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Content Ideas for the Independent Agency

04/28/2010

One of the hurdles businesses face when diving into social media is creating content, and it’s a common question as agencies start to dip their toes in the social media waters. I wrote about this last month and gave five web-inspired ways to create content, however writing about what sets your business apart is another powerful avenue to explore.

A few days ago I was checking in on my Twitter stream and noticed that Nick from Astonish Results asked me to check out a blog post by an MAIA member. Naturally, I clicked right over and was really psyched to see that  Kaitlyn Pinitarich, Vice President at Berry Insurance, had blogged about five great reasons to be insured with her Independent Agency.

At a time when there is growing buzz about direct writers and their advertizing budgets, Kaitlyn’s post gives a list of great reasons why dealing with an Independent Agent is valuable. I love that this is an honest piece that is worlds away from canned material about risk management. In addition, it really showcased some of the agency’s personality by incorporating the ways that their office works for their clients.

Agencies that are looking for fresh material to post on their blog, Facebook, or LinkedIn group, might do well to take a page from Berry. Highlighting what makes your agency valuable by sharing some quick stories about your agency successes is a powerful tool. When is the last time you saved a client premium dollars or helped them with a sticky claim situation? What are the good things your agency staff is doing in your community? Are you working with other businesses in your area? Sponsoring a sports team? Perhaps you’re “live tweeting” the town meeting?

Sometimes small businesses hesitate to share these stories because it can feel awkward – many hesitate to share when they feel like there’re bragging. Of course we don’t think twice when we see large corporations share their good works all the time. Don’t be afraid to sprinkle these worthy tid-bits into your social media conversations. These are the things that set the Independent Agency apart! 

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I also want to share a story about how Twitter can help us strengthen relationships. I mentioned that Nick messaged me over Twitter and asked me and a few others to read Kaitlyn’s post. What I didn’t know was that he was sitting next to her when he sent it to me. Within a few minutes I was able to read, respond with feedback, and let them know that I had forwarded this on to other MAIA staff. What a great way to obtain the instant feedback, and I made a new personal connection with Kaitlyn. They shared this interaction at the meeting they were attending and received a round of applause. This is a great example of the ways that using the tools of social media can help to create and strengthen connections.

Interested in more social media examples? MAIA is streaming our first education seminar (sorry, no CE available) FREE to all MAIA members as a benefit of membership!  I’ll be presenting tomorrow, April 29th entitled “Let’s Get Social…Social Media: Getting Started” at 9am. There’s no need to register, just send me an email for the link …. mmurphy@massagent.com.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. 04/28/2010 8:52 am

    Melissa,

    Thank you for sharing this story and some inspirational content ideas. Even if insurance industry adoption is lagging, social media, and blogging especially present an opportunity to create a digital footprint that will follow agencies into history, attracting readers, establishing thought-leadership and providing a human side that people can connect with. Not everyone has the ability to communicate on this level but Berry Insurance is a great example and MAIA seminars can certainly help with education.

    Shameless Plug: Insurance Marketing HQ recently ran a post titled 50 Insurance Agency Blog Ideas for others who may suffering from bloggers block or unsure of where to start.

    http://insurancemarketinghq.com/2010/04/50-insurance-agency-blog-ideas/

    Looking forward to the live stream, MAIA is groundbreaking in its use of digital tools.

    Nick Brown
    Community Manager, Astonish Results

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