August 16, 2022

The Nuts and Bolts of Launching a Social Selling Program for Insurance

The true foundation of sales is relationship building. While this has traditionally been done in person, especially in the insurance industry, the digital landscape offers endless possibilities for relationship building. This is why leveraging social media as a sales tool is so integral to your digital marketing strategy.

Social selling is the perfect crossroads of marketing and sales, and enables intermediaries to add value to the customer journey where there wouldn’t otherwise be an opportunity. After all, Net Promoter Scores are 15 points higher for property and casualty insurance customers when they’ve interacted with their insurers within the past year.

Developing a social selling strategy and launching a program can be daunting. Marketing and sales teams are already juggling full plates. Adding social to the sales mix is a culture shift, and supporting hundreds or thousands of intermediaries in weaving social into their everyday processes isn’t a small feat. Remember that social selling is more than marketing: It’s using social media as a digital relationship-building and sales tool.  

This mindset shift can take some time, and launching your strategy and program won’t happen overnight. Luckily, there are tools available to make this culture shift much easier. Denim Social was built to power social selling programs within the financial services industry, and we’ve outlined what it takes to launch a successful program:

1. Align with your team on the definition of social selling.

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 sales.

While this may be old news to you, intermediaries may have less experience with it. Take the time to talk about it this way and educate your teams on using social media as a sales tool. This time spent learning a new marketing tactic is very much worth your agents’ time, too. Prove it to them by sharing meaningful stats on the benefits of social selling. For example, LinkedIn’s 2022 State of Sales Report found the most successful sellers at large companies — those reaching more than 150% of quota — routinely use technology to build human connections with buyers.

2. Educate your sales team.

Remember that social selling isn’t just marketing’s responsibility. It’s an effort that should be supported by both marketing and sales. If you’re in a marketing role looking to launch social selling for your intermediaries, take the time to educate your sales partners on social selling. Craft your elevator pitch on how social helps intermediaries meet customers where they are in the digital landscape and how enabling them on social helps amplify your brand messaging.

Keep in mind that social media in a heavily regulated industry can feel risky, and adding it to the mix of sales tactics that have “always been done a certain way” can feel like a huge change. Patience is key! Own the narrative around social selling, build your group of internal champions to help with this culture shift, and invest time in change management and your communication plan.

3. Find your social selling technology.

Once you’ve got your internal teams aligned on launching social selling for your intermediaries, it’s important to find a tech solution to make it all easier! Seek a solution that creates efficiencies for the administrators of your program and your users. For instance, does your platform account for compliance coverage? Does your vendor understand the nuances of your industry? As you’re evaluating potential platforms, make sure to consider both the administrative and end-user experience, as well as both organic and paid capabilities. A holistic social selling platform will include all these things.

Spoiler alert: At Denim Social, we do all these things! We specifically support the financial services industry, understand your compliance needs, and, most importantly, understand the impact intermediaries can make through social selling (both organic and paid). We can also operate with any other tools you use to manage your brand, so you have full control over your tech stack.

4. Identify social maturity.

So you’re changing the narrative, gaining buy-in, and you’ve found Denim Social to help you — what’s next? It’s time to dig into your user group to identify social maturity. You don’t have to do it all at once — a phased approach with folks of different social maturity levels will make this easier to learn and scale from.

Start by simply searching for your intermediaries on social media. How easy is it to find them? Are their pages updated and on brand? Is their “about” info robust and accurate? Have their profile photos been updated in the last decade?

If you are answering “yes” to a lot of these, you already have a great start. Those are your people. But if you aren’t, that’s OK — you’ll just need to start with some generalized social education and profile optimization to get your group started. Taking the time to deliver this education is critical in making social media for insurance agents stick.

5. Train and test your user group.

Once you’ve identified agents who are either already active on social or ready to be active, start communicating. Let your whole organization know that you’re launching a social selling program. The more folks who know, the more they can support your work. Then, communicate with your first user group; let them know what to expect throughout the launch, including your level of support and upcoming training to get them started.

And finally ... train! Depending on the level of social maturity of your launch group, this might mean starting with the basics of each social platform, as well as the basics of organic and paid social. If your users are super ready, it could mean jumping right into your social selling tech solution.

6. Measure success and optimize over time.

Once you have momentum, fuel that success with regular content. It takes time: Start simply by creating intermediary versions of your brand content and add this content to your content planning processes (for instance, you might craft language your agents can use to share branded social posts). One of the perks of Denim Social? We curate your library with our content integration.

Finally, measure your success and share it with your internal champions, teams, and leadership. Your measurement might just consist of basic content usage and engagement at first, but it will ultimately grow to measuring return on ad spend and leads generated. Take the time to celebrate small wins and educate your internal partners on the growth of your social selling program. Check in with your social sellers to make sure they’re understanding the value and celebrating with you.

At the end of the day, remember that launching and maintaining a social selling program is a long-term commitment. It can take a while to steer the ship in a new direction, and that’s OK! It means you’re thoughtfully implementing a new strategy and are training your team appropriately.

To learn more about how insurance agents can optimize social selling and promote growth, connect with Denim Social today.

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August 16, 2022

The Nuts and Bolts of Launching a Social Selling Program for Insurance

By
Nola Morris

The true foundation of sales is relationship building. While this has traditionally been done in person, especially in the insurance industry, the digital landscape offers endless possibilities for relationship building. This is why leveraging social media as a sales tool is so integral to your digital marketing strategy.

Social selling is the perfect crossroads of marketing and sales, and enables intermediaries to add value to the customer journey where there wouldn’t otherwise be an opportunity. After all, Net Promoter Scores are 15 points higher for property and casualty insurance customers when they’ve interacted with their insurers within the past year.

Developing a social selling strategy and launching a program can be daunting. Marketing and sales teams are already juggling full plates. Adding social to the sales mix is a culture shift, and supporting hundreds or thousands of intermediaries in weaving social into their everyday processes isn’t a small feat. Remember that social selling is more than marketing: It’s using social media as a digital relationship-building and sales tool.  

This mindset shift can take some time, and launching your strategy and program won’t happen overnight. Luckily, there are tools available to make this culture shift much easier. Denim Social was built to power social selling programs within the financial services industry, and we’ve outlined what it takes to launch a successful program:

1. Align with your team on the definition of social selling.

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 sales.

While this may be old news to you, intermediaries may have less experience with it. Take the time to talk about it this way and educate your teams on using social media as a sales tool. This time spent learning a new marketing tactic is very much worth your agents’ time, too. Prove it to them by sharing meaningful stats on the benefits of social selling. For example, LinkedIn’s 2022 State of Sales Report found the most successful sellers at large companies — those reaching more than 150% of quota — routinely use technology to build human connections with buyers.

2. Educate your sales team.

Remember that social selling isn’t just marketing’s responsibility. It’s an effort that should be supported by both marketing and sales. If you’re in a marketing role looking to launch social selling for your intermediaries, take the time to educate your sales partners on social selling. Craft your elevator pitch on how social helps intermediaries meet customers where they are in the digital landscape and how enabling them on social helps amplify your brand messaging.

Keep in mind that social media in a heavily regulated industry can feel risky, and adding it to the mix of sales tactics that have “always been done a certain way” can feel like a huge change. Patience is key! Own the narrative around social selling, build your group of internal champions to help with this culture shift, and invest time in change management and your communication plan.

3. Find your social selling technology.

Once you’ve got your internal teams aligned on launching social selling for your intermediaries, it’s important to find a tech solution to make it all easier! Seek a solution that creates efficiencies for the administrators of your program and your users. For instance, does your platform account for compliance coverage? Does your vendor understand the nuances of your industry? As you’re evaluating potential platforms, make sure to consider both the administrative and end-user experience, as well as both organic and paid capabilities. A holistic social selling platform will include all these things.

Spoiler alert: At Denim Social, we do all these things! We specifically support the financial services industry, understand your compliance needs, and, most importantly, understand the impact intermediaries can make through social selling (both organic and paid). We can also operate with any other tools you use to manage your brand, so you have full control over your tech stack.

4. Identify social maturity.

So you’re changing the narrative, gaining buy-in, and you’ve found Denim Social to help you — what’s next? It’s time to dig into your user group to identify social maturity. You don’t have to do it all at once — a phased approach with folks of different social maturity levels will make this easier to learn and scale from.

Start by simply searching for your intermediaries on social media. How easy is it to find them? Are their pages updated and on brand? Is their “about” info robust and accurate? Have their profile photos been updated in the last decade?

If you are answering “yes” to a lot of these, you already have a great start. Those are your people. But if you aren’t, that’s OK — you’ll just need to start with some generalized social education and profile optimization to get your group started. Taking the time to deliver this education is critical in making social media for insurance agents stick.

5. Train and test your user group.

Once you’ve identified agents who are either already active on social or ready to be active, start communicating. Let your whole organization know that you’re launching a social selling program. The more folks who know, the more they can support your work. Then, communicate with your first user group; let them know what to expect throughout the launch, including your level of support and upcoming training to get them started.

And finally ... train! Depending on the level of social maturity of your launch group, this might mean starting with the basics of each social platform, as well as the basics of organic and paid social. If your users are super ready, it could mean jumping right into your social selling tech solution.

6. Measure success and optimize over time.

Once you have momentum, fuel that success with regular content. It takes time: Start simply by creating intermediary versions of your brand content and add this content to your content planning processes (for instance, you might craft language your agents can use to share branded social posts). One of the perks of Denim Social? We curate your library with our content integration.

Finally, measure your success and share it with your internal champions, teams, and leadership. Your measurement might just consist of basic content usage and engagement at first, but it will ultimately grow to measuring return on ad spend and leads generated. Take the time to celebrate small wins and educate your internal partners on the growth of your social selling program. Check in with your social sellers to make sure they’re understanding the value and celebrating with you.

At the end of the day, remember that launching and maintaining a social selling program is a long-term commitment. It can take a while to steer the ship in a new direction, and that’s OK! It means you’re thoughtfully implementing a new strategy and are training your team appropriately.

To learn more about how insurance agents can optimize social selling and promote growth, connect with Denim Social today.

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Customer relationship-building is one of the greatest value drivers for insurance agents. A benchmark analysis from McKinsey & Co. found agents with deeper customer relationships have higher product density than those lacking in relationships — often cross-selling three or more products per customer.

With that in mind, it’s essential that agents understand how to best leverage their humanity and personality to truly connect with their audiences. In today’s age, this extends to how agents present themselves and connect online.

When prospective clients meet an agent for the first time, they’re asking themselves, “Is this person likable? Can I trust them?” Clients want to feel an authentic connection that gives them peace of mind and assures them that someone has their best interests at heart.

This desire for connection isn’t limited to the insurance industry. In fact, 88% of consumers say that authenticity is a key factor when deciding the brands they like and support, and that trust is vitally important to entering working relationships. That desire for trust grows exponentially when it comes to insurance sales because the business is built around protecting clients’ futures.

Insurance agents have a head start on this — their businesses have always been rooted in authenticity. But as digital transformation in the insurance industry continues, it’s more important than ever that agents assert themselves through authenticity on social media. It’s no different from what agents and other insurance professionals have been doing in person for years. It’s about conveying expertise, building trust, and showcasing industry knowledge — except now it’s within the digital universe. Social media provides a new platform for staying top of mind with customers and prospects alike.

So, how should agents be more authentic on social media? Same as they would offline — with relationships.

Good selling starts with genuinely listening to clients and being authentic, no matter what. Insurance agents are there to identify clients’ life needs and build a solution to protect them against loss. They must genuinely care about clients’ needs to find the right solutions and demonstrate that level of care to earn trust.

Here’s how agents can bring that energy to social media:

View social media as an opportunity to provide value. Marketers and agents alike already know that authenticity is important to customer acquisition. That same authenticity should show up in social media activity.

Agents should still be themselves, just on digital channels. After all, in the insurance business, agents are selling a promise that a consumer may or may not ever see delivery on. If the client never has an accident, they’ll never make a claim.

This means a lot of time can pass between a point of sale and delivery of promise.

With the rise of social media, however, there is a growing opportunity to deliver value in the long term. Whether it’s sharing thought-leadership articles, checking in with clients on social media, or providing digital tools to help educate clients, the digital landscape provides ample opportunity to reinforce proof of agent value on an ongoing basis. Including both paid and organic social media marketing for insurance agents in the mix of sales practices is critical.

This won’t replace traditional tools like phone, email and in-person meetings, but having a mix of organic and paid content alongside them will complement other relationship-building efforts, keep agents top of mind, and continually provide value to clients and prospects.

Lean into the power of real-life experience. There’s a good chance that agents live and work in the communities they serve. Agents should use that advantage with prospective clients when building their authentic brands. Showing on social media what’s happening in their communities and their offices will help foster a sense of belonging and drive interest among followers.

Need more marketing ideas for insurance agents? Look to everyday experiences. If an agent runs into someone at a local event, they should take a selfie and tag the person on Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn. If a client drops off cookies, the agent should post a photo and a heartfelt message about what it meant to the team. Social media followers will connect with those real-life moments far more than they would with a branded post.

Embrace storytelling. Too often, social media marketing for insurance agents consists only of market statistics or limited-time promotions. While this type of content can absolutely be useful and helpful, it’s not enough on its own. Think about the brands you follow: Would statistics and discounts be enough to get you engaged?

Social media is about creating a narrative, not just posting facts or promotions.

Agents should share the true picture of what it’s been like to grow a practice. Tell client stories about how they’ve benefited from your insurance products (with permission and privacy in mind, of course). When agents share authentically, they build trust with clients and prospects.

Be themselves. If agents are only professional and stuffy, audiences won’t connect. Agents and marketers alike shouldn’t be afraid to let a little personality shine through on social media. Thought leadership can create credibility and demonstrate expertise, and it’s always better received when served up by a real-life person.

That’s what social selling is all about.

Posting is only one part of the strategy. Agents should also comment on and engage with clients’ posts as appropriate. Two-way communication is critical to building authenticity. Think about it as if you were having an in-person conversation; there would be plenty of back-and-forth throughout the discussion. Did a client become a grandparent? Their agent should congratulate them. Social selling is all about creating conversation, just like in real life.

Engagement provides the added benefit of personalization. Customers don’t want to feel like marketing collateral. When agents engage with them honestly and authentically, they’re well on their way to creating deep, lasting consumer relationships.

Building authenticity through social media is similar in principle to building authenticity in real life; it’s just using a different medium to do so. When intermediaries share personal stories and helpful content with clients in a way that reflects their true personalities, they’ll build lasting relationships both online and offline that will serve as the foundation of future sales.

*This article was originally published in Insurance Journal.

Algorithm updates from nearly every social media network — including Twitter, TikTok, and Instagram — have frustrated their share of users over the years, consumers included. If you fall into that group, it’s time to make peace with them. Social media algorithm changes don’t have to ruin your day — or your organic reach. You just have to know how to peacefully coexist with them as a digital marketer.

We all have to accept and expect that social media networks will change their algorithms over time. Whether the latest LinkedIn update is messing with your reach or Apple iOS update is suddenly upending your paid advertising strategy, you must be ready to pivot and adapt. Sure, it’s frustrating to see your Facebook reach drop by 5% practically overnight, even if your marketing peers are in the same boat. But it’s important to remember that even with algorithm changes, integrated digital strategies provide incredible opportunities to reach the right target audiences at the right time with the right messages— all to drive business results.

 With an attitude of willingness to listen to the data, your team can navigate changes and optimize your strategies accordingly. Knowledge is power when it comes to optimizing the algorithm. Understanding social network changes is also an important consideration as you socialize results internally and advocate for a budget for your marketing efforts. You must be able to pinpoint how and when algorithmic changes impacted your results, so you can prove that it’s not a failure of your strategy but rather an opportunity to evolve.

Ready to overcome today’s algorithm obstacles? Try these strategies:

1. Drive greater reach and stronger engagement with social selling.

When algorithm changes tank your brand’s organic social media reach and engagement, don’t waste time wishing you could turn back the clock. Take updates as a sign (and one of many!) that your institution should be empowering your intermediaries (think agents, loan officers, advisors, etc.) through social selling. The practice of social selling is just as it sounds: Using social media to sell a product or service. But social selling starts with relationship building, showcasing thought leadership, and building trust on social media through the voices of the folks driving business in their local communities.

Social selling can simultaneously foster loyalty, humanize your brand, and supercharge your metrics in the face of algorithmic headwinds. Why? Employees’ social media accounts have 10 times the reach and drive double the engagement compared to their employers’ brand pages. Plus, sales reps who regularly share content are 57% more likely to generate leads. Social media networks prioritize content from individuals versus brands so that social selling can help your team bust through algorithmic barriers.

2. Complement organic social selling with paid social advertising.

All those algorithm changes might be causing engagement headaches. The cure is more straightforward than you might have assumed: paid social advertising. Paid social media advertisements, like in a PPC campaign, are terrific for funneling leads back to your landing pages. Once your ads are in place, you can target the audiences that matter most to your social sellers.

By doubling up on organic and paid marketing tactics, you get a double-whammy effect that mitigates social media algorithm updates. Organic posts create a solid foundation for your social sellers, building credibility and reaching people who already follow your social sellers. Paid social media ads enable your team to strategically engage new audiences, filling your sales pipeline. Organic and paid work hand in hand to help your team break through on social.

3. Make the most of every social media post.

Every. Post. Counts. Although not every single thing you share on social will get the engagement you hoped for, being intentional and authentic is key. There are also three things you can do to make the most of each post that will play nice with algorithms, too:

  • First, include an image whenever you can. Social media posts with images often get more engagement. 
  • Second, schedule posts to publish at the ideal time for your desired audience. (Our team can tell you more about this!) 
  • Third, craft copy that encourages two-way communication, such as asking open-ended questions, soliciting feedback, or publishing polls. Thought-provoking copy encourages comments, and that’s where social selling really comes to life!

Don’t forget that social posts should be the beginning of a digital journey for your followers. Not every post needs to include a direct call to action, but thoughtfully linking your followers to meaningful resources eventually paves the way for conversions. Whether it’s organic or paid, a social post can open the door to a digital journey that is beneficial for the customer and the intermediary looking to build that relationship.

Algorithm updates might keep you on your toes, but they don’t have to ruin your marketing outcomes. You’ve got this! If you’re interested in further education about how organic and paid social work together, you’ll appreciate reading “How to Marry Organic and Paid Social Media Advertising Strategies.”

When trusted relationships are the bedrock of the industry, most smart financial services marketers see the opportunity in social media. A corporate social media presence is the norm, and many brands are investing in paid social media campaigns — but that’s only scratching the social media surface. For teams looking to transform social media into a sales tool, it’s time to start social selling.

Social selling is so much more than encouraging your sellers to have a social presence. Having a company page on Facebook and a LinkedIn profile are table stakes. If Instagram, Twitter, or even TikTok make sense for your business, it’s important to be there, too. But social selling is so much more than just “being there.” Financial services marketers who embrace social selling empower their teams of intermediaries, such as agents and loan officers, to create lead-generating content that builds trust. Brands that get social selling right can expect to see a 45% increase in sales opportunities and a 51% higher chance of hitting sales goals, according to LinkedIn.

So, why haven’t all financial services marketers launched social selling for their institutions yet? For one, many marketers are hesitant to jump into a process that involves monitoring and amplifying social media content for dozens, hundreds, or thousands of intermediaries. Even for seasoned marketers, it can seem intimidating. (Spoiler alert: With a platform like Denim Social, it’s much easier than it sounds!)

Social selling also takes time. Organic social media growth ramps up over time, no matter how many social sellers a brand activates at once. But just because you might not see an immediate jump in KPIs doesn’t mean you’re not moving the needle. With patience and investment in the right social selling tools, social selling can transform your institution’s marketing strategy and results.

You’re ready to launch social selling for your brand, but where do you get started? Check out these helpful tips from our team of experts at Denim Social:

1. Identify internal social selling champions.

Social selling needs widespread buy-in between marketing, sales, and other key departments. The most effective way to encourage buy-in is to get influential players in these groups on board with social selling. Explain to them how social selling works and its social media reach potential — and how to use the right social selling tools to protect compliance.

By cultivating cheerleaders within your financial institution, these motivated individuals can be an example for their peers and showcase the value of social selling. The more buy-in you can get to your overall social selling program, the faster you’ll be able to demonstrate how valuable social selling is as a marketing strategy. Have patience and stay the course; your determination will pay off as you earn the support of more internal champions.

2. Pick a solid social selling platform.

Managing a social selling strategy could be your full-time job as a marketer, but it doesn’t have to be. The right social selling tech solution will help optimize your efforts without tossing another burden onto your team. We designed our platform to meet these needs with extensive compliance features, a library of preapproved content, and streamlined workflows that make publishing as easy as clicking a button. A social selling platform should make life easier for all its users; if it doesn’t, it’s not the right platform for you.

When evaluating social selling tools, keep a few critical questions in mind: Does the vendor understand the nuances of the financial services industry? What kind of compliance coverage does the platform offer? How will you create content, and how will the platform help you do that? Asking these questions will point you in the right direction so that you can find a social selling platform that works best for your institution’s needs.

3. Spend time training your social sellers and their support teams.

The loan officers, agents, advisors, and other producers who will become your social selling team might or might not be familiar with how to be present on social to grow their business. Even if they’re active on social media personally, they might not understand the concept of social selling or how to make it work for them. It’s your job to teach them (you’re the expert, after all!).

Keep in mind that social selling isn’t only the responsibility of your localized producers. It’s important to loop in anyone in your organization who supports your sales efforts. This means sales executives, regional sales leaders, and even marketing leadership. As part of your social selling launch, take the time to train your broader social selling support group, regardless of their department. 

Broadened education and buy-in mean stickiness and support for the folks your organization is relying on to drive business at the local level: your true social sellers. Start with social channel basics and regular organic posting. Then, you can teach them how to feel comfortable generating their own content and engaging with their social networks. Does this mean all your employees need to become social media experts? Not even close. But a deeper understanding of social media in general lays the foundation for successful social selling as your teams get comfortable using it every day.

At Denim Social, we’re passionate about helping your financial institution drive business results with social selling. Not only have we designed our platform to make administering a social selling program easy, but we also provide strategic support from day one, helping you educate and support your sales teams.

Our platform offers several essential features that will help drive your ROI: (Hint: They can also help you implement the above three steps.)

  • Customized Onboarding and Team Training. Onboarding onto a new platform shouldn’t be a cookie-cutter process; every team and marketer is different. Tailoring our onboarding and training means that your team (and execs) know they’re getting a bespoke experience for the institution’s specific needs. When you’re getting started, Denim Social can help craft vital internal communication to encourage adoption, leaving no questions unanswered. Once you’ve got the basics down and your first champions are ready to dive in, you can check out our train-the-trainer sessions or our online academy to further grow your team’s expertise. From start to finish, you’ll have an invested partner.
  • Content-Rich, Customized Libraries. How will you keep up with content just for your social sellers? Denim Social works with you and UpContent to develop an extensive library of ready-to-use content for your social sellers’ unique needs and interests. Your teams will always have something to say on social, keeping them top of mind with their networks — with the peace of mind of staying compliant.
  • Scalable Paid Advertising. Though the foundation of your social selling strategy starts with empowering your intermediaries with organic social content, the most robust social selling programs also integrate localized paid advertising. Although the organic content you cultivate through your individual champions will work to add nuance and humanity to your brand, putting your ad dollars behind your producers will reach consumers looking to connect with real, local humans who can guide them through their next financial decisions. We recommend that marketers drive this side of the social selling strategy, and our platform makes it easy. With Denim Social, one marketer can launch and scale tailor-made paid social campaigns delivered on behalf of your local producers to their local communities.
  • Compliance-Focused Features. When you work in financial services marketing, you’re guided by numerous rules, regulations, and laws. Denim Social is engineered to find and flag compliance-related issues before any content goes live. This robust filtering proactively recognizes potential problems so you can sleep better at night.

As part of our compliance-driven culture, our platform provides continuous compliance training through constant feedback. As your team notices which posts are approved or unapproved, they’ll gain valuable insights into the nuances of social media compliance for the industry. Plus, your team can rely on the curated, preapproved content within your Denim Social library, so you can be sure everything posted is compliant (and compelling). An added upside to our compliance feature is that our social selling platform tracks and records all published content, so it can be used for audits whenever you need it.

Are you curious and looking to level up your digital marketing strategy? Or maybe you’re ready to dive in head-first and experience the benefits of social selling firsthand? Either way, social selling is a great way to get started empowering your team and increasing your reach.

Check out Denim Social’s comprehensive social selling guide to learn more!

The insurance industry is abuzz with discussion around digital transformation, with tech topics dominating this year’s Global Insurance Symposium and InsurTech New York agendas. Digitization, automation, and the direct-to-consumer business were on everybody’s lips, and one sentiment was clear: The role of the trusted advisor will always be necessary to the industry because human connection remains central to the insurance transaction.

That said, the way insurance agents interact with customers must evolve alongside technology.

Digitization is meeting people's needs in areas ripe for automation, but it’s also replacing some of the more mundane tasks that agents have traditionally handled. Agents don’t need to sit at their desks to sign papers anymore, but they do need to promptly answer their social media direct messages. This is all part of meeting customers’ changing needs.

While digital evolution is intimidating for many industry veterans, there is ample opportunity for carriers, marketers, and agents who are open to adopting new technology. And those who embrace change can shape the role of the advisor in the future. From investing in social selling to outsourcing your work (to AI!), here are some of the ways I see digital changes boosting your relevance and success:

1. Prioritize social selling in the prospecting, sales, and retention mix.

What's the biggest change coming to insurance agents? The way they connect with prospects. As the digital age continues, social media needs to be a larger piece of the communication pie. This doesn’t mean tossing out other communication methods, like phone calls, virtual appointments, emails, or in-person meetings. But it does mean agents should be incorporating social selling into their digital marketing and sales strategies.

Social selling is more than just being present on social media. It means giving intermediaries the reins to not only help humanize your brand, but also build personal connections through their own social networks. Why is this so important? Because people buy from people — even in this digital age. Those people are on social media, and when the intermediary is too, they're more likely to sell there. Stats back this up: Almost 80% of social sellers outsell their peers who aren't on social at all.

To stay relevant throughout the buyer's journey, marketers will need to help agents cultivate a healthy mix of organic posts and paid social ads. This will not only keep agents (and the insurance carriers they represent) top-of-mind, but also offer value to potential and current leads through thought leadership, insightful tips, and real-world advice.

Agents can also set aside time to respond to comments, engage with followers, and proactively reach out to audiences on social — after all, the whole point of social selling is adding the human touch to the sales process. Building community and rapport with leads will establish agents as trusted experts in the industry.

2. Use tech to free up time to focus on relationship-building.

As tech gets smarter, we'll see it taking over more repetitive or low-stakes tasks, which will free up workers in the insurance world to complete higher-level work. According to Deloitte's 2022 Insurance Industry Outlook, 74% of insurance provider CIOs say they’re focusing on bringing more AI into their processes. In other words, insurance professionals will increasingly make fewer decisions alone; instead, data and analytics will support and guide them. And in the process, agents are getting more time back to invest in customer relationships.

Sure, you can automate emails and use online scheduling tools — but tech is going so much further. The industry is investing in everything from AI-powered underwriting to telematics, often improving the quality of service in the process.

The bottom line is that with tech on their side, agents and advisors have more time to do what they do best: build relationships and sell their products and services.

3. Don't assume “digital-first” customers don't want an agent’s expertise.

As insurance products modernize and AI and automation make underwriting, pricing, and the entire sales cycle shorter and more accurate, it's important to remember that this doesn't take away the important role of the intermediary. Even consumers who want a digital-first experience still value the guidance of a trusted professional as they're making decisions to protect their futures. Believing digitization is here to work with you, not against you, is key to agents securing their roles within the digital landscape.

Legacy insurance agents and those fresh faces looking to jump into a new career in insurance shouldn't worry! The digital era isn't going anywhere, but it's here to make our lives easier. Lean in and let it work for you, knowing that human connection and advisorship will always be core to the insurance transaction.

This article was originally published in Property Casualty 360.

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.

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GUIDES

The Nuts and Bolts of Launching a Social Selling Program for Insurance

The true foundation of sales is relationship building. While this has traditionally been done in person, especially in the insurance industry, the digital landscape offers endless possibilities for relationship building. This is why leveraging social media as a sales tool is so integral to your digital marketing strategy.

Social selling is the perfect crossroads of marketing and sales, and enables intermediaries to add value to the customer journey where there wouldn’t otherwise be an opportunity. After all, Net Promoter Scores are 15 points higher for property and casualty insurance customers when they’ve interacted with their insurers within the past year.

Developing a social selling strategy and launching a program can be daunting. Marketing and sales teams are already juggling full plates. Adding social to the sales mix is a culture shift, and supporting hundreds or thousands of intermediaries in weaving social into their everyday processes isn’t a small feat. Remember that social selling is more than marketing: It’s using social media as a digital relationship-building and sales tool.  

This mindset shift can take some time, and launching your strategy and program won’t happen overnight. Luckily, there are tools available to make this culture shift much easier. Denim Social was built to power social selling programs within the financial services industry, and we’ve outlined what it takes to launch a successful program:

1. Align with your team on the definition of social selling.

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 sales.

While this may be old news to you, intermediaries may have less experience with it. Take the time to talk about it this way and educate your teams on using social media as a sales tool. This time spent learning a new marketing tactic is very much worth your agents’ time, too. Prove it to them by sharing meaningful stats on the benefits of social selling. For example, LinkedIn’s 2022 State of Sales Report found the most successful sellers at large companies — those reaching more than 150% of quota — routinely use technology to build human connections with buyers.

2. Educate your sales team.

Remember that social selling isn’t just marketing’s responsibility. It’s an effort that should be supported by both marketing and sales. If you’re in a marketing role looking to launch social selling for your intermediaries, take the time to educate your sales partners on social selling. Craft your elevator pitch on how social helps intermediaries meet customers where they are in the digital landscape and how enabling them on social helps amplify your brand messaging.

Keep in mind that social media in a heavily regulated industry can feel risky, and adding it to the mix of sales tactics that have “always been done a certain way” can feel like a huge change. Patience is key! Own the narrative around social selling, build your group of internal champions to help with this culture shift, and invest time in change management and your communication plan.

3. Find your social selling technology.

Once you’ve got your internal teams aligned on launching social selling for your intermediaries, it’s important to find a tech solution to make it all easier! Seek a solution that creates efficiencies for the administrators of your program and your users. For instance, does your platform account for compliance coverage? Does your vendor understand the nuances of your industry? As you’re evaluating potential platforms, make sure to consider both the administrative and end-user experience, as well as both organic and paid capabilities. A holistic social selling platform will include all these things.

Spoiler alert: At Denim Social, we do all these things! We specifically support the financial services industry, understand your compliance needs, and, most importantly, understand the impact intermediaries can make through social selling (both organic and paid). We can also operate with any other tools you use to manage your brand, so you have full control over your tech stack.

4. Identify social maturity.

So you’re changing the narrative, gaining buy-in, and you’ve found Denim Social to help you — what’s next? It’s time to dig into your user group to identify social maturity. You don’t have to do it all at once — a phased approach with folks of different social maturity levels will make this easier to learn and scale from.

Start by simply searching for your intermediaries on social media. How easy is it to find them? Are their pages updated and on brand? Is their “about” info robust and accurate? Have their profile photos been updated in the last decade?

If you are answering “yes” to a lot of these, you already have a great start. Those are your people. But if you aren’t, that’s OK — you’ll just need to start with some generalized social education and profile optimization to get your group started. Taking the time to deliver this education is critical in making social media for insurance agents stick.

5. Train and test your user group.

Once you’ve identified agents who are either already active on social or ready to be active, start communicating. Let your whole organization know that you’re launching a social selling program. The more folks who know, the more they can support your work. Then, communicate with your first user group; let them know what to expect throughout the launch, including your level of support and upcoming training to get them started.

And finally ... train! Depending on the level of social maturity of your launch group, this might mean starting with the basics of each social platform, as well as the basics of organic and paid social. If your users are super ready, it could mean jumping right into your social selling tech solution.

6. Measure success and optimize over time.

Once you have momentum, fuel that success with regular content. It takes time: Start simply by creating intermediary versions of your brand content and add this content to your content planning processes (for instance, you might craft language your agents can use to share branded social posts). One of the perks of Denim Social? We curate your library with our content integration.

Finally, measure your success and share it with your internal champions, teams, and leadership. Your measurement might just consist of basic content usage and engagement at first, but it will ultimately grow to measuring return on ad spend and leads generated. Take the time to celebrate small wins and educate your internal partners on the growth of your social selling program. Check in with your social sellers to make sure they’re understanding the value and celebrating with you.

At the end of the day, remember that launching and maintaining a social selling program is a long-term commitment. It can take a while to steer the ship in a new direction, and that’s OK! It means you’re thoughtfully implementing a new strategy and are training your team appropriately.

To learn more about how insurance agents can optimize social selling and promote growth, connect with Denim Social today.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Download Guide
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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

    The Nuts and Bolts of Launching a Social Selling Program for Insurance

    The true foundation of sales is relationship building. While this has traditionally been done in person, especially in the insurance industry, the digital landscape offers endless possibilities for relationship building. This is why leveraging social media as a sales tool is so integral to your digital marketing strategy.

    Social selling is the perfect crossroads of marketing and sales, and enables intermediaries to add value to the customer journey where there wouldn’t otherwise be an opportunity. After all, Net Promoter Scores are 15 points higher for property and casualty insurance customers when they’ve interacted with their insurers within the past year.

    Developing a social selling strategy and launching a program can be daunting. Marketing and sales teams are already juggling full plates. Adding social to the sales mix is a culture shift, and supporting hundreds or thousands of intermediaries in weaving social into their everyday processes isn’t a small feat. Remember that social selling is more than marketing: It’s using social media as a digital relationship-building and sales tool.  

    This mindset shift can take some time, and launching your strategy and program won’t happen overnight. Luckily, there are tools available to make this culture shift much easier. Denim Social was built to power social selling programs within the financial services industry, and we’ve outlined what it takes to launch a successful program:

    1. Align with your team on the definition of social selling.

    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 sales.

    While this may be old news to you, intermediaries may have less experience with it. Take the time to talk about it this way and educate your teams on using social media as a sales tool. This time spent learning a new marketing tactic is very much worth your agents’ time, too. Prove it to them by sharing meaningful stats on the benefits of social selling. For example, LinkedIn’s 2022 State of Sales Report found the most successful sellers at large companies — those reaching more than 150% of quota — routinely use technology to build human connections with buyers.

    2. Educate your sales team.

    Remember that social selling isn’t just marketing’s responsibility. It’s an effort that should be supported by both marketing and sales. If you’re in a marketing role looking to launch social selling for your intermediaries, take the time to educate your sales partners on social selling. Craft your elevator pitch on how social helps intermediaries meet customers where they are in the digital landscape and how enabling them on social helps amplify your brand messaging.

    Keep in mind that social media in a heavily regulated industry can feel risky, and adding it to the mix of sales tactics that have “always been done a certain way” can feel like a huge change. Patience is key! Own the narrative around social selling, build your group of internal champions to help with this culture shift, and invest time in change management and your communication plan.

    3. Find your social selling technology.

    Once you’ve got your internal teams aligned on launching social selling for your intermediaries, it’s important to find a tech solution to make it all easier! Seek a solution that creates efficiencies for the administrators of your program and your users. For instance, does your platform account for compliance coverage? Does your vendor understand the nuances of your industry? As you’re evaluating potential platforms, make sure to consider both the administrative and end-user experience, as well as both organic and paid capabilities. A holistic social selling platform will include all these things.

    Spoiler alert: At Denim Social, we do all these things! We specifically support the financial services industry, understand your compliance needs, and, most importantly, understand the impact intermediaries can make through social selling (both organic and paid). We can also operate with any other tools you use to manage your brand, so you have full control over your tech stack.

    4. Identify social maturity.

    So you’re changing the narrative, gaining buy-in, and you’ve found Denim Social to help you — what’s next? It’s time to dig into your user group to identify social maturity. You don’t have to do it all at once — a phased approach with folks of different social maturity levels will make this easier to learn and scale from.

    Start by simply searching for your intermediaries on social media. How easy is it to find them? Are their pages updated and on brand? Is their “about” info robust and accurate? Have their profile photos been updated in the last decade?

    If you are answering “yes” to a lot of these, you already have a great start. Those are your people. But if you aren’t, that’s OK — you’ll just need to start with some generalized social education and profile optimization to get your group started. Taking the time to deliver this education is critical in making social media for insurance agents stick.

    5. Train and test your user group.

    Once you’ve identified agents who are either already active on social or ready to be active, start communicating. Let your whole organization know that you’re launching a social selling program. The more folks who know, the more they can support your work. Then, communicate with your first user group; let them know what to expect throughout the launch, including your level of support and upcoming training to get them started.

    And finally ... train! Depending on the level of social maturity of your launch group, this might mean starting with the basics of each social platform, as well as the basics of organic and paid social. If your users are super ready, it could mean jumping right into your social selling tech solution.

    6. Measure success and optimize over time.

    Once you have momentum, fuel that success with regular content. It takes time: Start simply by creating intermediary versions of your brand content and add this content to your content planning processes (for instance, you might craft language your agents can use to share branded social posts). One of the perks of Denim Social? We curate your library with our content integration.

    Finally, measure your success and share it with your internal champions, teams, and leadership. Your measurement might just consist of basic content usage and engagement at first, but it will ultimately grow to measuring return on ad spend and leads generated. Take the time to celebrate small wins and educate your internal partners on the growth of your social selling program. Check in with your social sellers to make sure they’re understanding the value and celebrating with you.

    At the end of the day, remember that launching and maintaining a social selling program is a long-term commitment. It can take a while to steer the ship in a new direction, and that’s OK! It means you’re thoughtfully implementing a new strategy and are training your team appropriately.

    To learn more about how insurance agents can optimize social selling and promote growth, connect with Denim Social 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

    The Nuts and Bolts of Launching a Social Selling Program for Insurance

    The true foundation of sales is relationship building. While this has traditionally been done in person, especially in the insurance industry, the digital landscape offers endless possibilities for relationship building. This is why leveraging social media as a sales tool is so integral to your digital marketing strategy.

    Social selling is the perfect crossroads of marketing and sales, and enables intermediaries to add value to the customer journey where there wouldn’t otherwise be an opportunity. After all, Net Promoter Scores are 15 points higher for property and casualty insurance customers when they’ve interacted with their insurers within the past year.

    Developing a social selling strategy and launching a program can be daunting. Marketing and sales teams are already juggling full plates. Adding social to the sales mix is a culture shift, and supporting hundreds or thousands of intermediaries in weaving social into their everyday processes isn’t a small feat. Remember that social selling is more than marketing: It’s using social media as a digital relationship-building and sales tool.  

    This mindset shift can take some time, and launching your strategy and program won’t happen overnight. Luckily, there are tools available to make this culture shift much easier. Denim Social was built to power social selling programs within the financial services industry, and we’ve outlined what it takes to launch a successful program:

    1. Align with your team on the definition of social selling.

    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 sales.

    While this may be old news to you, intermediaries may have less experience with it. Take the time to talk about it this way and educate your teams on using social media as a sales tool. This time spent learning a new marketing tactic is very much worth your agents’ time, too. Prove it to them by sharing meaningful stats on the benefits of social selling. For example, LinkedIn’s 2022 State of Sales Report found the most successful sellers at large companies — those reaching more than 150% of quota — routinely use technology to build human connections with buyers.

    2. Educate your sales team.

    Remember that social selling isn’t just marketing’s responsibility. It’s an effort that should be supported by both marketing and sales. If you’re in a marketing role looking to launch social selling for your intermediaries, take the time to educate your sales partners on social selling. Craft your elevator pitch on how social helps intermediaries meet customers where they are in the digital landscape and how enabling them on social helps amplify your brand messaging.

    Keep in mind that social media in a heavily regulated industry can feel risky, and adding it to the mix of sales tactics that have “always been done a certain way” can feel like a huge change. Patience is key! Own the narrative around social selling, build your group of internal champions to help with this culture shift, and invest time in change management and your communication plan.

    3. Find your social selling technology.

    Once you’ve got your internal teams aligned on launching social selling for your intermediaries, it’s important to find a tech solution to make it all easier! Seek a solution that creates efficiencies for the administrators of your program and your users. For instance, does your platform account for compliance coverage? Does your vendor understand the nuances of your industry? As you’re evaluating potential platforms, make sure to consider both the administrative and end-user experience, as well as both organic and paid capabilities. A holistic social selling platform will include all these things.

    Spoiler alert: At Denim Social, we do all these things! We specifically support the financial services industry, understand your compliance needs, and, most importantly, understand the impact intermediaries can make through social selling (both organic and paid). We can also operate with any other tools you use to manage your brand, so you have full control over your tech stack.

    4. Identify social maturity.

    So you’re changing the narrative, gaining buy-in, and you’ve found Denim Social to help you — what’s next? It’s time to dig into your user group to identify social maturity. You don’t have to do it all at once — a phased approach with folks of different social maturity levels will make this easier to learn and scale from.

    Start by simply searching for your intermediaries on social media. How easy is it to find them? Are their pages updated and on brand? Is their “about” info robust and accurate? Have their profile photos been updated in the last decade?

    If you are answering “yes” to a lot of these, you already have a great start. Those are your people. But if you aren’t, that’s OK — you’ll just need to start with some generalized social education and profile optimization to get your group started. Taking the time to deliver this education is critical in making social media for insurance agents stick.

    5. Train and test your user group.

    Once you’ve identified agents who are either already active on social or ready to be active, start communicating. Let your whole organization know that you’re launching a social selling program. The more folks who know, the more they can support your work. Then, communicate with your first user group; let them know what to expect throughout the launch, including your level of support and upcoming training to get them started.

    And finally ... train! Depending on the level of social maturity of your launch group, this might mean starting with the basics of each social platform, as well as the basics of organic and paid social. If your users are super ready, it could mean jumping right into your social selling tech solution.

    6. Measure success and optimize over time.

    Once you have momentum, fuel that success with regular content. It takes time: Start simply by creating intermediary versions of your brand content and add this content to your content planning processes (for instance, you might craft language your agents can use to share branded social posts). One of the perks of Denim Social? We curate your library with our content integration.

    Finally, measure your success and share it with your internal champions, teams, and leadership. Your measurement might just consist of basic content usage and engagement at first, but it will ultimately grow to measuring return on ad spend and leads generated. Take the time to celebrate small wins and educate your internal partners on the growth of your social selling program. Check in with your social sellers to make sure they’re understanding the value and celebrating with you.

    At the end of the day, remember that launching and maintaining a social selling program is a long-term commitment. It can take a while to steer the ship in a new direction, and that’s OK! It means you’re thoughtfully implementing a new strategy and are training your team appropriately.

    To learn more about how insurance agents can optimize social selling and promote growth, connect with Denim Social 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

    The Nuts and Bolts of Launching a Social Selling Program for Insurance

    The true foundation of sales is relationship building. While this has traditionally been done in person, especially in the insurance industry, the digital landscape offers endless possibilities for relationship building. This is why leveraging social media as a sales tool is so integral to your digital marketing strategy.

    Social selling is the perfect crossroads of marketing and sales, and enables intermediaries to add value to the customer journey where there wouldn’t otherwise be an opportunity. After all, Net Promoter Scores are 15 points higher for property and casualty insurance customers when they’ve interacted with their insurers within the past year.

    Developing a social selling strategy and launching a program can be daunting. Marketing and sales teams are already juggling full plates. Adding social to the sales mix is a culture shift, and supporting hundreds or thousands of intermediaries in weaving social into their everyday processes isn’t a small feat. Remember that social selling is more than marketing: It’s using social media as a digital relationship-building and sales tool.  

    This mindset shift can take some time, and launching your strategy and program won’t happen overnight. Luckily, there are tools available to make this culture shift much easier. Denim Social was built to power social selling programs within the financial services industry, and we’ve outlined what it takes to launch a successful program:

    1. Align with your team on the definition of social selling.

    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 sales.

    While this may be old news to you, intermediaries may have less experience with it. Take the time to talk about it this way and educate your teams on using social media as a sales tool. This time spent learning a new marketing tactic is very much worth your agents’ time, too. Prove it to them by sharing meaningful stats on the benefits of social selling. For example, LinkedIn’s 2022 State of Sales Report found the most successful sellers at large companies — those reaching more than 150% of quota — routinely use technology to build human connections with buyers.

    2. Educate your sales team.

    Remember that social selling isn’t just marketing’s responsibility. It’s an effort that should be supported by both marketing and sales. If you’re in a marketing role looking to launch social selling for your intermediaries, take the time to educate your sales partners on social selling. Craft your elevator pitch on how social helps intermediaries meet customers where they are in the digital landscape and how enabling them on social helps amplify your brand messaging.

    Keep in mind that social media in a heavily regulated industry can feel risky, and adding it to the mix of sales tactics that have “always been done a certain way” can feel like a huge change. Patience is key! Own the narrative around social selling, build your group of internal champions to help with this culture shift, and invest time in change management and your communication plan.

    3. Find your social selling technology.

    Once you’ve got your internal teams aligned on launching social selling for your intermediaries, it’s important to find a tech solution to make it all easier! Seek a solution that creates efficiencies for the administrators of your program and your users. For instance, does your platform account for compliance coverage? Does your vendor understand the nuances of your industry? As you’re evaluating potential platforms, make sure to consider both the administrative and end-user experience, as well as both organic and paid capabilities. A holistic social selling platform will include all these things.

    Spoiler alert: At Denim Social, we do all these things! We specifically support the financial services industry, understand your compliance needs, and, most importantly, understand the impact intermediaries can make through social selling (both organic and paid). We can also operate with any other tools you use to manage your brand, so you have full control over your tech stack.

    4. Identify social maturity.

    So you’re changing the narrative, gaining buy-in, and you’ve found Denim Social to help you — what’s next? It’s time to dig into your user group to identify social maturity. You don’t have to do it all at once — a phased approach with folks of different social maturity levels will make this easier to learn and scale from.

    Start by simply searching for your intermediaries on social media. How easy is it to find them? Are their pages updated and on brand? Is their “about” info robust and accurate? Have their profile photos been updated in the last decade?

    If you are answering “yes” to a lot of these, you already have a great start. Those are your people. But if you aren’t, that’s OK — you’ll just need to start with some generalized social education and profile optimization to get your group started. Taking the time to deliver this education is critical in making social media for insurance agents stick.

    5. Train and test your user group.

    Once you’ve identified agents who are either already active on social or ready to be active, start communicating. Let your whole organization know that you’re launching a social selling program. The more folks who know, the more they can support your work. Then, communicate with your first user group; let them know what to expect throughout the launch, including your level of support and upcoming training to get them started.

    And finally ... train! Depending on the level of social maturity of your launch group, this might mean starting with the basics of each social platform, as well as the basics of organic and paid social. If your users are super ready, it could mean jumping right into your social selling tech solution.

    6. Measure success and optimize over time.

    Once you have momentum, fuel that success with regular content. It takes time: Start simply by creating intermediary versions of your brand content and add this content to your content planning processes (for instance, you might craft language your agents can use to share branded social posts). One of the perks of Denim Social? We curate your library with our content integration.

    Finally, measure your success and share it with your internal champions, teams, and leadership. Your measurement might just consist of basic content usage and engagement at first, but it will ultimately grow to measuring return on ad spend and leads generated. Take the time to celebrate small wins and educate your internal partners on the growth of your social selling program. Check in with your social sellers to make sure they’re understanding the value and celebrating with you.

    At the end of the day, remember that launching and maintaining a social selling program is a long-term commitment. It can take a while to steer the ship in a new direction, and that’s OK! It means you’re thoughtfully implementing a new strategy and are training your team appropriately.

    To learn more about how insurance agents can optimize social selling and promote growth, connect with Denim Social 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
    August 16, 2022

    The Nuts and Bolts of Launching a Social Selling Program for Insurance

    By
    Nola Morris

    The true foundation of sales is relationship building. While this has traditionally been done in person, especially in the insurance industry, the digital landscape offers endless possibilities for relationship building. This is why leveraging social media as a sales tool is so integral to your digital marketing strategy.

    Social selling is the perfect crossroads of marketing and sales, and enables intermediaries to add value to the customer journey where there wouldn’t otherwise be an opportunity. After all, Net Promoter Scores are 15 points higher for property and casualty insurance customers when they’ve interacted with their insurers within the past year.

    Developing a social selling strategy and launching a program can be daunting. Marketing and sales teams are already juggling full plates. Adding social to the sales mix is a culture shift, and supporting hundreds or thousands of intermediaries in weaving social into their everyday processes isn’t a small feat. Remember that social selling is more than marketing: It’s using social media as a digital relationship-building and sales tool.  

    This mindset shift can take some time, and launching your strategy and program won’t happen overnight. Luckily, there are tools available to make this culture shift much easier. Denim Social was built to power social selling programs within the financial services industry, and we’ve outlined what it takes to launch a successful program:

    1. Align with your team on the definition of social selling.

    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 sales.

    While this may be old news to you, intermediaries may have less experience with it. Take the time to talk about it this way and educate your teams on using social media as a sales tool. This time spent learning a new marketing tactic is very much worth your agents’ time, too. Prove it to them by sharing meaningful stats on the benefits of social selling. For example, LinkedIn’s 2022 State of Sales Report found the most successful sellers at large companies — those reaching more than 150% of quota — routinely use technology to build human connections with buyers.

    2. Educate your sales team.

    Remember that social selling isn’t just marketing’s responsibility. It’s an effort that should be supported by both marketing and sales. If you’re in a marketing role looking to launch social selling for your intermediaries, take the time to educate your sales partners on social selling. Craft your elevator pitch on how social helps intermediaries meet customers where they are in the digital landscape and how enabling them on social helps amplify your brand messaging.

    Keep in mind that social media in a heavily regulated industry can feel risky, and adding it to the mix of sales tactics that have “always been done a certain way” can feel like a huge change. Patience is key! Own the narrative around social selling, build your group of internal champions to help with this culture shift, and invest time in change management and your communication plan.

    3. Find your social selling technology.

    Once you’ve got your internal teams aligned on launching social selling for your intermediaries, it’s important to find a tech solution to make it all easier! Seek a solution that creates efficiencies for the administrators of your program and your users. For instance, does your platform account for compliance coverage? Does your vendor understand the nuances of your industry? As you’re evaluating potential platforms, make sure to consider both the administrative and end-user experience, as well as both organic and paid capabilities. A holistic social selling platform will include all these things.

    Spoiler alert: At Denim Social, we do all these things! We specifically support the financial services industry, understand your compliance needs, and, most importantly, understand the impact intermediaries can make through social selling (both organic and paid). We can also operate with any other tools you use to manage your brand, so you have full control over your tech stack.

    4. Identify social maturity.

    So you’re changing the narrative, gaining buy-in, and you’ve found Denim Social to help you — what’s next? It’s time to dig into your user group to identify social maturity. You don’t have to do it all at once — a phased approach with folks of different social maturity levels will make this easier to learn and scale from.

    Start by simply searching for your intermediaries on social media. How easy is it to find them? Are their pages updated and on brand? Is their “about” info robust and accurate? Have their profile photos been updated in the last decade?

    If you are answering “yes” to a lot of these, you already have a great start. Those are your people. But if you aren’t, that’s OK — you’ll just need to start with some generalized social education and profile optimization to get your group started. Taking the time to deliver this education is critical in making social media for insurance agents stick.

    5. Train and test your user group.

    Once you’ve identified agents who are either already active on social or ready to be active, start communicating. Let your whole organization know that you’re launching a social selling program. The more folks who know, the more they can support your work. Then, communicate with your first user group; let them know what to expect throughout the launch, including your level of support and upcoming training to get them started.

    And finally ... train! Depending on the level of social maturity of your launch group, this might mean starting with the basics of each social platform, as well as the basics of organic and paid social. If your users are super ready, it could mean jumping right into your social selling tech solution.

    6. Measure success and optimize over time.

    Once you have momentum, fuel that success with regular content. It takes time: Start simply by creating intermediary versions of your brand content and add this content to your content planning processes (for instance, you might craft language your agents can use to share branded social posts). One of the perks of Denim Social? We curate your library with our content integration.

    Finally, measure your success and share it with your internal champions, teams, and leadership. Your measurement might just consist of basic content usage and engagement at first, but it will ultimately grow to measuring return on ad spend and leads generated. Take the time to celebrate small wins and educate your internal partners on the growth of your social selling program. Check in with your social sellers to make sure they’re understanding the value and celebrating with you.

    At the end of the day, remember that launching and maintaining a social selling program is a long-term commitment. It can take a while to steer the ship in a new direction, and that’s OK! It means you’re thoughtfully implementing a new strategy and are training your team appropriately.

    To learn more about how insurance agents can optimize social selling and promote growth, connect with Denim Social today.

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

    For many financial marketers and social sellers, Twitter is something of an enigma. It has a different format and structure than other popular social media networks, so it can be difficult to create the right social selling strategy. 

    However, it is still a great place to connect with customers and share thought leadership, service offerings, and authentic, real-time content. 

    Follow these Twitter best practices to drive results and show up in a meaningful way. 

    Need more social media content? Check out our guidebook on social media trends for financial services.

    Instagram is a great way for financial institutions to showcase their authenticity and highlight the human side of the business, but have you incorporated best practices into your social selling strategy?

    There’s no doubt that this highly visual social media network is a great place to reach audiences and connect with customers, especially for social sellers like insurance agents, mortgage loan officers, and financial advisors. 

    As you plan content and interact with followers, be sure to follow these best practices for a better Instagram marketing strategy.

    Need more Instagram inspiration? Download our guidebook, Stronger Customer Relationships on Instagram.

    Algorithm updates from nearly every social media network — including Twitter, TikTok, and Instagram — have frustrated their share of users over the years, consumers included. If you fall into that group, it’s time to make peace with them. Social media algorithm changes don’t have to ruin your day — or your organic reach. You just have to know how to peacefully coexist with them as a digital marketer.

    We all have to accept and expect that social media networks will change their algorithms over time. Whether the latest LinkedIn update is messing with your reach or Apple iOS update is suddenly upending your paid advertising strategy, you must be ready to pivot and adapt. Sure, it’s frustrating to see your Facebook reach drop by 5% practically overnight, even if your marketing peers are in the same boat. But it’s important to remember that even with algorithm changes, integrated digital strategies provide incredible opportunities to reach the right target audiences at the right time with the right messages— all to drive business results.

     With an attitude of willingness to listen to the data, your team can navigate changes and optimize your strategies accordingly. Knowledge is power when it comes to optimizing the algorithm. Understanding social network changes is also an important consideration as you socialize results internally and advocate for a budget for your marketing efforts. You must be able to pinpoint how and when algorithmic changes impacted your results, so you can prove that it’s not a failure of your strategy but rather an opportunity to evolve.

    Ready to overcome today’s algorithm obstacles? Try these strategies:

    1. Drive greater reach and stronger engagement with social selling.

    When algorithm changes tank your brand’s organic social media reach and engagement, don’t waste time wishing you could turn back the clock. Take updates as a sign (and one of many!) that your institution should be empowering your intermediaries (think agents, loan officers, advisors, etc.) through social selling. The practice of social selling is just as it sounds: Using social media to sell a product or service. But social selling starts with relationship building, showcasing thought leadership, and building trust on social media through the voices of the folks driving business in their local communities.

    Social selling can simultaneously foster loyalty, humanize your brand, and supercharge your metrics in the face of algorithmic headwinds. Why? Employees’ social media accounts have 10 times the reach and drive double the engagement compared to their employers’ brand pages. Plus, sales reps who regularly share content are 57% more likely to generate leads. Social media networks prioritize content from individuals versus brands so that social selling can help your team bust through algorithmic barriers.

    2. Complement organic social selling with paid social advertising.

    All those algorithm changes might be causing engagement headaches. The cure is more straightforward than you might have assumed: paid social advertising. Paid social media advertisements, like in a PPC campaign, are terrific for funneling leads back to your landing pages. Once your ads are in place, you can target the audiences that matter most to your social sellers.

    By doubling up on organic and paid marketing tactics, you get a double-whammy effect that mitigates social media algorithm updates. Organic posts create a solid foundation for your social sellers, building credibility and reaching people who already follow your social sellers. Paid social media ads enable your team to strategically engage new audiences, filling your sales pipeline. Organic and paid work hand in hand to help your team break through on social.

    3. Make the most of every social media post.

    Every. Post. Counts. Although not every single thing you share on social will get the engagement you hoped for, being intentional and authentic is key. There are also three things you can do to make the most of each post that will play nice with algorithms, too:

    • First, include an image whenever you can. Social media posts with images often get more engagement. 
    • Second, schedule posts to publish at the ideal time for your desired audience. (Our team can tell you more about this!) 
    • Third, craft copy that encourages two-way communication, such as asking open-ended questions, soliciting feedback, or publishing polls. Thought-provoking copy encourages comments, and that’s where social selling really comes to life!

    Don’t forget that social posts should be the beginning of a digital journey for your followers. Not every post needs to include a direct call to action, but thoughtfully linking your followers to meaningful resources eventually paves the way for conversions. Whether it’s organic or paid, a social post can open the door to a digital journey that is beneficial for the customer and the intermediary looking to build that relationship.

    Algorithm updates might keep you on your toes, but they don’t have to ruin your marketing outcomes. You’ve got this! If you’re interested in further education about how organic and paid social work together, you’ll appreciate reading “How to Marry Organic and Paid Social Media Advertising Strategies.”

    Is your institution following  Facebook best practices?

    As the long-standing most popular social network, using Facebook is an important way for financial marketers and social sellers to reach a wide audience with timely content. Taking time to check for accuracy, updates, and more will go a long way in putting your best social selling  foot forward.

    Don’t forget these Facebook best practices as you build out a social selling program. 

    Want more social media ideas? Download our guidebook, Social Media Trends for Financial Institutions.

    Is your institution following LinkedIn best practices?

    For financial marketers looking to build a strong social selling program, LinkedIn is one of the best ways to authentically engage customers and prospects. . However, it’s important to make sure that all profiles and content are tailored correctly. Knowing the right way to show up can help brands and their social sellers maintain appearances and optimize strategy.

    Be sure to follow these best practices when it comes to posting on the professional social network.

    Want more social selling content? Download our Social Selling Playbook for Financial Marketers.

    Make the most of your social media presence by optimizing your images and including essential information about your business on each platform. By giving your customers an optimal digital experience, you will be able to broaden your reach and provide better customer service through your digital platforms.

    Facebook

    IMAGE SIZING:

    Profile picture: 170 x 170px (desktop), 128 x 128px (smartphones)

    Cover photo: 820 x 312px (desktop), 640 x 360px (smartphones)

    Keep the main content of your image centered. On a desktop the photo will display as 840x312px, but on mobile will size down to 640x360px.

    Facebook post image: 1200 x 630px

    The ideal width for a Facebook post image is 1200px, but height can vary based on what type of device the image display is optimized for. We recommend keeping it at the recommended size to keep consistency on all devices.

    When creating a Facebook Ad graphic, any text should not take up more than 20% of the photo. You can find a cheat sheet here: https://www.facebook.com/ads/tools/text_overlay.

    Facebook Video: 1280 x 720px

    The optimal length for a short-form video on Facebook is 15 seconds to 1 minute; for a long-form video, it is 3 minutes. The maximum file size is 10GB.

    Facebook Link Image: 1200 x 630px

    Make sure to claim ownership of your links for the ability to change the link preview photo. You can find more info on that here: https://www.facebook.com/business/help/528858287471922?id=708699556338610.

    Carousel Post: 1080 x 1080px

    Carousel posts are a great way to display multiple services or features that you offer to your customers. When placing a Facebook ad you can link each carousel photo to a different link, making it easy for people to navigate to your specific products.

    Facebook Story: 1080 x 1920px

    Make the most of your stories by using all of your space and creating a fullscreen experience.

    IMPORTANT PAGE INFORMATION:

    Page name:

    This is where you can name your Facebook Page, but be sure to keep it shorter than 75 characters.

    Page username:

    Customize your page URL by adding a username, making it easier for people to locate and navigate people from other digital platforms. Your Facebook URL can include up to 50 characters.

    Page call to action:

    Facebook gives you a variety of choices on calls to action. For example, if you’d like customers to contact you by email, you can set up a “Send Email” button with your email address connected and ready to go.

    LinkedIn

    IMAGE SIZING:

    Profile picture: 400 x 400px

    Upload your business logo here to personalize your profile. If this page is for an individual, this is where you will upload their headshot.

    Cover Photo: 1584 x 396px

    Having a personalized business cover photo will make your profile look more professional and give you the opportunity to provide page visitors with more of the look and feel of your business. This can include an image related to your business or a graphic with information on services you provide or your business slogan.

    LinkedIn post photo: 1200 x 628px (mobile), 1200 x 1200px (desktop)

    When targeting an audience on both desktop and mobile, make sure that you optimize for mobile to give people the best experience.

    LinkedIn Link Photo: 1200 x 628px (mobile), 1200 x 1200px (desktop)

    Providing an image with your link preview can help give viewers a better idea of article content and also communicate your brand look and feel.

    LinkedIn Link Video: 4096 x 2304px maximum, 256 x 144 pixels minimum

    The optimal video length for LinkedIn is 30-90 seconds and the maximum file size is 5GB.

    IMPORTANT PAGE INFORMATION

    Page name:

    This is where your business name is located, as well as your company industry, location, and number of followers.

    Page description:

    Add your business slogan, mission, or a short description that tells people what your company, products, and services can do for them.

    Twitter

    IMAGE SIZING

    Profile picture: 400 x 400px

    Upload your business logo or headshot to personalize your profile.

    Cover photo: 1500 x 500px

    Be sure to center your content to give your followers an optimized experience on mobile.

    Twitter post photo: 1200 x 675px

    Allow your followers to see the entirety of the photo in their feed by adhering to this sizing guideline. The maximum file size is 5MB.

    Twitter video: 1280 x 720px (desktop, recommended), 720 x 720px (mobile)

    The optimal video length for Twitter is 20-45 seconds and the maximum file size is 512MB.

    IMPORTANT PAGE INFORMATION

    Underneath your profile photo, your company name and username will be displayed.

    Write a short bio to tell people more about your business.

    Instagram

    IMAGE SIZING

    Profile photo: 110 x 110px

    Your profile picture will be small, so be sure your image is sized correctly and centered. This is a great place for your company logo.

    Profile thumbnail: Displays as 161 x 161px

    This is a preview of your large image post, but looks best when the photo posted is square.

    Highlight Cover: 1080 x 1920px

    Your cover photos should have centered images to give your highlight reel a balanced look. You can also name your highlights, but be concise as they can only be 15 characters long.

    Instagram Feed Photo: 1080 x 1080px (square), 1080 x 1350 (portrait), 1080 x 566 (landscape)

    The recommended width for all Instagram feed photos is 1080px, but the height can vary. To optimize for your feed display within your profile, we recommend using the sizing listed above to keep your image square.

    Instagram Feed Video:  1080 x 1080px (square), 1080 x 1350 (portrait), 1080 x 566 (landscape)

    The optimal length for an Instagram video is 30-60 seconds and the max file size is 650MB.

    Instagram Feed Ad Photo: 1080 x 1080px

    Your ad photo will display the same as a normal feed photo, but with a link attached. When creating an ad in Ads Manager, you’ll be able to upload a separate photo for Instagram to keep your photos optimized for the user experience.

    Instagram Story: 1080 x 1920px (portrait), 1080 x 601 (landscape)

    Make the most of your stories by using all of your space and creating a fullscreen experience. The maximum length of the story is 15 seconds.

    Instagram Reels & Live: 1080 x 1920px

    Reels can be used to offer tutorials, demos, or service features. These will be saved under your profile page for viewers to go back and watch at their leisure. The maximum length for Reels is 30 seconds. For Live, this can be used for announcements, events, or other Q&A sessions. These can also be saved for later viewing, and can last up to 4 hours.

    Connect & Convert on Social

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    RESOURCES

    VISION
    August 16, 2022

    The Nuts and Bolts of Launching a Social Selling Program for Insurance

    By
    Nola Morris

    The true foundation of sales is relationship building. While this has traditionally been done in person, especially in the insurance industry, the digital landscape offers endless possibilities for relationship building. This is why leveraging social media as a sales tool is so integral to your digital marketing strategy.

    Social selling is the perfect crossroads of marketing and sales, and enables intermediaries to add value to the customer journey where there wouldn’t otherwise be an opportunity. After all, Net Promoter Scores are 15 points higher for property and casualty insurance customers when they’ve interacted with their insurers within the past year.

    Developing a social selling strategy and launching a program can be daunting. Marketing and sales teams are already juggling full plates. Adding social to the sales mix is a culture shift, and supporting hundreds or thousands of intermediaries in weaving social into their everyday processes isn’t a small feat. Remember that social selling is more than marketing: It’s using social media as a digital relationship-building and sales tool.  

    This mindset shift can take some time, and launching your strategy and program won’t happen overnight. Luckily, there are tools available to make this culture shift much easier. Denim Social was built to power social selling programs within the financial services industry, and we’ve outlined what it takes to launch a successful program:

    1. Align with your team on the definition of social selling.

    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 sales.

    While this may be old news to you, intermediaries may have less experience with it. Take the time to talk about it this way and educate your teams on using social media as a sales tool. This time spent learning a new marketing tactic is very much worth your agents’ time, too. Prove it to them by sharing meaningful stats on the benefits of social selling. For example, LinkedIn’s 2022 State of Sales Report found the most successful sellers at large companies — those reaching more than 150% of quota — routinely use technology to build human connections with buyers.

    2. Educate your sales team.

    Remember that social selling isn’t just marketing’s responsibility. It’s an effort that should be supported by both marketing and sales. If you’re in a marketing role looking to launch social selling for your intermediaries, take the time to educate your sales partners on social selling. Craft your elevator pitch on how social helps intermediaries meet customers where they are in the digital landscape and how enabling them on social helps amplify your brand messaging.

    Keep in mind that social media in a heavily regulated industry can feel risky, and adding it to the mix of sales tactics that have “always been done a certain way” can feel like a huge change. Patience is key! Own the narrative around social selling, build your group of internal champions to help with this culture shift, and invest time in change management and your communication plan.

    3. Find your social selling technology.

    Once you’ve got your internal teams aligned on launching social selling for your intermediaries, it’s important to find a tech solution to make it all easier! Seek a solution that creates efficiencies for the administrators of your program and your users. For instance, does your platform account for compliance coverage? Does your vendor understand the nuances of your industry? As you’re evaluating potential platforms, make sure to consider both the administrative and end-user experience, as well as both organic and paid capabilities. A holistic social selling platform will include all these things.

    Spoiler alert: At Denim Social, we do all these things! We specifically support the financial services industry, understand your compliance needs, and, most importantly, understand the impact intermediaries can make through social selling (both organic and paid). We can also operate with any other tools you use to manage your brand, so you have full control over your tech stack.

    4. Identify social maturity.

    So you’re changing the narrative, gaining buy-in, and you’ve found Denim Social to help you — what’s next? It’s time to dig into your user group to identify social maturity. You don’t have to do it all at once — a phased approach with folks of different social maturity levels will make this easier to learn and scale from.

    Start by simply searching for your intermediaries on social media. How easy is it to find them? Are their pages updated and on brand? Is their “about” info robust and accurate? Have their profile photos been updated in the last decade?

    If you are answering “yes” to a lot of these, you already have a great start. Those are your people. But if you aren’t, that’s OK — you’ll just need to start with some generalized social education and profile optimization to get your group started. Taking the time to deliver this education is critical in making social media for insurance agents stick.

    5. Train and test your user group.

    Once you’ve identified agents who are either already active on social or ready to be active, start communicating. Let your whole organization know that you’re launching a social selling program. The more folks who know, the more they can support your work. Then, communicate with your first user group; let them know what to expect throughout the launch, including your level of support and upcoming training to get them started.

    And finally ... train! Depending on the level of social maturity of your launch group, this might mean starting with the basics of each social platform, as well as the basics of organic and paid social. If your users are super ready, it could mean jumping right into your social selling tech solution.

    6. Measure success and optimize over time.

    Once you have momentum, fuel that success with regular content. It takes time: Start simply by creating intermediary versions of your brand content and add this content to your content planning processes (for instance, you might craft language your agents can use to share branded social posts). One of the perks of Denim Social? We curate your library with our content integration.

    Finally, measure your success and share it with your internal champions, teams, and leadership. Your measurement might just consist of basic content usage and engagement at first, but it will ultimately grow to measuring return on ad spend and leads generated. Take the time to celebrate small wins and educate your internal partners on the growth of your social selling program. Check in with your social sellers to make sure they’re understanding the value and celebrating with you.

    At the end of the day, remember that launching and maintaining a social selling program is a long-term commitment. It can take a while to steer the ship in a new direction, and that’s OK! It means you’re thoughtfully implementing a new strategy and are training your team appropriately.

    To learn more about how insurance agents can optimize social selling and promote growth, connect with Denim Social today.

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    SIMILAR POSTS:

    For many financial marketers and social sellers, Twitter is something of an enigma. It has a different format and structure than other popular social media networks, so it can be difficult to create the right social selling strategy. 

    However, it is still a great place to connect with customers and share thought leadership, service offerings, and authentic, real-time content. 

    Follow these Twitter best practices to drive results and show up in a meaningful way. 

    Need more social media content? Check out our guidebook on social media trends for financial services.

    Customer relationship-building is one of the greatest value drivers for insurance agents. A benchmark analysis from McKinsey & Co. found agents with deeper customer relationships have higher product density than those lacking in relationships — often cross-selling three or more products per customer.

    With that in mind, it’s essential that agents understand how to best leverage their humanity and personality to truly connect with their audiences. In today’s age, this extends to how agents present themselves and connect online.

    When prospective clients meet an agent for the first time, they’re asking themselves, “Is this person likable? Can I trust them?” Clients want to feel an authentic connection that gives them peace of mind and assures them that someone has their best interests at heart.

    This desire for connection isn’t limited to the insurance industry. In fact, 88% of consumers say that authenticity is a key factor when deciding the brands they like and support, and that trust is vitally important to entering working relationships. That desire for trust grows exponentially when it comes to insurance sales because the business is built around protecting clients’ futures.

    Insurance agents have a head start on this — their businesses have always been rooted in authenticity. But as digital transformation in the insurance industry continues, it’s more important than ever that agents assert themselves through authenticity on social media. It’s no different from what agents and other insurance professionals have been doing in person for years. It’s about conveying expertise, building trust, and showcasing industry knowledge — except now it’s within the digital universe. Social media provides a new platform for staying top of mind with customers and prospects alike.

    So, how should agents be more authentic on social media? Same as they would offline — with relationships.

    Good selling starts with genuinely listening to clients and being authentic, no matter what. Insurance agents are there to identify clients’ life needs and build a solution to protect them against loss. They must genuinely care about clients’ needs to find the right solutions and demonstrate that level of care to earn trust.

    Here’s how agents can bring that energy to social media:

    View social media as an opportunity to provide value. Marketers and agents alike already know that authenticity is important to customer acquisition. That same authenticity should show up in social media activity.

    Agents should still be themselves, just on digital channels. After all, in the insurance business, agents are selling a promise that a consumer may or may not ever see delivery on. If the client never has an accident, they’ll never make a claim.

    This means a lot of time can pass between a point of sale and delivery of promise.

    With the rise of social media, however, there is a growing opportunity to deliver value in the long term. Whether it’s sharing thought-leadership articles, checking in with clients on social media, or providing digital tools to help educate clients, the digital landscape provides ample opportunity to reinforce proof of agent value on an ongoing basis. Including both paid and organic social media marketing for insurance agents in the mix of sales practices is critical.

    This won’t replace traditional tools like phone, email and in-person meetings, but having a mix of organic and paid content alongside them will complement other relationship-building efforts, keep agents top of mind, and continually provide value to clients and prospects.

    Lean into the power of real-life experience. There’s a good chance that agents live and work in the communities they serve. Agents should use that advantage with prospective clients when building their authentic brands. Showing on social media what’s happening in their communities and their offices will help foster a sense of belonging and drive interest among followers.

    Need more marketing ideas for insurance agents? Look to everyday experiences. If an agent runs into someone at a local event, they should take a selfie and tag the person on Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn. If a client drops off cookies, the agent should post a photo and a heartfelt message about what it meant to the team. Social media followers will connect with those real-life moments far more than they would with a branded post.

    Embrace storytelling. Too often, social media marketing for insurance agents consists only of market statistics or limited-time promotions. While this type of content can absolutely be useful and helpful, it’s not enough on its own. Think about the brands you follow: Would statistics and discounts be enough to get you engaged?

    Social media is about creating a narrative, not just posting facts or promotions.

    Agents should share the true picture of what it’s been like to grow a practice. Tell client stories about how they’ve benefited from your insurance products (with permission and privacy in mind, of course). When agents share authentically, they build trust with clients and prospects.

    Be themselves. If agents are only professional and stuffy, audiences won’t connect. Agents and marketers alike shouldn’t be afraid to let a little personality shine through on social media. Thought leadership can create credibility and demonstrate expertise, and it’s always better received when served up by a real-life person.

    That’s what social selling is all about.

    Posting is only one part of the strategy. Agents should also comment on and engage with clients’ posts as appropriate. Two-way communication is critical to building authenticity. Think about it as if you were having an in-person conversation; there would be plenty of back-and-forth throughout the discussion. Did a client become a grandparent? Their agent should congratulate them. Social selling is all about creating conversation, just like in real life.

    Engagement provides the added benefit of personalization. Customers don’t want to feel like marketing collateral. When agents engage with them honestly and authentically, they’re well on their way to creating deep, lasting consumer relationships.

    Building authenticity through social media is similar in principle to building authenticity in real life; it’s just using a different medium to do so. When intermediaries share personal stories and helpful content with clients in a way that reflects their true personalities, they’ll build lasting relationships both online and offline that will serve as the foundation of future sales.

    *This article was originally published in Insurance Journal.

    Instagram is a great way for financial institutions to showcase their authenticity and highlight the human side of the business, but have you incorporated best practices into your social selling strategy?

    There’s no doubt that this highly visual social media network is a great place to reach audiences and connect with customers, especially for social sellers like insurance agents, mortgage loan officers, and financial advisors. 

    As you plan content and interact with followers, be sure to follow these best practices for a better Instagram marketing strategy.

    Need more Instagram inspiration? Download our guidebook, Stronger Customer Relationships on Instagram.

    Algorithm updates from nearly every social media network — including Twitter, TikTok, and Instagram — have frustrated their share of users over the years, consumers included. If you fall into that group, it’s time to make peace with them. Social media algorithm changes don’t have to ruin your day — or your organic reach. You just have to know how to peacefully coexist with them as a digital marketer.

    We all have to accept and expect that social media networks will change their algorithms over time. Whether the latest LinkedIn update is messing with your reach or Apple iOS update is suddenly upending your paid advertising strategy, you must be ready to pivot and adapt. Sure, it’s frustrating to see your Facebook reach drop by 5% practically overnight, even if your marketing peers are in the same boat. But it’s important to remember that even with algorithm changes, integrated digital strategies provide incredible opportunities to reach the right target audiences at the right time with the right messages— all to drive business results.

     With an attitude of willingness to listen to the data, your team can navigate changes and optimize your strategies accordingly. Knowledge is power when it comes to optimizing the algorithm. Understanding social network changes is also an important consideration as you socialize results internally and advocate for a budget for your marketing efforts. You must be able to pinpoint how and when algorithmic changes impacted your results, so you can prove that it’s not a failure of your strategy but rather an opportunity to evolve.

    Ready to overcome today’s algorithm obstacles? Try these strategies:

    1. Drive greater reach and stronger engagement with social selling.

    When algorithm changes tank your brand’s organic social media reach and engagement, don’t waste time wishing you could turn back the clock. Take updates as a sign (and one of many!) that your institution should be empowering your intermediaries (think agents, loan officers, advisors, etc.) through social selling. The practice of social selling is just as it sounds: Using social media to sell a product or service. But social selling starts with relationship building, showcasing thought leadership, and building trust on social media through the voices of the folks driving business in their local communities.

    Social selling can simultaneously foster loyalty, humanize your brand, and supercharge your metrics in the face of algorithmic headwinds. Why? Employees’ social media accounts have 10 times the reach and drive double the engagement compared to their employers’ brand pages. Plus, sales reps who regularly share content are 57% more likely to generate leads. Social media networks prioritize content from individuals versus brands so that social selling can help your team bust through algorithmic barriers.

    2. Complement organic social selling with paid social advertising.

    All those algorithm changes might be causing engagement headaches. The cure is more straightforward than you might have assumed: paid social advertising. Paid social media advertisements, like in a PPC campaign, are terrific for funneling leads back to your landing pages. Once your ads are in place, you can target the audiences that matter most to your social sellers.

    By doubling up on organic and paid marketing tactics, you get a double-whammy effect that mitigates social media algorithm updates. Organic posts create a solid foundation for your social sellers, building credibility and reaching people who already follow your social sellers. Paid social media ads enable your team to strategically engage new audiences, filling your sales pipeline. Organic and paid work hand in hand to help your team break through on social.

    3. Make the most of every social media post.

    Every. Post. Counts. Although not every single thing you share on social will get the engagement you hoped for, being intentional and authentic is key. There are also three things you can do to make the most of each post that will play nice with algorithms, too:

    • First, include an image whenever you can. Social media posts with images often get more engagement. 
    • Second, schedule posts to publish at the ideal time for your desired audience. (Our team can tell you more about this!) 
    • Third, craft copy that encourages two-way communication, such as asking open-ended questions, soliciting feedback, or publishing polls. Thought-provoking copy encourages comments, and that’s where social selling really comes to life!

    Don’t forget that social posts should be the beginning of a digital journey for your followers. Not every post needs to include a direct call to action, but thoughtfully linking your followers to meaningful resources eventually paves the way for conversions. Whether it’s organic or paid, a social post can open the door to a digital journey that is beneficial for the customer and the intermediary looking to build that relationship.

    Algorithm updates might keep you on your toes, but they don’t have to ruin your marketing outcomes. You’ve got this! If you’re interested in further education about how organic and paid social work together, you’ll appreciate reading “How to Marry Organic and Paid Social Media Advertising Strategies.”

    Denim Social, a leading provider of social selling software for the mortgage industry, is proud to announce it has joined The Mortgage Collaborative. Together, the two organizations will educate mortgage lenders on the power of social selling and help them elevate their social selling programs to increase mortgage loan officer success. 

    The Mortgage Collaborative empowers mortgage lenders across the country with better financial execution, reduced costs, enhanced expertise and improved compliance. As consumer behavior shifts online and in a highly competitive marketplace, The Mortgage Collaborative also helps members reach and access prospective clients. 

    “Social selling is an essential tool for today’s mortgage lenders,” said Tom Gallucci, Senior Vice President of Business Development at The Mortgage Collaborative. “Partners like Denim Social will help our members build trust online, stay compliant and, most importantly, close more deals.”

    Members of The Mortgage Collaborative and customers of Denim Social will have access to member only pricing, resources and training. 

    “We’re excited to be a part of The Mortgage Collaborative – an organization that so many of our customers gain great value from already. We’re looking forward to collaborating with TMC on special content and resources, as well as forging deeper connections with members,” said Doug Wilber, CEO of Denim Social. 

    Click here to learn more about Denim Social and the Mortgage Collaborative’s partnership.

    Is your institution following  Facebook best practices?

    As the long-standing most popular social network, using Facebook is an important way for financial marketers and social sellers to reach a wide audience with timely content. Taking time to check for accuracy, updates, and more will go a long way in putting your best social selling  foot forward.

    Don’t forget these Facebook best practices as you build out a social selling program. 

    Want more social media ideas? Download our guidebook, Social Media Trends for Financial Institutions.

    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