish these essential tasks more easily than ever before:

• Empowering agents to post with curated content. Getting agents to buy into your social selling program can be as simple as giving them the power to post (with the necessary approvals process, of course!). With Denim Social, you and your intermediaries can access curated social media content through a shared library, meaning users can select from a wide range of content to share that you’ve thoughtfully created and pre-approved.

Content libraries make sourcing that curated content super easy. Instead of wondering where their next social media posts will come from, agents can use pre-populated post copy or share the latest articles relevant to their audiences. Marketing teams can pre-approve and custom-curate the social media posts before housing them in the content libraries, meaning teams are free to create because they can worry less about finding content, gaining approvals, ensuring the content is on-brand, and meeting compliance standards.

• Keeping agent social messaging compliant and on-brand with approval workflows. It’s exciting when your social selling program advances to the level of empowering individuals to create original content, but setting agents free to post without prior approval could also pose risks. Approval workflows and other compliance tools can ensure all content is approved before it is published. So, how does that work in practice?

With Denim Social, insurance agents can collaborate with marketing teams to create social posts. Or, agents can initiate unique posts from the platform and an approval group will receive notifications to ensure the social posts look perfect before going live.

• Putting social ad spend behind local agents. Once the organic social foundation is set with high-quality content, marketers should consider taking their ad spend beyond the brand and delivering paid social on behalf of their local agents. Almost 30% of internet users spot new products and brands through paid ads, so if paid isn’t part of your strategy yet, it should be.

Denim Social’s paid social solution makes it simple to execute paid ads on behalf of your local agents to make your ad spend go further. The platform’s proprietary paid ads manager provides an at-a-glance view of ad performance across multiple geographies and helps you optimize your spend easily. Denim Social also delivers clear engagement metrics and allows you to share localized results with agents in just a couple of clicks.

In short, Denim Social can help you run a holistic social selling program across organic and paid. With a robust content integration, curated content libraries, and built-in compliance workflows and collaboration tools, Denim Social arms insurance marketers to launch true social selling programs that convert leads into customers. If you’ve considered empowering your intermediaries through a social selling program but aren’t sure where to start, request a demo with us today to learn how Denim Social can help.

Connect & Convert on Social

Successfully scale conversion optimized campaigns across all social media channels with built-in compliance, publishing tools, and more.
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GUIDES

4 Ways to Modernize Insurance Sales by Adopting Social Selling

The insurance industry is built on — and amazing at! — assessing risk. But the industry’s risk aversion has put insurance marketers between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, modern customer expectations mean agents need to leverage their relationship-building skills to gain ground online. On the other, unfamiliarity and fears about compliance are driving slow social selling adoption across the industry. While the concept may seem novel to some insurance leaders, that doesn't mean their competition is standing on the sidelines. After all, rival carriers aren’t twiddling their thumbs; many are jumping headfirst into social selling strategies and generating the new business to show for it.

The good news is that adopting social selling doesn’t mean the industry has to reinvent the wheel. Rather, it should feel natural because this kind of digital communication is simply an extension of what agents are already doing. Instead of viewing digital marketing and social selling as an entirely new strategy, remember that it’s built on the same bread-and-butter relationship skills that trusted insurance advisors have always used with their customers. Insurance leaders must acknowledge social media as a sales channel, just like cold calling and in-person meetings, and must integrate social selling into the fabric of their organizations.

How to Advocate for Social Selling

Social media isn’t going anywhere. It’s where consumers are interacting with each other, looking for advice, and learning new things. This means intermediaries have to be there, too. Insurance agents need to reach their clients and prospects alike on social media, and the carriers and agencies they’re part of can help.

With this in mind, insurance marketers and leaders must advocate for social selling throughout the organization. And everyone has a role to play. While marketers will stay busy coordinating paid ad campaigns to reach new target audiences and managing the branded social media, agents and other representatives of the brand must be on board as well: They need to be posting, liking, and replying to build relationships and bring a human touch to the broader social media strategy. Getting this buy-in means bridging the gap between sales and marketing — and educating them on why social selling works. If you're ready to sell-in social selling, here are four ways to get started:

1. Get Everybody on the Same Page

While some marketers may already be comfortable with the concept, social selling is still a recent marketing innovation for the insurance industry. Marketers need to get up to speed on strategy and execution, while also educating the organization (especially intermediaries — have we mentioned how important they are?).

Start by defining social selling. This is our shorthand definition:

Social selling is using social media to sell a product or service. It’s using social to:

· Showcase thought leadership

· Engage with potential customers

· Interact with existing customers

· Build trust and relationships

Sounds pretty straightforward, right? While the execution can be trickier — think balancing paid and organic advertising, tracking analytics to calculate ROI, and overseeing the social media accounts of all the intermediaries — starting simple helps ease everyone into the process. This is especially important for advisors with limited social media experience. Lead with empathy to help them adjust to the new face of insurance marketing.

2. Speak Their Language — With Stats to Back You Up

Intermediaries want to build relationships and drive results — and social selling can help them do it — but only if they understand its potential. Highlight the value social selling has for both the company and individual intermediaries. Thankfully, this is one of the easier parts of selling social selling: The stats can do all the heavy lifting.

Gather good information from trustworthy sources. If you’re going to be persuasive, you have to paint the picture of what social selling can do. Some of our favorite data comes from LinkedIn. Sales reps scoring higher on LinkedIn’s Social Selling Index experience:

· 45% more sales opportunities

· 51% higher likelihood to hit quotas

· 78% outselling peers who don’t use social media

And don’t be afraid to share the success you’ve had with brand social media, too. Brand social media and intermediary social selling, paid social ads, and organic social media content: All of these are chapters in the greater narrative of successful digital marketing strategies.

3. Seriously, Bring Up the Data

Raw numbers are well and good, but case studies marry data and narrative in a uniquely compelling way. Countless other industries have had success with social selling, and insurance needs to pay attention. Share these stories about what social selling has accomplished for so many other businesses. The housing industry, for one, has been particularly astute with social selling in recent years, especially when it comes to mortgage lending.

In addition to formal case studies, bring the concept to life with experiences anyone can understand or has likely seen in their personal social media feeds. Local real estate agents are great examples of an industry that’s exemplary at utilizing social selling tools. Instead of starting from scratch, look to adjacent regulated industries to guide the way.

4. Create a Culture of Q&As

Don’t assume leaders know that social media is a sales channel — but also, don’t talk down to them when explaining the state of digital marketing. This means creating safe spaces where pros can ask questions (and not feel silly). Have a coffee; grab lunch. Give someone permission to be vulnerable and learn. Their aversion is likely rooted in misunderstanding. And remember, more experienced professionals may never have used social media for anything other than personal sharing. Empathy is your best friend. Walking alongside leaders and agents as they dip their feet into social selling will be so much more effective than talking down to them from the podium of knowledge. Building a strong foundation of understanding and a desire to learn will go a long way toward activating a social selling strategy.

Social media marketing for insurance intermediaries may seem like a radical concept, but it’s more radical to not be using social as a sales tool. Sure, it may be new and feel risky, but educating the team and arming them with resources will make social selling feel not only prudent but necessary. To learn more about how social selling can help you reach your audience, request a demo today.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Download Guide
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
ALL GUIDES:

BOK Financial is a financial services partner for consumers, businesses and wealth clients with more than 150 users on the Denim Social platform.

In addition to building brand credibility and establishing loan officer expertise, Denim Social enables their mortgage loan officers to cultivate relationships in social media and organically source leads.

As financial marketers look to the coming year, most are wondering, “what’s next?” While no one can say for sure, our team of experts here at Denim Social are keeping a pulse on what’s new in digital marketing for financial institutions on social media. This guide will not only educate you on the latest trends, but help you make the case for increased investment in social selling and digital marketing strategies at your institution.

Whether you’re in banking, wealth management, insurance or mortgage, relationships are the bedrock of your business.

Considering clients in these industries are handing over the keys to their personal kingdoms, it’s no surprise that trust and connection matter. That’s why successful sales strategies for these industries are focused on building long-term, trusted relationships.

To truly unleash the potential of social, financial institutions need to use social media as a sales tool. It’s called social selling and it works.

The power of social media is undeniable. The ability of banks to engage with and influence customers and prospects via interactive digital channels is an essential tool and a cornerstone of marketing. Gone are the days when it was “nice to have” a presence on platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram. Today, these pathways are helping banks to build relationships that were historically cultivated by tirelessly walking up and down Main Street, shaking hands and leaving behind business cards.

In this case study by Denim Social and American Bankers Association, we take a look at how banks are using social media to ramp up digital engagement and build sales.

As any marketer worth their salt will tell you, analytics should drive your social strategy. The key to success is understanding how to link social media efforts to ROI metrics. Read this guide to learn how to gain insights that matter, optimize your strategy and prove your social success.

It’s no surprise that social media can help drive results for your mortgage business. In fact, the question for most marketers at mortgage lending institutions isn’t IF they should be doing more social media marketing - it’s HOW. Download to learn how to:

  • Scale your social selling program
  • Plan your content strategy
  • Train your loan officers

AnnieMac is one of the fastest-growing mortgage loan providers in the U.S., serving clients in 42 states. Learn how Denim Social helped their team to streamline its brand’s social media strategy and activate social selling for hundreds of loan officers in just four months.

Instant Download

Find out how more than 400 financial institutions across asset classes, geographies, and more used social media in 2020 to effectively support their business objectives. We’ve also outlined key trends to inform your social media future.

As mortgage demand surges to historic highs, home purchase and refinance markets remain hot. This is excellent news for loan officers, but it also means the environment is more competitive than ever.

So how can marketers ensure that their loan officers stand out? The answer is social media.

Read this guidebook from Denim Social to learn how you can help your loan officers build strong relationships, stand out from the crowd and win more business using social media.

Every Mortgage Marketer Should Ask Themselves

Compliance is complicated, but don’t let it stop your lending team from making the most of social media. Think you’re ready to start social selling? Ask yourself these five questions!

Download this guidebook to learn how marketers are using social media to:

  • Drive business with the lowest digital spend compared to traditional media
  • Position employees as thought-leaders while leveraging their collective reach of their social media presence
  • Ultimately, build trust with their communities and customers that translates to positive business results

Read this guide if you’re asking yourself:

  • Is my social media policy current and comprehensive?
  • How do I ensure social media compliance during M&A?
  • What do I need to consider for direct messaging compliance?

In this guide we will help you think about your all important social media policy and thoughtfully consider how changes in social media tech and even your bank’s structure may impact compliance.

Download this guidebook to learn how marketers are using social media to:

  • Drive business with the lowest digital spend compared to traditional media
  • Position employees as thought-leaders while leveraging their collective reach of their social media presence
  • Ultimately, build trust with their communities and customers that translates to positive business results

Every Financial Services Marketer Should Ask Themselves

Compliance is complicated, but don’t let it stop your lending team from making the most of social media. Think you’re ready to start social selling? Ask yourself these five questions!

Stronger Customer Relationships on Instagram

Financial Services companies should be marketing and advertising on Instagram. We break down why, and help you create a strategy to reach new customers- while continuing to build trust in your brand.

How 6 Financial Marketers Are Creating Value in Social Media

Ever wonder what everyone else is doing in social media? We talked to six leading financial marketers about how they’re succeeding today and planning for the next big thing.

Get their insights on strengthening your social strategies, unlocking the power of employee networks and creating next-level content that drives engagement.

Download this guidebook to learn how 3 mortgage lenders are using social media to:

  • Position themselves in a place the community is already looking ... their social media
  • Empower loan officers to engage in local conversations
  • Turn their institution's loan officers into the voice of their brand
  • Build trust within the community

Which roles do you fill when building your bank's marketing dream team? This guide will show you the following:

  • Who does what
  • The right structure to execute strategy
  • How compliance software can help

Enjoy!

Download this guidebook to learn how marketers are using social media to:

  • Drive business with the lowest digital spend compared to traditional media
  • Position employees as thought-leaders while leveraging their collective reach of their social media presence
  • Ultimately, build trust with their communities and customers that translates to positive business results

ABA Study: The Current State of Social Media

See what nearly 430 bank marketers had to say when asked questions such as:

  • Is it important to equip your sales personnel with social media accounts?
  • Does your bank measure the impact of your social media use?
  • COVID-19 & Bank Social Media

    Times are different and how you connect with customers and potential customers has changed drastically. In a socially distant world, learn to still build lasting relationships.

    Download and learn the guiding principles for using social media to serve both your customers and communities in the midst of a pandemic.

    Evolve Bank & Trust (“Evolve”) is an $700M+ asset institution with nearly 40 Home Loan Centers (HLC) and nearly 500 employees nationwide. See how Denim Social helped Evolve activate Home Loan Center Facebook pages over the course of just a few months.

    Download Here
    GUIDES

    4 Ways to Modernize Insurance Sales by Adopting Social Selling

    The insurance industry is built on — and amazing at! — assessing risk. But the industry’s risk aversion has put insurance marketers between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, modern customer expectations mean agents need to leverage their relationship-building skills to gain ground online. On the other, unfamiliarity and fears about compliance are driving slow social selling adoption across the industry. While the concept may seem novel to some insurance leaders, that doesn't mean their competition is standing on the sidelines. After all, rival carriers aren’t twiddling their thumbs; many are jumping headfirst into social selling strategies and generating the new business to show for it.

    The good news is that adopting social selling doesn’t mean the industry has to reinvent the wheel. Rather, it should feel natural because this kind of digital communication is simply an extension of what agents are already doing. Instead of viewing digital marketing and social selling as an entirely new strategy, remember that it’s built on the same bread-and-butter relationship skills that trusted insurance advisors have always used with their customers. Insurance leaders must acknowledge social media as a sales channel, just like cold calling and in-person meetings, and must integrate social selling into the fabric of their organizations.

    How to Advocate for Social Selling

    Social media isn’t going anywhere. It’s where consumers are interacting with each other, looking for advice, and learning new things. This means intermediaries have to be there, too. Insurance agents need to reach their clients and prospects alike on social media, and the carriers and agencies they’re part of can help.

    With this in mind, insurance marketers and leaders must advocate for social selling throughout the organization. And everyone has a role to play. While marketers will stay busy coordinating paid ad campaigns to reach new target audiences and managing the branded social media, agents and other representatives of the brand must be on board as well: They need to be posting, liking, and replying to build relationships and bring a human touch to the broader social media strategy. Getting this buy-in means bridging the gap between sales and marketing — and educating them on why social selling works. If you're ready to sell-in social selling, here are four ways to get started:

    1. Get Everybody on the Same Page

    While some marketers may already be comfortable with the concept, social selling is still a recent marketing innovation for the insurance industry. Marketers need to get up to speed on strategy and execution, while also educating the organization (especially intermediaries — have we mentioned how important they are?).

    Start by defining social selling. This is our shorthand definition:

    Social selling is using social media to sell a product or service. It’s using social to:

    · Showcase thought leadership

    · Engage with potential customers

    · Interact with existing customers

    · Build trust and relationships

    Sounds pretty straightforward, right? While the execution can be trickier — think balancing paid and organic advertising, tracking analytics to calculate ROI, and overseeing the social media accounts of all the intermediaries — starting simple helps ease everyone into the process. This is especially important for advisors with limited social media experience. Lead with empathy to help them adjust to the new face of insurance marketing.

    2. Speak Their Language — With Stats to Back You Up

    Intermediaries want to build relationships and drive results — and social selling can help them do it — but only if they understand its potential. Highlight the value social selling has for both the company and individual intermediaries. Thankfully, this is one of the easier parts of selling social selling: The stats can do all the heavy lifting.

    Gather good information from trustworthy sources. If you’re going to be persuasive, you have to paint the picture of what social selling can do. Some of our favorite data comes from LinkedIn. Sales reps scoring higher on LinkedIn’s Social Selling Index experience:

    · 45% more sales opportunities

    · 51% higher likelihood to hit quotas

    · 78% outselling peers who don’t use social media

    And don’t be afraid to share the success you’ve had with brand social media, too. Brand social media and intermediary social selling, paid social ads, and organic social media content: All of these are chapters in the greater narrative of successful digital marketing strategies.

    3. Seriously, Bring Up the Data

    Raw numbers are well and good, but case studies marry data and narrative in a uniquely compelling way. Countless other industries have had success with social selling, and insurance needs to pay attention. Share these stories about what social selling has accomplished for so many other businesses. The housing industry, for one, has been particularly astute with social selling in recent years, especially when it comes to mortgage lending.

    In addition to formal case studies, bring the concept to life with experiences anyone can understand or has likely seen in their personal social media feeds. Local real estate agents are great examples of an industry that’s exemplary at utilizing social selling tools. Instead of starting from scratch, look to adjacent regulated industries to guide the way.

    4. Create a Culture of Q&As

    Don’t assume leaders know that social media is a sales channel — but also, don’t talk down to them when explaining the state of digital marketing. This means creating safe spaces where pros can ask questions (and not feel silly). Have a coffee; grab lunch. Give someone permission to be vulnerable and learn. Their aversion is likely rooted in misunderstanding. And remember, more experienced professionals may never have used social media for anything other than personal sharing. Empathy is your best friend. Walking alongside leaders and agents as they dip their feet into social selling will be so much more effective than talking down to them from the podium of knowledge. Building a strong foundation of understanding and a desire to learn will go a long way toward activating a social selling strategy.

    Social media marketing for insurance intermediaries may seem like a radical concept, but it’s more radical to not be using social as a sales tool. Sure, it may be new and feel risky, but educating the team and arming them with resources will make social selling feel not only prudent but necessary. To learn more about how social selling can help you reach your audience, request a demo today.

    Download the Guide

    Thank you! Your submission has been received!
    Download Guide
    Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
    Download Guide
    ALL GUIDES:

    BOK Financial is a financial services partner for consumers, businesses and wealth clients with more than 150 users on the Denim Social platform.

    In addition to building brand credibility and establishing loan officer expertise, Denim Social enables their mortgage loan officers to cultivate relationships in social media and organically source leads.

    As financial marketers look to the coming year, most are wondering, “what’s next?” While no one can say for sure, our team of experts here at Denim Social are keeping a pulse on what’s new in digital marketing for financial institutions on social media. This guide will not only educate you on the latest trends, but help you make the case for increased investment in social selling and digital marketing strategies at your institution.

    Whether you’re in banking, wealth management, insurance or mortgage, relationships are the bedrock of your business.

    Considering clients in these industries are handing over the keys to their personal kingdoms, it’s no surprise that trust and connection matter. That’s why successful sales strategies for these industries are focused on building long-term, trusted relationships.

    To truly unleash the potential of social, financial institutions need to use social media as a sales tool. It’s called social selling and it works.

    The power of social media is undeniable. The ability of banks to engage with and influence customers and prospects via interactive digital channels is an essential tool and a cornerstone of marketing. Gone are the days when it was “nice to have” a presence on platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram. Today, these pathways are helping banks to build relationships that were historically cultivated by tirelessly walking up and down Main Street, shaking hands and leaving behind business cards.

    In this case study by Denim Social and American Bankers Association, we take a look at how banks are using social media to ramp up digital engagement and build sales.

    As any marketer worth their salt will tell you, analytics should drive your social strategy. The key to success is understanding how to link social media efforts to ROI metrics. Read this guide to learn how to gain insights that matter, optimize your strategy and prove your social success.

    It’s no surprise that social media can help drive results for your mortgage business. In fact, the question for most marketers at mortgage lending institutions isn’t IF they should be doing more social media marketing - it’s HOW. Download to learn how to:

    • Scale your social selling program
    • Plan your content strategy
    • Train your loan officers

    AnnieMac is one of the fastest-growing mortgage loan providers in the U.S., serving clients in 42 states. Learn how Denim Social helped their team to streamline its brand’s social media strategy and activate social selling for hundreds of loan officers in just four months.

    Instant Download

    Find out how more than 400 financial institutions across asset classes, geographies, and more used social media in 2020 to effectively support their business objectives. We’ve also outlined key trends to inform your social media future.

    As mortgage demand surges to historic highs, home purchase and refinance markets remain hot. This is excellent news for loan officers, but it also means the environment is more competitive than ever.

    So how can marketers ensure that their loan officers stand out? The answer is social media.

    Read this guidebook from Denim Social to learn how you can help your loan officers build strong relationships, stand out from the crowd and win more business using social media.

    Every Mortgage Marketer Should Ask Themselves

    Compliance is complicated, but don’t let it stop your lending team from making the most of social media. Think you’re ready to start social selling? Ask yourself these five questions!

    Download this guidebook to learn how marketers are using social media to:

    • Drive business with the lowest digital spend compared to traditional media
    • Position employees as thought-leaders while leveraging their collective reach of their social media presence
    • Ultimately, build trust with their communities and customers that translates to positive business results

    Read this guide if you’re asking yourself:

    • Is my social media policy current and comprehensive?
    • How do I ensure social media compliance during M&A?
    • What do I need to consider for direct messaging compliance?

    In this guide we will help you think about your all important social media policy and thoughtfully consider how changes in social media tech and even your bank’s structure may impact compliance.

    Download this guidebook to learn how marketers are using social media to:

    • Drive business with the lowest digital spend compared to traditional media
    • Position employees as thought-leaders while leveraging their collective reach of their social media presence
    • Ultimately, build trust with their communities and customers that translates to positive business results

    Every Financial Services Marketer Should Ask Themselves

    Compliance is complicated, but don’t let it stop your lending team from making the most of social media. Think you’re ready to start social selling? Ask yourself these five questions!

    Stronger Customer Relationships on Instagram

    Financial Services companies should be marketing and advertising on Instagram. We break down why, and help you create a strategy to reach new customers- while continuing to build trust in your brand.

    How 6 Financial Marketers Are Creating Value in Social Media

    Ever wonder what everyone else is doing in social media? We talked to six leading financial marketers about how they’re succeeding today and planning for the next big thing.

    Get their insights on strengthening your social strategies, unlocking the power of employee networks and creating next-level content that drives engagement.

    Download this guidebook to learn how 3 mortgage lenders are using social media to:

    • Position themselves in a place the community is already looking ... their social media
    • Empower loan officers to engage in local conversations
    • Turn their institution's loan officers into the voice of their brand
    • Build trust within the community

    Which roles do you fill when building your bank's marketing dream team? This guide will show you the following:

    • Who does what
    • The right structure to execute strategy
    • How compliance software can help

    Enjoy!

    Download this guidebook to learn how marketers are using social media to:

    • Drive business with the lowest digital spend compared to traditional media
    • Position employees as thought-leaders while leveraging their collective reach of their social media presence
    • Ultimately, build trust with their communities and customers that translates to positive business results

    ABA Study: The Current State of Social Media

    See what nearly 430 bank marketers had to say when asked questions such as:

  • Is it important to equip your sales personnel with social media accounts?
  • Does your bank measure the impact of your social media use?
  • COVID-19 & Bank Social Media

    Times are different and how you connect with customers and potential customers has changed drastically. In a socially distant world, learn to still build lasting relationships.

    Download and learn the guiding principles for using social media to serve both your customers and communities in the midst of a pandemic.

    Evolve Bank & Trust (“Evolve”) is an $700M+ asset institution with nearly 40 Home Loan Centers (HLC) and nearly 500 employees nationwide. See how Denim Social helped Evolve activate Home Loan Center Facebook pages over the course of just a few months.

    Download Here
    GUIDES

    4 Ways to Modernize Insurance Sales by Adopting Social Selling

    The insurance industry is built on — and amazing at! — assessing risk. But the industry’s risk aversion has put insurance marketers between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, modern customer expectations mean agents need to leverage their relationship-building skills to gain ground online. On the other, unfamiliarity and fears about compliance are driving slow social selling adoption across the industry. While the concept may seem novel to some insurance leaders, that doesn't mean their competition is standing on the sidelines. After all, rival carriers aren’t twiddling their thumbs; many are jumping headfirst into social selling strategies and generating the new business to show for it.

    The good news is that adopting social selling doesn’t mean the industry has to reinvent the wheel. Rather, it should feel natural because this kind of digital communication is simply an extension of what agents are already doing. Instead of viewing digital marketing and social selling as an entirely new strategy, remember that it’s built on the same bread-and-butter relationship skills that trusted insurance advisors have always used with their customers. Insurance leaders must acknowledge social media as a sales channel, just like cold calling and in-person meetings, and must integrate social selling into the fabric of their organizations.

    How to Advocate for Social Selling

    Social media isn’t going anywhere. It’s where consumers are interacting with each other, looking for advice, and learning new things. This means intermediaries have to be there, too. Insurance agents need to reach their clients and prospects alike on social media, and the carriers and agencies they’re part of can help.

    With this in mind, insurance marketers and leaders must advocate for social selling throughout the organization. And everyone has a role to play. While marketers will stay busy coordinating paid ad campaigns to reach new target audiences and managing the branded social media, agents and other representatives of the brand must be on board as well: They need to be posting, liking, and replying to build relationships and bring a human touch to the broader social media strategy. Getting this buy-in means bridging the gap between sales and marketing — and educating them on why social selling works. If you're ready to sell-in social selling, here are four ways to get started:

    1. Get Everybody on the Same Page

    While some marketers may already be comfortable with the concept, social selling is still a recent marketing innovation for the insurance industry. Marketers need to get up to speed on strategy and execution, while also educating the organization (especially intermediaries — have we mentioned how important they are?).

    Start by defining social selling. This is our shorthand definition:

    Social selling is using social media to sell a product or service. It’s using social to:

    · Showcase thought leadership

    · Engage with potential customers

    · Interact with existing customers

    · Build trust and relationships

    Sounds pretty straightforward, right? While the execution can be trickier — think balancing paid and organic advertising, tracking analytics to calculate ROI, and overseeing the social media accounts of all the intermediaries — starting simple helps ease everyone into the process. This is especially important for advisors with limited social media experience. Lead with empathy to help them adjust to the new face of insurance marketing.

    2. Speak Their Language — With Stats to Back You Up

    Intermediaries want to build relationships and drive results — and social selling can help them do it — but only if they understand its potential. Highlight the value social selling has for both the company and individual intermediaries. Thankfully, this is one of the easier parts of selling social selling: The stats can do all the heavy lifting.

    Gather good information from trustworthy sources. If you’re going to be persuasive, you have to paint the picture of what social selling can do. Some of our favorite data comes from LinkedIn. Sales reps scoring higher on LinkedIn’s Social Selling Index experience:

    · 45% more sales opportunities

    · 51% higher likelihood to hit quotas

    · 78% outselling peers who don’t use social media

    And don’t be afraid to share the success you’ve had with brand social media, too. Brand social media and intermediary social selling, paid social ads, and organic social media content: All of these are chapters in the greater narrative of successful digital marketing strategies.

    3. Seriously, Bring Up the Data

    Raw numbers are well and good, but case studies marry data and narrative in a uniquely compelling way. Countless other industries have had success with social selling, and insurance needs to pay attention. Share these stories about what social selling has accomplished for so many other businesses. The housing industry, for one, has been particularly astute with social selling in recent years, especially when it comes to mortgage lending.

    In addition to formal case studies, bring the concept to life with experiences anyone can understand or has likely seen in their personal social media feeds. Local real estate agents are great examples of an industry that’s exemplary at utilizing social selling tools. Instead of starting from scratch, look to adjacent regulated industries to guide the way.

    4. Create a Culture of Q&As

    Don’t assume leaders know that social media is a sales channel — but also, don’t talk down to them when explaining the state of digital marketing. This means creating safe spaces where pros can ask questions (and not feel silly). Have a coffee; grab lunch. Give someone permission to be vulnerable and learn. Their aversion is likely rooted in misunderstanding. And remember, more experienced professionals may never have used social media for anything other than personal sharing. Empathy is your best friend. Walking alongside leaders and agents as they dip their feet into social selling will be so much more effective than talking down to them from the podium of knowledge. Building a strong foundation of understanding and a desire to learn will go a long way toward activating a social selling strategy.

    Social media marketing for insurance intermediaries may seem like a radical concept, but it’s more radical to not be using social as a sales tool. Sure, it may be new and feel risky, but educating the team and arming them with resources will make social selling feel not only prudent but necessary. To learn more about how social selling can help you reach your audience, request a demo today.

    Download the Guide

    Thank you! Your submission has been received!
    Download Guide
    Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
    Download Guide
    ALL GUIDES:

    BOK Financial is a financial services partner for consumers, businesses and wealth clients with more than 150 users on the Denim Social platform.

    In addition to building brand credibility and establishing loan officer expertise, Denim Social enables their mortgage loan officers to cultivate relationships in social media and organically source leads.

    As financial marketers look to the coming year, most are wondering, “what’s next?” While no one can say for sure, our team of experts here at Denim Social are keeping a pulse on what’s new in digital marketing for financial institutions on social media. This guide will not only educate you on the latest trends, but help you make the case for increased investment in social selling and digital marketing strategies at your institution.

    Whether you’re in banking, wealth management, insurance or mortgage, relationships are the bedrock of your business.

    Considering clients in these industries are handing over the keys to their personal kingdoms, it’s no surprise that trust and connection matter. That’s why successful sales strategies for these industries are focused on building long-term, trusted relationships.

    To truly unleash the potential of social, financial institutions need to use social media as a sales tool. It’s called social selling and it works.

    The power of social media is undeniable. The ability of banks to engage with and influence customers and prospects via interactive digital channels is an essential tool and a cornerstone of marketing. Gone are the days when it was “nice to have” a presence on platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram. Today, these pathways are helping banks to build relationships that were historically cultivated by tirelessly walking up and down Main Street, shaking hands and leaving behind business cards.

    In this case study by Denim Social and American Bankers Association, we take a look at how banks are using social media to ramp up digital engagement and build sales.

    As any marketer worth their salt will tell you, analytics should drive your social strategy. The key to success is understanding how to link social media efforts to ROI metrics. Read this guide to learn how to gain insights that matter, optimize your strategy and prove your social success.

    It’s no surprise that social media can help drive results for your mortgage business. In fact, the question for most marketers at mortgage lending institutions isn’t IF they should be doing more social media marketing - it’s HOW. Download to learn how to:

    • Scale your social selling program
    • Plan your content strategy
    • Train your loan officers

    AnnieMac is one of the fastest-growing mortgage loan providers in the U.S., serving clients in 42 states. Learn how Denim Social helped their team to streamline its brand’s social media strategy and activate social selling for hundreds of loan officers in just four months.

    Instant Download

    Find out how more than 400 financial institutions across asset classes, geographies, and more used social media in 2020 to effectively support their business objectives. We’ve also outlined key trends to inform your social media future.

    As mortgage demand surges to historic highs, home purchase and refinance markets remain hot. This is excellent news for loan officers, but it also means the environment is more competitive than ever.

    So how can marketers ensure that their loan officers stand out? The answer is social media.

    Read this guidebook from Denim Social to learn how you can help your loan officers build strong relationships, stand out from the crowd and win more business using social media.

    Every Mortgage Marketer Should Ask Themselves

    Compliance is complicated, but don’t let it stop your lending team from making the most of social media. Think you’re ready to start social selling? Ask yourself these five questions!

    Download this guidebook to learn how marketers are using social media to:

    • Drive business with the lowest digital spend compared to traditional media
    • Position employees as thought-leaders while leveraging their collective reach of their social media presence
    • Ultimately, build trust with their communities and customers that translates to positive business results

    Read this guide if you’re asking yourself:

    • Is my social media policy current and comprehensive?
    • How do I ensure social media compliance during M&A?
    • What do I need to consider for direct messaging compliance?

    In this guide we will help you think about your all important social media policy and thoughtfully consider how changes in social media tech and even your bank’s structure may impact compliance.

    Download this guidebook to learn how marketers are using social media to:

    • Drive business with the lowest digital spend compared to traditional media
    • Position employees as thought-leaders while leveraging their collective reach of their social media presence
    • Ultimately, build trust with their communities and customers that translates to positive business results

    Every Financial Services Marketer Should Ask Themselves

    Compliance is complicated, but don’t let it stop your lending team from making the most of social media. Think you’re ready to start social selling? Ask yourself these five questions!

    Stronger Customer Relationships on Instagram

    Financial Services companies should be marketing and advertising on Instagram. We break down why, and help you create a strategy to reach new customers- while continuing to build trust in your brand.

    How 6 Financial Marketers Are Creating Value in Social Media

    Ever wonder what everyone else is doing in social media? We talked to six leading financial marketers about how they’re succeeding today and planning for the next big thing.

    Get their insights on strengthening your social strategies, unlocking the power of employee networks and creating next-level content that drives engagement.

    Download this guidebook to learn how 3 mortgage lenders are using social media to:

    • Position themselves in a place the community is already looking ... their social media
    • Empower loan officers to engage in local conversations
    • Turn their institution's loan officers into the voice of their brand
    • Build trust within the community

    Which roles do you fill when building your bank's marketing dream team? This guide will show you the following:

    • Who does what
    • The right structure to execute strategy
    • How compliance software can help

    Enjoy!

    Download this guidebook to learn how marketers are using social media to:

    • Drive business with the lowest digital spend compared to traditional media
    • Position employees as thought-leaders while leveraging their collective reach of their social media presence
    • Ultimately, build trust with their communities and customers that translates to positive business results

    ABA Study: The Current State of Social Media

    See what nearly 430 bank marketers had to say when asked questions such as:

  • Is it important to equip your sales personnel with social media accounts?
  • Does your bank measure the impact of your social media use?
  • COVID-19 & Bank Social Media

    Times are different and how you connect with customers and potential customers has changed drastically. In a socially distant world, learn to still build lasting relationships.

    Download and learn the guiding principles for using social media to serve both your customers and communities in the midst of a pandemic.

    Evolve Bank & Trust (“Evolve”) is an $700M+ asset institution with nearly 40 Home Loan Centers (HLC) and nearly 500 employees nationwide. See how Denim Social helped Evolve activate Home Loan Center Facebook pages over the course of just a few months.

    Download Here
    GUIDES

    4 Ways to Modernize Insurance Sales by Adopting Social Selling

    The insurance industry is built on — and amazing at! — assessing risk. But the industry’s risk aversion has put insurance marketers between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, modern customer expectations mean agents need to leverage their relationship-building skills to gain ground online. On the other, unfamiliarity and fears about compliance are driving slow social selling adoption across the industry. While the concept may seem novel to some insurance leaders, that doesn't mean their competition is standing on the sidelines. After all, rival carriers aren’t twiddling their thumbs; many are jumping headfirst into social selling strategies and generating the new business to show for it.

    The good news is that adopting social selling doesn’t mean the industry has to reinvent the wheel. Rather, it should feel natural because this kind of digital communication is simply an extension of what agents are already doing. Instead of viewing digital marketing and social selling as an entirely new strategy, remember that it’s built on the same bread-and-butter relationship skills that trusted insurance advisors have always used with their customers. Insurance leaders must acknowledge social media as a sales channel, just like cold calling and in-person meetings, and must integrate social selling into the fabric of their organizations.

    How to Advocate for Social Selling

    Social media isn’t going anywhere. It’s where consumers are interacting with each other, looking for advice, and learning new things. This means intermediaries have to be there, too. Insurance agents need to reach their clients and prospects alike on social media, and the carriers and agencies they’re part of can help.

    With this in mind, insurance marketers and leaders must advocate for social selling throughout the organization. And everyone has a role to play. While marketers will stay busy coordinating paid ad campaigns to reach new target audiences and managing the branded social media, agents and other representatives of the brand must be on board as well: They need to be posting, liking, and replying to build relationships and bring a human touch to the broader social media strategy. Getting this buy-in means bridging the gap between sales and marketing — and educating them on why social selling works. If you're ready to sell-in social selling, here are four ways to get started:

    1. Get Everybody on the Same Page

    While some marketers may already be comfortable with the concept, social selling is still a recent marketing innovation for the insurance industry. Marketers need to get up to speed on strategy and execution, while also educating the organization (especially intermediaries — have we mentioned how important they are?).

    Start by defining social selling. This is our shorthand definition:

    Social selling is using social media to sell a product or service. It’s using social to:

    · Showcase thought leadership

    · Engage with potential customers

    · Interact with existing customers

    · Build trust and relationships

    Sounds pretty straightforward, right? While the execution can be trickier — think balancing paid and organic advertising, tracking analytics to calculate ROI, and overseeing the social media accounts of all the intermediaries — starting simple helps ease everyone into the process. This is especially important for advisors with limited social media experience. Lead with empathy to help them adjust to the new face of insurance marketing.

    2. Speak Their Language — With Stats to Back You Up

    Intermediaries want to build relationships and drive results — and social selling can help them do it — but only if they understand its potential. Highlight the value social selling has for both the company and individual intermediaries. Thankfully, this is one of the easier parts of selling social selling: The stats can do all the heavy lifting.

    Gather good information from trustworthy sources. If you’re going to be persuasive, you have to paint the picture of what social selling can do. Some of our favorite data comes from LinkedIn. Sales reps scoring higher on LinkedIn’s Social Selling Index experience:

    · 45% more sales opportunities

    · 51% higher likelihood to hit quotas

    · 78% outselling peers who don’t use social media

    And don’t be afraid to share the success you’ve had with brand social media, too. Brand social media and intermediary social selling, paid social ads, and organic social media content: All of these are chapters in the greater narrative of successful digital marketing strategies.

    3. Seriously, Bring Up the Data

    Raw numbers are well and good, but case studies marry data and narrative in a uniquely compelling way. Countless other industries have had success with social selling, and insurance needs to pay attention. Share these stories about what social selling has accomplished for so many other businesses. The housing industry, for one, has been particularly astute with social selling in recent years, especially when it comes to mortgage lending.

    In addition to formal case studies, bring the concept to life with experiences anyone can understand or has likely seen in their personal social media feeds. Local real estate agents are great examples of an industry that’s exemplary at utilizing social selling tools. Instead of starting from scratch, look to adjacent regulated industries to guide the way.

    4. Create a Culture of Q&As

    Don’t assume leaders know that social media is a sales channel — but also, don’t talk down to them when explaining the state of digital marketing. This means creating safe spaces where pros can ask questions (and not feel silly). Have a coffee; grab lunch. Give someone permission to be vulnerable and learn. Their aversion is likely rooted in misunderstanding. And remember, more experienced professionals may never have used social media for anything other than personal sharing. Empathy is your best friend. Walking alongside leaders and agents as they dip their feet into social selling will be so much more effective than talking down to them from the podium of knowledge. Building a strong foundation of understanding and a desire to learn will go a long way toward activating a social selling strategy.

    Social media marketing for insurance intermediaries may seem like a radical concept, but it’s more radical to not be using social as a sales tool. Sure, it may be new and feel risky, but educating the team and arming them with resources will make social selling feel not only prudent but necessary. To learn more about how social selling can help you reach your audience, request a demo today.

    Download the Guide

    Thank you! Your submission has been received!
    Download Guide
    Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
    ALL GUIDES:

    BOK Financial is a financial services partner for consumers, businesses and wealth clients with more than 150 users on the Denim Social platform.

    In addition to building brand credibility and establishing loan officer expertise, Denim Social enables their mortgage loan officers to cultivate relationships in social media and organically source leads.

    As financial marketers look to the coming year, most are wondering, “what’s next?” While no one can say for sure, our team of experts here at Denim Social are keeping a pulse on what’s new in digital marketing for financial institutions on social media. This guide will not only educate you on the latest trends, but help you make the case for increased investment in social selling and digital marketing strategies at your institution.

    Whether you’re in banking, wealth management, insurance or mortgage, relationships are the bedrock of your business.

    Considering clients in these industries are handing over the keys to their personal kingdoms, it’s no surprise that trust and connection matter. That’s why successful sales strategies for these industries are focused on building long-term, trusted relationships.

    To truly unleash the potential of social, financial institutions need to use social media as a sales tool. It’s called social selling and it works.

    The power of social media is undeniable. The ability of banks to engage with and influence customers and prospects via interactive digital channels is an essential tool and a cornerstone of marketing. Gone are the days when it was “nice to have” a presence on platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram. Today, these pathways are helping banks to build relationships that were historically cultivated by tirelessly walking up and down Main Street, shaking hands and leaving behind business cards.

    In this case study by Denim Social and American Bankers Association, we take a look at how banks are using social media to ramp up digital engagement and build sales.

    As any marketer worth their salt will tell you, analytics should drive your social strategy. The key to success is understanding how to link social media efforts to ROI metrics. Read this guide to learn how to gain insights that matter, optimize your strategy and prove your social success.

    It’s no surprise that social media can help drive results for your mortgage business. In fact, the question for most marketers at mortgage lending institutions isn’t IF they should be doing more social media marketing - it’s HOW. Download to learn how to:

    • Scale your social selling program
    • Plan your content strategy
    • Train your loan officers

    AnnieMac is one of the fastest-growing mortgage loan providers in the U.S., serving clients in 42 states. Learn how Denim Social helped their team to streamline its brand’s social media strategy and activate social selling for hundreds of loan officers in just four months.

    Instant Download

    Find out how more than 400 financial institutions across asset classes, geographies, and more used social media in 2020 to effectively support their business objectives. We’ve also outlined key trends to inform your social media future.

    As mortgage demand surges to historic highs, home purchase and refinance markets remain hot. This is excellent news for loan officers, but it also means the environment is more competitive than ever.

    So how can marketers ensure that their loan officers stand out? The answer is social media.

    Read this guidebook from Denim Social to learn how you can help your loan officers build strong relationships, stand out from the crowd and win more business using social media.

    Every Mortgage Marketer Should Ask Themselves

    Compliance is complicated, but don’t let it stop your lending team from making the most of social media. Think you’re ready to start social selling? Ask yourself these five questions!

    Download this guidebook to learn how marketers are using social media to:

    • Drive business with the lowest digital spend compared to traditional media
    • Position employees as thought-leaders while leveraging their collective reach of their social media presence
    • Ultimately, build trust with their communities and customers that translates to positive business results

    Read this guide if you’re asking yourself:

    • Is my social media policy current and comprehensive?
    • How do I ensure social media compliance during M&A?
    • What do I need to consider for direct messaging compliance?

    In this guide we will help you think about your all important social media policy and thoughtfully consider how changes in social media tech and even your bank’s structure may impact compliance.

    Download this guidebook to learn how marketers are using social media to:

    • Drive business with the lowest digital spend compared to traditional media
    • Position employees as thought-leaders while leveraging their collective reach of their social media presence
    • Ultimately, build trust with their communities and customers that translates to positive business results

    Every Financial Services Marketer Should Ask Themselves

    Compliance is complicated, but don’t let it stop your lending team from making the most of social media. Think you’re ready to start social selling? Ask yourself these five questions!

    Stronger Customer Relationships on Instagram

    Financial Services companies should be marketing and advertising on Instagram. We break down why, and help you create a strategy to reach new customers- while continuing to build trust in your brand.

    How 6 Financial Marketers Are Creating Value in Social Media

    Ever wonder what everyone else is doing in social media? We talked to six leading financial marketers about how they’re succeeding today and planning for the next big thing.

    Get their insights on strengthening your social strategies, unlocking the power of employee networks and creating next-level content that drives engagement.

    Download this guidebook to learn how 3 mortgage lenders are using social media to:

    • Position themselves in a place the community is already looking ... their social media
    • Empower loan officers to engage in local conversations
    • Turn their institution's loan officers into the voice of their brand
    • Build trust within the community

    Which roles do you fill when building your bank's marketing dream team? This guide will show you the following:

    • Who does what
    • The right structure to execute strategy
    • How compliance software can help

    Enjoy!

    Download this guidebook to learn how marketers are using social media to:

    • Drive business with the lowest digital spend compared to traditional media
    • Position employees as thought-leaders while leveraging their collective reach of their social media presence
    • Ultimately, build trust with their communities and customers that translates to positive business results

    ABA Study: The Current State of Social Media

    See what nearly 430 bank marketers had to say when asked questions such as:

  • Is it important to equip your sales personnel with social media accounts?
  • Does your bank measure the impact of your social media use?
  • COVID-19 & Bank Social Media

    Times are different and how you connect with customers and potential customers has changed drastically. In a socially distant world, learn to still build lasting relationships.

    Download and learn the guiding principles for using social media to serve both your customers and communities in the midst of a pandemic.

    Evolve Bank & Trust (“Evolve”) is an $700M+ asset institution with nearly 40 Home Loan Centers (HLC) and nearly 500 employees nationwide. See how Denim Social helped Evolve activate Home Loan Center Facebook pages over the course of just a few months.

    Download Here

    RESOURCES

    NEWS
    September 20, 2022

    4 Ways to Modernize Insurance Sales by Adopting Social Selling

    By
    Nola Morris

    The insurance industry is built on — and amazing at! — assessing risk. But the industry’s risk aversion has put insurance marketers between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, modern customer expectations mean agents need to leverage their relationship-building skills to gain ground online. On the other, unfamiliarity and fears about compliance are driving slow social selling adoption across the industry. While the concept may seem novel to some insurance leaders, that doesn't mean their competition is standing on the sidelines. After all, rival carriers aren’t twiddling their thumbs; many are jumping headfirst into social selling strategies and generating the new business to show for it.

    The good news is that adopting social selling doesn’t mean the industry has to reinvent the wheel. Rather, it should feel natural because this kind of digital communication is simply an extension of what agents are already doing. Instead of viewing digital marketing and social selling as an entirely new strategy, remember that it’s built on the same bread-and-butter relationship skills that trusted insurance advisors have always used with their customers. Insurance leaders must acknowledge social media as a sales channel, just like cold calling and in-person meetings, and must integrate social selling into the fabric of their organizations.

    How to Advocate for Social Selling

    Social media isn’t going anywhere. It’s where consumers are interacting with each other, looking for advice, and learning new things. This means intermediaries have to be there, too. Insurance agents need to reach their clients and prospects alike on social media, and the carriers and agencies they’re part of can help.

    With this in mind, insurance marketers and leaders must advocate for social selling throughout the organization. And everyone has a role to play. While marketers will stay busy coordinating paid ad campaigns to reach new target audiences and managing the branded social media, agents and other representatives of the brand must be on board as well: They need to be posting, liking, and replying to build relationships and bring a human touch to the broader social media strategy. Getting this buy-in means bridging the gap between sales and marketing — and educating them on why social selling works. If you're ready to sell-in social selling, here are four ways to get started:

    1. Get Everybody on the Same Page

    While some marketers may already be comfortable with the concept, social selling is still a recent marketing innovation for the insurance industry. Marketers need to get up to speed on strategy and execution, while also educating the organization (especially intermediaries — have we mentioned how important they are?).

    Start by defining social selling. This is our shorthand definition:

    Social selling is using social media to sell a product or service. It’s using social to:

    · Showcase thought leadership

    · Engage with potential customers

    · Interact with existing customers

    · Build trust and relationships

    Sounds pretty straightforward, right? While the execution can be trickier — think balancing paid and organic advertising, tracking analytics to calculate ROI, and overseeing the social media accounts of all the intermediaries — starting simple helps ease everyone into the process. This is especially important for advisors with limited social media experience. Lead with empathy to help them adjust to the new face of insurance marketing.

    2. Speak Their Language — With Stats to Back You Up

    Intermediaries want to build relationships and drive results — and social selling can help them do it — but only if they understand its potential. Highlight the value social selling has for both the company and individual intermediaries. Thankfully, this is one of the easier parts of selling social selling: The stats can do all the heavy lifting.

    Gather good information from trustworthy sources. If you’re going to be persuasive, you have to paint the picture of what social selling can do. Some of our favorite data comes from LinkedIn. Sales reps scoring higher on LinkedIn’s Social Selling Index experience:

    · 45% more sales opportunities

    · 51% higher likelihood to hit quotas

    · 78% outselling peers who don’t use social media

    And don’t be afraid to share the success you’ve had with brand social media, too. Brand social media and intermediary social selling, paid social ads, and organic social media content: All of these are chapters in the greater narrative of successful digital marketing strategies.

    3. Seriously, Bring Up the Data

    Raw numbers are well and good, but case studies marry data and narrative in a uniquely compelling way. Countless other industries have had success with social selling, and insurance needs to pay attention. Share these stories about what social selling has accomplished for so many other businesses. The housing industry, for one, has been particularly astute with social selling in recent years, especially when it comes to mortgage lending.

    In addition to formal case studies, bring the concept to life with experiences anyone can understand or has likely seen in their personal social media feeds. Local real estate agents are great examples of an industry that’s exemplary at utilizing social selling tools. Instead of starting from scratch, look to adjacent regulated industries to guide the way.

    4. Create a Culture of Q&As

    Don’t assume leaders know that social media is a sales channel — but also, don’t talk down to them when explaining the state of digital marketing. This means creating safe spaces where pros can ask questions (and not feel silly). Have a coffee; grab lunch. Give someone permission to be vulnerable and learn. Their aversion is likely rooted in misunderstanding. And remember, more experienced professionals may never have used social media for anything other than personal sharing. Empathy is your best friend. Walking alongside leaders and agents as they dip their feet into social selling will be so much more effective than talking down to them from the podium of knowledge. Building a strong foundation of understanding and a desire to learn will go a long way toward activating a social selling strategy.

    Social media marketing for insurance intermediaries may seem like a radical concept, but it’s more radical to not be using social as a sales tool. Sure, it may be new and feel risky, but educating the team and arming them with resources will make social selling feel not only prudent but necessary. To learn more about how social selling can help you reach your audience, request a demo today.

    Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest sent to your inbox.
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    OTHER NEWS:

    As a financial marketer, you know that the past 12 months have been a prime time for social selling. Social media usage has been on trajectory to rise 7.8% in 2022, with steady growth expected to continue over the next five years. This growth is fueled by consumers increasingly consulting social media for help making decisions — a habit that offers big opportunities for financial institutions.

    As the new year rapidly approaches, it’s a great time to plan your future social selling strategies with the latest social media trends in mind. Wondering what’s popular on social networks? How should trends inform your social selling strategy in the coming year? Here’s what you need to know as you plan for 2023 and beyond:

    1. Video content is taking over.

    Videos, particularly shorter clips, are having a major moment on YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram Reels. Social users are increasingly consuming short-form (call it “snackable”) content, even on legacy social networks. For example, bite-sized videos earned 57% of YouTube views in the second quarter of 2022, versus just 21% the year before.

    Many of these videos attract viewers by seamlessly blending education and entertainment. Financial concepts are perfect for the “edutainment” treatment, too. Think about it: With more than 89% of TikTok users actively trying to learn more about finance, it only makes sense to add financial video “edutainment” into your social selling strategy.

    That said, not every social selling post needs to contain a video, and not every video needs to be a highly produced affair. Easy-to-consume content is the name of the game, so think short and concise. Quick, pithy videos such as selfie commentaries or quick tips from your social sellers can make your content feel more authentic. No matter what video style you pursue, short clips will stop scrollers and make them more likely to engage with your intermediaries’ posts.

    2. Financial advice influencer culture opens up social selling opportunities.

    Social media probably seems like the last place most people would turn to for advice about money, yet finance-focused influencers are attracting lots of interest, particularly from younger social media consumers. Gen Zers are five times likelier than older Millennials and Generation Xers to get their money management suggestions on social media. With consumers seeking answers to their business and personal questions via online influencer personalities, you can’t afford not to put your intermediaries on social media to engage these audiences thirsty for (and often unable to find) credible information.

    If you haven’t already, plan to empower your producers (agents, loan officers, financial advisors, and other rock stars at your organization) to share their expert advice on social media. When they do, your social sellers’ audiences can build up their financial literacy with insights from qualified professionals. Those prospects’ and customers’ lives will improve, and their loyalty will grow.

    Note that your social selling team members don’t have to become superstar influencers for this strategy to work, either. Micro-influencers in their communities also gain plenty of loyalty — and sales as a result. Because social algorithms favor individuals over brands, it’s time to get more of your brand representatives to highlight their expertise on social channels.

    3. Social networks as search engines enhances discoverability.

    Social is the new search engine. Almost 40% of Generation Z searchers go to apps such as Instagram and TikTok first for search capabilities. In other words, they bypass Google in favor of social networks. That’s huge. And we at Denim Social think this online behavior is sure to catch on across generations. We also think the best way to make use of this trend is to have social sellers active on social media. When more of your employees are on social networks, you’re more discoverable.

    Another surefire way to take advantage of the social search trend is to make sure your social selling strategies include both organic and paid tactics. When organic and paid elements work together, you can be where consumers need you at the time they need you.

    Otherwise, optimizing for search on social isn’t much different from any other SEO work you’ve encountered. A fast way to enhance the discoverability of social selling copy is to ensure that it incorporates strategic hashtags, including nods to trending topics. Remember, it’s fine for social posts to include numerous hashtags, as long as they all make sense. SEO keywords can also fit nicely into social selling content and ad copy, just as they do in website copy and blog posts. All that optimization drives the social media search engine, ensuring users find your content when they’re seeking information that could lead them to decisions.

    Social media has changed the game for marketing and has made person-to-person communication (and selling!) an essential strategy. As with any social media strategy, being up to date on trends is critical for social selling success. Guiding your intermediaries to add short videos, credible advice, and search-boosting features to content will strengthen your social selling strategy for 2023.

    A financial conversation is already happening online, and your institution needs to be part of it. It’s time to launch a social selling program if you haven’t already. And if you have, let these trends be a clear sign that it’s time to expand your efforts. People are choosing to work with financial professionals they find on social media, and your intermediaries can meet them there. Want more insider knowledge about applying social selling techniques? Download our exclusive 2023 Denim Social Trend Report today.

    Smart financial marketers know social media and social selling are essential  to effectively reach and build trust with today’s consumers. But how does your digital marketing strategy measure up against competitors?

    Denim Social is here to help. We collected social media data from 177 institutions across banking, mortgage, wealth management and insurance to help you get the pulse on the social media performance. Take a look and see how your institution stacks up.

    Ready to learn how you can adopt these trends? Book a demo to learn more.

    People buy from people. That fundamental truth is the cornerstone of the insurance industry and is holding true even as the insurance value chain becomes more and more digital. But in a world where customers increasingly avoid in-person interactions — McKinsey’s 2020 U.S. Insurance Agent Survey saw a 65% drop in face-to-face conversations in 2020, with a slow recovery — how do agents adjust? The answer is to meet customers where they are - online.

    Insurance professionals likely view social media as a necessary evil, but social media can be a powerful sales tool, putting agents right in the path of their clients and prospects. It’s more than just posting content into a digital void; it’s taking what agents have done for decades to build their business and bringing it to life within the social media landscape. Consider this: GWI research suggests online consumers around the globe spend almost 2.5 hours scrolling through social sites daily.

    Putting energy into social media as a sales tool means attracting those eyes and winning more chances to interact with prospects and customers. But where do you start? Here are a few things to consider before leaning into social selling.

    1. Learn exactly what social selling is (and isn’t)

    Social selling is using social media to showcase thought leadership and industry expertise, build relationships and, ultimately, connect with new prospects while maintaining trust with existing ones. But a social selling strategy requires much more than having a Twitter account; it requires the same attention as any sales methods do. It’s taking social beyond simply posting regularly. It’s using social as a connection point to identify life events and points of connection with your community. And the good news is, you should see the returns. LinkedIn’s Social Selling data notes that 78% of social sellers outshine their peers who aren’t using social media as a sales tool.

    1. Take stock of your social media accounts

    If you hope to capitalize on social selling, you must first take stock of your existing social media accounts and look for opportunities to strengthen your overall social presence.

    Whichever social channel mix you’ve decided is right for your business (it’s OK not to be on every social platform!), you always want to make sure your brand is consistent and robust across each channel. That sounds easy, but there are a few things to consider to ensure that your identity is clear and consistent:

    • Profile images: Whether it’s a professionally taken photo, a well-lit high-resolution image taken on a smartphone or your company logo, make sure your profile images reflect how you and your company look today. (For example: Don’t use your headshot from 15 years ago.)
    • Cover images: Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter all have a space for a cover or background image. Be sure you have a cover image that is consistent with your brand and that you have the rights to use that image.
    • “About” sections: Today’s consumers use social media for information searches like they use Google, so your bios and “about” sections pages are more important than ever. Sections can vary across social channels, but your information should be accurate and reflect your business on each channel. Pay special attention to your business description, location information and hours of operation.

    Rather than jump right into the heavy stuff, it’s important to get these social media ducks in a row first.

    1. Make a plan for posting, engaging and amplifying.

    After your social accounts are up to speed, it’s important to have a plan. Regularly posting content is only the foundation of social selling, but it will help keep you top of mind with your followers and give you a place to interact with them. It also sets you up well when you’re ready to start putting money behind your posts with paid social advertising.

    Beyond posting, it’s important to keep an eye on those who interact with your posts. Comment back, connect with them or, better yet, give them a call. Social selling really comes to life when you can weave social into your everyday sales practices. Either way, prioritize social just as you would other crucial facets of your business. Post regularly and have a plan for responding and engaging with your existing and potential clients. Then turn those engagements into sales opportunities.

    1. Leverage your resources.

    You’re not the only one flexing your social selling muscles, so look to others – even insights from competitors - for help. A good way to begin is to look at the social accounts of others in and out of your sector. What are they writing about? What posts seem to engage followers? How are they branding themselves to be trustworthy experts? Use the information you gather to help you plan your own social selling and content strategy.

    The question shouldn’t be if you should start social selling, it’s when. Your existing and potential clients are there, waiting for you. You only must give social selling the time and energy it deserves. As someone in a profession built around risk, you’ll find that social selling is a safe bet.

    This article was originally published in Insurance Newsnet.

    In today’s origination and refi environment, most mortgage loan officers are finding it’s no longer fish in a barrel. That means every loan officer needs to consider their competitive edge. And when bargain-basement rates are no longer the decision driver for prospects, relationships matter more than ever.

    Everyone knows a successful sales strategy is focused on building long-term, trusted relationships, but today, that means building relationships online. Social media has long been regarded as a brand builder, but the real power of social is using it as a sales tool. It’s called social selling and it works.

    Social selling is just what it sounds like: using social media to sell a product or service. It’s leveraging social to build personal relationships, showcase thought leadership, engage with prospects, interact with existing customers, and ultimately build trust and rapport that will eventually lead to deals.

    An active social selling strategy can not only help build ongoing relationships, but keep you top of mind with contacts when opportunities open up – and in this rate environment, that can be short-lived.

    Social selling requires continual care and management, but it’s worth the investment of time, and effort when you’re using social to drive business results. A daily social selling routine helps loan officers in so many ways and managing a program doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Here’s where to start:

    Optimize Your Profile

    Before you even get to posting, it’s important to take a look at your profiles to ensure your brand is consistent across channels. Ensure you have a current and easily recognizable profile picture. If you haven’t already, upload a cover image and update the about section to be your descriptions, location and hours are current.

    Post Meaningful and Relevant Content

    It’s not only important for you to be posting regularly, you need to be posting with purpose. Your social profiles should be an extension of who you are in real life. Authenticity always wins in social media.

    There is no magic formula for how often you should post, but consistency is key. Successful social selling programs offer a variety of organic content. The mix looks different for every loan officer, but commonly a healthy and informed mix includes brand, industry and most importantly, personal/community content.

    Interact with the Community

    Social media is a two-way conversation and that means you need to be interacting with followers. In other words, don’t post and ghost. Social selling is about listening, responding and engaging. It’s a conversation, so you should be promptly responding to comments and direct messages, showing connections that their inquiries and concerns matter.

    When every deal matters, so does every relationship. If you’re looking to build trust and connection with customers and prospects alike, make sure your profiles are up to date, post regularly and interact with your followers. A social selling strategy can help you make the most of social media opportunities in a competitive environment.

    This article was originally published in MBA Newslink.

    The insurance industry is built on managing risk — but an aversion to risk may leave executives hesitant to support your more modern (and more effective!) marketing strategies. But failure to adapt means resigning yourself to falling behind competitors.

    Even for carriers who ride the digital wave, reliance on legacy systems could be holding them back. For insurance marketers to adopt modern digital strategies — like integrated organic and paid social selling through intermediaries — they must educate decision makers and effectively make the case to adopt supportive technology.

    This means marketers must take on the role of educator. The reality is, while many companies may think they already have integrated social strategies, they're often conflating social selling with brand-level social media — and they're leaving opportunity on the table in the process. It's up to marketing leaders, like you, to create a culture around social selling, differentiate from brand-level social, nurture top performers, and adopt the right technology. Sound overwhelming? Here's where to start.

    Enabling Intermediaries to Leverage Social Selling

    Why is social selling so necessary for insurance agents? It's simple: Social media brings us together. It's where people blend their real lives with their digital lives. While everyone loves a good dancing cat video, social channels facilitate so much more than fleeting entertainment. They serve as a resource for creating connections, building trust, and strengthening relationships. Their connective power makes them the perfect avenue for leveraging insurance marketers' best resource: agents. People buy from people, and enabling insurance agents to use social media as a sales tool not only amplifies your brand-level marketing but allows for deeper, more localized relationship-building.

    While it's understandable that some insurance leaders worry about how regulation factors into online activity, remind them that social media doesn't bring a new set of rules to learn. Can't do it in real life? Then don't do it on social media. Though social media is a unique setting, it doesn’t require a new playbook. Your agents' social media behavior shouldn't be any different from how they interact via email or in person. They should be authentic. Let the agents be advisors — just bring them to a new medium.

    If you’re a social media marketer in the insurance world, you’re in a great position to advocate for organizational change and bring social selling to your company. By using these strategies, you'll be able to shift your company's view of social selling and overcome long-held misperceptions about social media marketing while also improving your metrics.

    1. Build a culture from the inside out.

    Want your insurance agents or intermediaries to love social selling? You won’t make inroads until you can show them what social selling is and what it can do. Social in any regulated industry can feel scary and risky, so weaving social selling into sales processes that have “always been done a certain way” will feel like a huge change, both internally and externally. Remember: This is a marathon, not a sprint. Build a solid internal foundation before launch.

    For example, we talk about agents or intermediaries being on social to drive business, but sales and marketing teams need to be there as well. Everyone across sales and marketing needs to be present on social, understand how to optimize their profiles, and participate in the greater digital discourse. People need to use it to understand its value, and people who understand its value will be more encouraged to adopt it. In time, your colleagues will see social selling’s benefits, and you’ll have a better chance at launching a more widespread social selling initiative.

    2. Educate your colleagues and intermediaries on social branding versus social selling.

    Most insurance professionals understand on some level that digital marketing is important for amplifying brand messaging. What they may not realize is that social selling is a nonnegotiable sales tool in today's digital world. It's up to you as the marketer to take ownership over shifting this narrative — holding the importance of brand messaging in one hand and relationship-building in the other. Social media enables both, and you must utilize both aspects to get the most out of your digital marketing strategies.

    While you do this, keep in mind your co-workers' level of digital literacy. Would it be helpful to host general training on social media? Don’t assume that everyone uses it personally or understands its role in business.

    A good starting point to drive home the importance of taking social selling seriously is to talk about the next generation of insurance customers. Today, Millennials and Generation Z make up the biggest buying cohort for insurance products. Because they’re more likely to be active on social media, social selling is a natural fit.

    3. Find and nurture internal social selling champions.

    Building and nurturing an internal culture of social selling puts much of the onus on you, so it's essential to find internal cheerleaders to help get the culture shift started. These internal champions will support your education and promotion efforts and will expand your range of influence. Good places to look for influencers are among your sales leaders and partners who are hungry to try any tactics that will improve lead generation and conversion rates.

    Be ready to buy those internal champions a coffee and have conversations about social media. Get them comfortable with it — and give them space to ask questions. Make it feel accessible and understandable. Once you get them in your camp, they'll help you advocate for something bigger. And once your social selling fans are in place, you can work with them to implement social selling into their workflows with social selling tools.

    4. Advocate for the tools to make social selling successful.

    When brand-only social media and social selling aren't differentiated, neither are the tools used to manage them. Marketers can feel like they have one hand tied behind their backs if they're using the wrong social media management tool for a social selling program.

    The easy solution? To launch a true social selling program, companies must invest in the right technology. We don't mean building your own digital tools — though that may be an option for a Fortune 100 company, it's often more trouble than it's worth. Bespoke options are nice, but hiring a whole team of developers to create new software and keeping them on the payroll to maintain it can be a huge sink of resources. While it's understandable to be wary of outside vendors — and wonder whether they can understand the industry and the business's specific challenges — the right platform can ensure that content sourcing, approval workflows, and compliance are easy and scalable for your social selling program.

    With an educated team, an open culture, and the right tools, social selling can become a true avenue of business growth. As your agents grow into everyday social sellers, your leads will grow, too. Relationships are your greatest asset; make sure you're utilizing them with social media.

    Want to learn more about social selling in the insurance industry? Book a Denim Social demo today.

    In the digital age, convenience is king. Digital channels are accessible for customers and scalable for banks, but the lack of emotional connection means clients are less likely to develop brand loyalty. Unsurprisingly, a large percentage of millennials and Gen Xers have no issue switching retail banks.

    There’s no fighting the digital revolution, but this doesn’t mean you should stop prioritizing customer experience. If anything, digital places an even higher value on reevaluating customer needs and creating a human-centric approach to connect with them.

    We’re past the age of greeting customers with coffee in the bank lobby. Rather than in-person communication, one-to-one omnichannel marketing focuses on using many channels to connect with customers. No two consumers have the same media habits, so it’s essential to personalize their interactions by integrating their preferred channels to create seamless service interactions.

    What does this look like for banks? It starts with a diverse range of channel options to meet the preferences and needs of unique customers, and then to translate those human relationships to meet the needs of the channel.

    Reaching your customers on their level sounds expensive but can help banks save money in the long run: Increasing retention rates by just 5% can lead to a 25% profit boost, and banks with superior customer satisfaction grow deposits at a faster rate than their competitors.

    Here are three guidelines for shaping a personalized omnichannel strategy.

    Engage on the customer’s preferred channel: Customers say communicating via their preferred method is the second-most important factor in their business decisions. While the size of today’s media landscape means banks need to be active on multiple channels, data insights can help you identify which ones are worth putting resources into.

    Another benefit of using your future customer’s preferred platform is trust. When a bank customer feels heard and catered to, the relationship will be built more on trust. Regardless of which platforms your institution is on, interacting with customers on the one they trust and prefer can also build their trust in you.

    Humanize your customer interactions: In financial services, people buy from people. Relationships are the bedrock of the industry, so transform those relationships for the digital age. Use social selling to help by having bank employees to work front and center in digital outreach. When customers interact with your bank, are they relating it to a specific person or just a brand?

    Promotional emails from a person instead of a generic brand address is a start, but personal communication goes much deeper. Use social media to enable social selling for associates.

    Prioritizing social selling can be more efficient by capitalizing on employees’ social reach.

    Customize your messaging: It can be easy to send a mass-marketing email to a collection of potential marketing leads — but what’s easy isn’t always what’s effective. Operating on different channels requires understanding the rules of communication for each platform.

    Instagram is a visual platform, so it would be out-of-touch for a bank to post word-heavy content there. Instead, use infographics and other image-based material. Taking stock of different social media methods better prepares you to reach audiences effectively.

    Banks need to make each communication platform work for the needs of their audience, taking into account the user base and the nature of their business. Design campaigns based around each customer and offer personalization options to tailor these messages further. For example, messages or imagery related to legacy planning may not be well-received on Instagram, a platform dominated by younger users. Similarly, older audiences would likely be uninterested in first-time home buyer content.

    It is estimated that for every $100 billion in assets a bank has, it can achieve as much as $300 million in revenue growth by personalizing its customer interactions, so it’s well worth the time investment.

    The efficacy of investing in omnichannel marketing will be reflected in customers gained. By investing in personalizing your online experience, the benefits will compound over time as your bank stays front of mind with customers. Personalize your marketing, bring value with empathetic interactions, and humanize every touchpoint to retain your most valued customers.

    This article was originally published on BAI.

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    September 20, 2022

    4 Ways to Modernize Insurance Sales by Adopting Social Selling

    By
    Nola Morris

    The insurance industry is built on — and amazing at! — assessing risk. But the industry’s risk aversion has put insurance marketers between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, modern customer expectations mean agents need to leverage their relationship-building skills to gain ground online. On the other, unfamiliarity and fears about compliance are driving slow social selling adoption across the industry. While the concept may seem novel to some insurance leaders, that doesn't mean their competition is standing on the sidelines. After all, rival carriers aren’t twiddling their thumbs; many are jumping headfirst into social selling strategies and generating the new business to show for it.

    The good news is that adopting social selling doesn’t mean the industry has to reinvent the wheel. Rather, it should feel natural because this kind of digital communication is simply an extension of what agents are already doing. Instead of viewing digital marketing and social selling as an entirely new strategy, remember that it’s built on the same bread-and-butter relationship skills that trusted insurance advisors have always used with their customers. Insurance leaders must acknowledge social media as a sales channel, just like cold calling and in-person meetings, and must integrate social selling into the fabric of their organizations.

    How to Advocate for Social Selling

    Social media isn’t going anywhere. It’s where consumers are interacting with each other, looking for advice, and learning new things. This means intermediaries have to be there, too. Insurance agents need to reach their clients and prospects alike on social media, and the carriers and agencies they’re part of can help.

    With this in mind, insurance marketers and leaders must advocate for social selling throughout the organization. And everyone has a role to play. While marketers will stay busy coordinating paid ad campaigns to reach new target audiences and managing the branded social media, agents and other representatives of the brand must be on board as well: They need to be posting, liking, and replying to build relationships and bring a human touch to the broader social media strategy. Getting this buy-in means bridging the gap between sales and marketing — and educating them on why social selling works. If you're ready to sell-in social selling, here are four ways to get started:

    1. Get Everybody on the Same Page

    While some marketers may already be comfortable with the concept, social selling is still a recent marketing innovation for the insurance industry. Marketers need to get up to speed on strategy and execution, while also educating the organization (especially intermediaries — have we mentioned how important they are?).

    Start by defining social selling. This is our shorthand definition:

    Social selling is using social media to sell a product or service. It’s using social to:

    · Showcase thought leadership

    · Engage with potential customers

    · Interact with existing customers

    · Build trust and relationships

    Sounds pretty straightforward, right? While the execution can be trickier — think balancing paid and organic advertising, tracking analytics to calculate ROI, and overseeing the social media accounts of all the intermediaries — starting simple helps ease everyone into the process. This is especially important for advisors with limited social media experience. Lead with empathy to help them adjust to the new face of insurance marketing.

    2. Speak Their Language — With Stats to Back You Up

    Intermediaries want to build relationships and drive results — and social selling can help them do it — but only if they understand its potential. Highlight the value social selling has for both the company and individual intermediaries. Thankfully, this is one of the easier parts of selling social selling: The stats can do all the heavy lifting.

    Gather good information from trustworthy sources. If you’re going to be persuasive, you have to paint the picture of what social selling can do. Some of our favorite data comes from LinkedIn. Sales reps scoring higher on LinkedIn’s Social Selling Index experience:

    · 45% more sales opportunities

    · 51% higher likelihood to hit quotas

    · 78% outselling peers who don’t use social media

    And don’t be afraid to share the success you’ve had with brand social media, too. Brand social media and intermediary social selling, paid social ads, and organic social media content: All of these are chapters in the greater narrative of successful digital marketing strategies.

    3. Seriously, Bring Up the Data

    Raw numbers are well and good, but case studies marry data and narrative in a uniquely compelling way. Countless other industries have had success with social selling, and insurance needs to pay attention. Share these stories about what social selling has accomplished for so many other businesses. The housing industry, for one, has been particularly astute with social selling in recent years, especially when it comes to mortgage lending.

    In addition to formal case studies, bring the concept to life with experiences anyone can understand or has likely seen in their personal social media feeds. Local real estate agents are great examples of an industry that’s exemplary at utilizing social selling tools. Instead of starting from scratch, look to adjacent regulated industries to guide the way.

    4. Create a Culture of Q&As

    Don’t assume leaders know that social media is a sales channel — but also, don’t talk down to them when explaining the state of digital marketing. This means creating safe spaces where pros can ask questions (and not feel silly). Have a coffee; grab lunch. Give someone permission to be vulnerable and learn. Their aversion is likely rooted in misunderstanding. And remember, more experienced professionals may never have used social media for anything other than personal sharing. Empathy is your best friend. Walking alongside leaders and agents as they dip their feet into social selling will be so much more effective than talking down to them from the podium of knowledge. Building a strong foundation of understanding and a desire to learn will go a long way toward activating a social selling strategy.

    Social media marketing for insurance intermediaries may seem like a radical concept, but it’s more radical to not be using social as a sales tool. Sure, it may be new and feel risky, but educating the team and arming them with resources will make social selling feel not only prudent but necessary. To learn more about how social selling can help you reach your audience, request a demo today.

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    Independent agents are taking over the scene — 62% of property and casualty premiums in the U.S. were written by independent agents in 2021 — so competition is fiercer than ever. Independent agents who want to stand out need to build up their personal brands online to reach customers and keep relationships strong. When agents use their personal social networks to find prospects, build relationships, and grow their thought leadership, they’re using one of the most powerful strategies available to them: social selling.

    Social selling might be a familiar strategy for captive agents who have their carriers’ built-in marketing support, but independent agents must create their business (and relationships) from scratch. More and more, those relationships are built over social media. That’s the challenge for agents in this new landscape, but it’s also the big opportunity. People buy from people, and building personal relationships is what insurance agents have always done best. They just need to translate those rapport-building skills into modern digital spaces with a few key strategies.

    Adopt social selling as a go-to strategy.

    Social selling unifies sales and marketing, transforming social media into a revenue driver by giving agents an avenue to showcase their thought leadership, engage with potential and existing customers, and build trust and relationships in the process. It is similar to offline selling: Build trust with customers, get to know them, and explain how your product helps solve their problems. But it proves even more powerful — 78% of social sellers outsell their peers who don’t use social media.

    To get ahead in social selling, agents must harness the power in their relationships and personal networks. Research shows that content shared by employees gets eight times more engagement than content shared by a brand. A social selling strategy can not only help agents reach more people, but also can also help them humanize their own work and brand.

    For independent agents, personal branding can make all the difference. Agents shouldn’t be afraid to be unique and show their authentic selves on social media. From sharing personal photos to comments on client posts, the more clients see agents as personal friends and unique people, the more engaged they will be.

    Why does letting personality show matter for agents? Credibility has become increasingly important for customers, with 88% of consumers citing authenticity as a key factor in deciding what brands they like and support. Clients want to know they can trust their agents, especially when making decisions that majorly affect their families and lives, so social selling content should reflect authenticity and relatability.

    Understand and accept agents’ evolving roles in the changing landscape of digital insurance.

    The sales process has gone digital in many ways, but that does not change the value of human guidance from an insurance advisor — the role of the trusted insurance advisor isn’t going anywhere.

    Human connection remains a meaningful part of the insurance transaction. When people’s lives change, their relationships with their agents matter, and the work that agents have put into fostering trust and strong relationships will pay off.

    Social media is a crucial tool in keeping intermediaries connected in this digital age and agents need to be comfortable using modern social media marketing and sales strategies.

    Don’t go it alone — look for trusted support resources.

    When independent agents are active in social selling, they shouldn’t go it alone. The resources agents have been consulting for years often have active blogs and social accounts from which they can source content. Many carriers and insurance industry thought leaders also offer curated social content that is ready to share and can typically be personalized by the agent.

    A social selling strategy powered by a thoughtful content mix can help independent agents not only reach more people, but also reinforce the thought leadership and trust-building they’ve been demonstrating to clients outside of social media for years.

    Find the right tools.

    Curating content, creating a regular cadence of posting, monitoring multiple social channels — there are a lot of moving pieces in an independent agent’s social selling strategy. Social selling is just one of the many things an independent agent has in their sales repertoire. This makes it so important to have technology built for social selling specifically. The less time agents spend on the organizational aspects of social selling, the more time they have to build customer relationships, communicate authentically and, ultimately, build trust online.

    This article was originally published in Insurance Journal.

    It’s that time of year again. Nope, not Christmas (not yet, anyway). Instead, it’s time for marketers everywhere to reflect on the past year and plan their social media strategies for the year ahead. As consumer expectations for personalization rise, meeting customers’ needs for connection is no longer just a “nice to have.” It’s essential for building trusting business relationships. The financial services industry already understands the power of personal connection through intermediaries. That’s why empowering them through social selling — helping them forge connections with customers and prospects alike — should take center stage in your 2023 marketing strategy.  

    Need some extra convincing? First, consider that social media has become entrenched in consumers’ lives and wallets. Accenture expects social commerce to grow to $1.2 trillion in just three years, with Millennials and Gen Zers propelling most of that growth. And their spending power continues to skyrocket. Most important? They’re using social media like search engines when researching financial products and services. In fact, about 40% of Gen Zers said they’d sooner use TikTok and Instagram for search than Google. Whether you’re in insurance, banking, or mortgage, both your brand and your individual experts need to be discoverable on the channels that matter, building trust with authentic and educational content.

    With that in mind, here are three tips for building a successful 2023 social selling strategy:

    1. Expand to Short-Form Video

    Short-form video is taking over social channels such as YouTube and Instagram — not to mention the meteoric rise of TikTok. Now more than ever, social users expect their feeds to include short, easy-to-watch clips that educate and entertain them. It’s called “edutainment,” and it can be a powerful (and authentic) tool in a social selling strategy. Whether you’re planning to adopt TikTok or post content on an existing network such as Instagram, your social selling strategy for 2023 can include video to set up your intermediaries as experts who can influence their prospects and customers.

    Need content ideas? Empower your social sellers to provide financial planning ideas or market trend analyses, for example, to get the wheels turning for prospects and customers. Your marketing team should ask themselves questions such as: What topics confuse your target audiences? What questions do prospects and customers have? How can your intermediaries break down these confusing topics into “snackable” content? Younger audiences are looking to channels such as Instagram to find personalized content like this. Your social sellers should meet them there, ready to engage (and entertain!) with authenticity and empathy.

    2. Combine Organic and Paid for Maximum Impact

    If 2022 taught us anything, it should be that it’s a matter of when — not if — social media algorithms change, so you need to be ready to adapt your marketing strategy accordingly. For instance, as social networks continue to show a preference for individuals over brands, you can and should funnel more resources into social selling for your intermediaries. However, investing in paid social media advertising is also a good idea, especially as search-driven social behavior accelerates.

    You cannot control the organic algorithm, but with paid social advertising, you can manage who you reach and with what message. Don’t worry, your social sellers don’t need to become paid social experts. We recommend marketers execute paid on behalf of their social sellers. This allows you to maintain control of your budget and frees up intermediaries to engage with their audiences through their organic posting or leads generated from paid. Be sure to advocate for your social sellers as you negotiate your paid social budget for the year. Consider redirecting brand funds or advocating for additional spend for your intermediaries. (Need help marrying your organic and paid strategies? We have resources for that!)

    3. Keep It Consistent

    Your social selling strategy will only be as impactful as it is consistent. Maintaining a consistent posting cadence is absolutely paramount. For one thing, it will help you overcome some of those tricky algorithmic changes. Plus, if your social sellers aren’t posting at least a few times a week, their audience engagement will quickly peter out as other content fills the void.

    Consistency in messaging is just as — if not more — important. Your social sellers should stay on message for the brand or brands they represent, but staying compliant in a regulated industry is also crucial. The good news is that Denim Social makes consistency and compliance easy. For example, our content approval workflows ensure that nothing goes live without your team’s permission, protecting your brand voice and keeping your intermediaries compliant. On top of that, our shared libraries of preapproved and customizable content mean your intermediaries’ social feeds stay full. The result? You’ll never face content logjams again, and your intermediaries’ audiences will remain engaged.

    The 2023 tea leaves are clear: You’d be wise to invest your resources in social selling to connect with and serve an engaged online audience. Want to build your 2023 social selling strategy but don’t know where to start? Check out the Denim Social 2023 Trend Report.

    Geographically dispersed across midwest and southwest, BOK Financial saw an opportunity to use loan officer social media to build their regional presence and community relationships. Recognizing the potential in a local-focused strategy, BOK Financial wanted hyper-local custom content to inspire follower engagement.

    In this case study, we'll look at how BOK Financial and Denim Social teamed up to get loan officers active on social and more engaged with their local communities.

    Click below to learn how they did it.

    BOK Financial is a financial services partner for consumers, businesses and wealth clients with more than 150 users on the Denim Social platform.

    In addition to building brand credibility and establishing loan officer expertise, Denim Social enables their mortgage loan officers to cultivate relationships in social media and organically source leads.

    Personal relationships are the bedrock of the financial advice industry. Nearly 75 percent of investors prioritize personal relationships when evaluating investment providers, Deloitte found. That’s why providers—even online brokers and robo-advisory firms—are taking care to preserve the human touch. Even with a growing trend toward digital automation to streamline trades and more, human connection is still paramount.

    Bank marketers should reflect that by personalizing the digital experiences that they create for wealth management clients and prospects. Investors are accustomed to receiving personalized content online, including from their favorite retailers. They expect the same levels of customization from their service providers.

    The benefits of customer personalization are mutual for investors and banks. When customers receive content tailored to their needs and financial situations, they understand their investment opportunities better and feel empowered to make the right financial decisions. And when they see wealth advisors addressing their specific needs—such as estate, retirement or education planning—they will naturally feel like those advisors understand their needs and can help them.

    By contrast, when banks and advisors neglect personalization, they risk what Bain and Company calls “hidden defection,” or customers buying high-margin products such as loans, investments, and credit cards from competitors. Even if investors do not leave, they will go elsewhere to place their investments and purchase new financial products. Many customers who defect are attracted by personalized direct offers. That said, almost 80 percent of customers surveyed by Bain said they would have bought from their primary financial institutions if the banks had made equivalent offers.

    It is clear that by creating improved digital experiences, banks can retain their clients’ business and even gain wallet share. So, how can they adjust their bank marketing strategies to prioritize customer personalization and build relationships?

    1. Embrace a social selling strategy.

    Whether financial advisors like it or not, their digital profiles affect how prospects view them. Almost 50 percent of investors say social media impacts whom they hire as a financial professional. And 33 percent report they seek financial advice online, according to Financial Advisor reporting on a Hartford Funds survey. Wealth advisors need to use social media to build rapport (and trust) with clients and prospects. When they demonstrate their value routinely, they’re more likely to be top of mind when customers are ready to purchase. That’s how strong digital profiles lay the foundation for social selling.

    Social selling adheres to the same core principles as in-person selling: building relationships with customers, demonstrating knowledge, educating them and helping solve their problems. It all just happens online. Social selling empowers financial advisors to add value for customers through digital means when they wouldn’t have had the opportunity otherwise. Ultimately, sales reps who regularly share content are 45% more likely to exceed their quotas. So it is worth wealth advisors’ time to beef up their social profiles and engage with contacts.

    2. Join customers on their preferred channels.

    Investors are getting their information somewhere. it is essential to find out where that information comes from and to meet investors where they are.

    Then, financial advisors should create profiles on those channels and organically engage with prospective clients. Why? Twenty percent of investors told Hartford Funds that a wealth advisor’s social media was their sole deciding factor when evaluating a financial professional.

    For older investors, this might be traditional news channels’ Twitter or Facebook feeds. For younger investors, this could be newer channels such as TikTok. More than one-third of Gen Z Americans say they get financial advice from TikTok, and only 24 percent of investors in this age group get advice from financial advisors, according to a recent Vericast survey. That represents a big opportunity for financial advisors to win young investors’ business by meeting them through these channels. The key is to make any engagement enjoyable and authentic so that clients don’t feel like financial advisors are just trying to sell to them.

    3. Create connected customer journeys.

    Posting on social media is a great start, but if bank marketers want to drive ROI, they must create more robust digital journeys. The key to connected investor journeys is to avoid digital dead ends and always offer clear next steps.

    At the start of the journey, wealth advisors must interact and create two-way dialogue online with existing audiences. They should then expand their audiences through tactics such as paid social media advertising, which can help them reach investors similar to their current customers or new target audiences.

    In their social posts, financial advisors can drive audiences to content-driven landing pages that contain resources to download in exchange for contact information, which can help capture leads. Every step of the way, investors need to see the value, whether through educational content that wealth advisors share, access to more in-depth resources or complimentary consultations.

    Banks benefit when they embrace customer personalization in their marketing strategies to keep customers engaged, build rapport and ultimately close more sales. That starts with giving wealth advisors access to the right processes and technology to deliver personalized education and offers. Once properly empowered, advisors can meet clients where they are, establish themselves as trustworthy, generate more leads and reduce the risk of “hidden defection” over time.

    This article was originally published in ABA Bank Marketing.

    Denim Social is excited to share that its platform will now offer integrated customer relationship management (CRM) capabilities through a new integration with award-winning CRM, lead management, and engagement platform, Insellerate. Denim Social users can now automatically capture leads generated from Denim Social Pages in the Insellerate platform.

    Social selling is a non-negotiable to drive a modern marketing strategy, but without the right tools, loan officers struggle to connect social media activity to real life opportunity. Together with Denim Social, Insellerate users can track and automate social media leads, taking prospects from click to contract.

    “People buy from people. In this environment, relationships matter more than ever,” said Doug Wilber, CEO of Denim Social. “Together, Denim Social and Insellerate can help loan officers transform social media relationships into deals closed.”

    Here’s how the integration works:

    • Mortgage marketers who use both Denim Social and Insellerate can connect the platforms.
    • When a prospective borrowers or industry contact completes a form on a Denim Social landing page, the lead will be automatically distributed to track in Insellerate and trigger engagement via automation.
    • With the Denim Social integration, Insellerate records will be created, updated, assigned, and marketing automations triggered – no emails or manual updates needed.

    “We know the right tools can empower loan officers to engage more effectively with industry professionals and borrowers alike,” said Josh Friend, CEO and founder of Insellerate. “When every deal counts, social selling with the Denim Social integration can help Insellerate users increase conversion rates, lower costs and, of course, close more deals.”  

    Homestead Funding, a multi-state licensed mortgage lender, actively uses the Denim Social platform to reach and engage prospects. The Insellerate integration was developed to meet the needs of Homestead’s team.

    Denim Social is invested in the financial industry, bringing valuable tools and unique expertise to our partnership,” said Daniela Bigalli, SVP sales and marketing Homestead Funding Corp. “When we approached Denim Social and Insellerate with our overall vision they were collaborative and excited to build an integration that was tailored to our team’s needs. Working together we feel confident that we can achieve our goals of a streamlined and efficient user experience for our loan originators.”

    Ready to maximize your social selling and fire up leads in your CRM? Connect with a Denim Social or Insellerate representative to activate the integration.

    Connect & Convert on Social

    Successfully scale conversion optimized campaigns across all social media channels with built-in compliance, publishing tools, and more.
    Book a Demo

    Connect & Convert on Social

    Successfully scale conversion optimized campaigns across all social media channels with built-in compliance, publishing tools, and more.
    Book a Demo

    Connect & Convert on Social

    Successfully scale conversion optimized campaigns across all social media channels with built-in compliance, publishing tools, and more.
    Book a Demo