Mar 08 2023
Key social media practices to follow while prospecting
By Nikhil Varma
Social media is no longer a novelty and has emerged as an integral part of the modern business landscape. The insurance sector is no exception to this transformation.
During the pandemic, financial advisors and executives realised that social media is useful for many prospects, including getting new clients on board and building better relationships with existing ones.
Financial advisors can utilise and leverage the potential of social media tools to build relationships with potential clients, instead of merely selling products. This can be done by curating content that appeals to the clients.
Sumit Kumar Bhonge, a four-year MDRT member from India, says it is important to identify the client, understand their needs and share information. “It helps the advisors build relationships and strengthen trust. The information should be authentic and useful for the end user. I broadcast messages twice a week on major developments in the space to portfolio and prospective clients.”
Financial advisors can increase engagement on social media and educate prospects by creating compelling and informative content that addresses their common concerns. For example, they can create an educational guide explaining the various types of insurance coverage available, which plans would be best for the client, and the benefits these plans offer.
Industry jargon can be simplified and explained visually through posts and videos. Consistently delivering a newsletter or explainer can also keep clients informed and engaged, building recall value and helping advisors when clients need policy solutions. On the other hand, simply sharing plans without context or fresh perspectives will harm business and drive away prospects. Keeping prospects informed and updated regularly through various tech tools on social media will improve client retention and attract new ones.
Tweaking the message locally
Bhonge tweaks content based on client needs, and planning and analysing broad trends. He says, “I tend to focus on curating editorials and offering my perspectives and often repost old blogs with relevant ideas and new data points. I communicate in English and also use regional languages such as Marathi extensively. I stay in Kolhapur in Maharashtra and find it easier to use Marathi, the state language.”
Bhonge says it is vital for financial advisors to engage with clients in a language they understand. “English works for the urban consumers. Many people prefer to learn about insurance in their language. It is an important step in building serious engagement online. Depending on the geographic location, languages can change. The focus must be on ensuring a larger group of people can understand the message well.” he explains.
Building awareness via content
Social networks can streamline communication and reduce costs. Financial advisors must take an active approach to social media and set up dedicated teams to manage client relations, promote loyalty, and provide information.
A paper by Deloitte says social media can help financial advisors and companies shift from an isolated model to one focused on engagement. By using social media platforms to discover, develop, and share ideas and expertise, financial advisors can enjoy many advantages. Bhonge agrees, noting that regular engagement and varied content can help establish a personal brand.
MDRT member Rajshri Das Borah says that a large reach is the big advantage of social media platforms. It is important, she argues to be active and engage with the target audience. Tailored messaging, she points out, works best, not generic shared posts.
"As long as the content is fresh and interesting, engagement will remain high. Engaging posts, content pieces and videos on specific areas of expertise will help establish advisors as an authority. The posts must showcase knowledge and awareness of the developments in insurance. Good content works best on videos shot professionally," Borah said.
Some examples from the U.S. may hold for insurance advisors in India. An insurance advisor was looking at increasing business in the car collector space. The goal was to have curated plans for these enthusiasts. He set up a community page on Facebook and invited enthusiasts. In due course, an online community was born and engagement took off. People began sharing pictures, tips and hacks, and more information about their vehicles. The insurance advisor got recognized within the niche community, which helped him drive significant business. This cannot happen organically in the offline world.
By following social media practices such as building relationships, being active and responsive, gathering client feedback, and building brand awareness, financial advisors can leverage social media to drive business growth and success in the long run.