All posts with tag: social media

“Pin-ups” have taken a whole new form! Pinterest and you.

Pinterest. We’ve all heard of it — a platform to visually catalogue and share fun and interesting things from all over the web. As insurance professionals, though, why would we want to use it? Or, better yet, how can an insurance agency build a presence on a website that appreciates DIY crafts and innovative recipes?

Before we answer that question, we have a confession to make: UIG does not have a Pinterest page.

Not because we do not see the value, but, at this time, we have opted to focus on other social media outlets including Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. We believe if you don’t have the resources to maintain your social media outlet with fresh relevant content, it’s best not to start. It’s better to do a few things well than to do a lot of things halfway.

pinitWith this being said, we feel Pinterest could be a powerful tool for agents. That’s why we’ve tapped our PR consultant and other agents who are using this social media tool to provide food-for-thought.

Now, back to business … If you’re not familiar with Pinterest, here’s a primer.

Pinterest:

an online bulletin board where users choose images to “pin” to their boards, along with a brief description. Just as with Facebook and Twitter, people can follow others’ boards.

Pin or Pinning:

the act of adding a picture to a Pinterest board. The visuals can come from a variety of sources — such as websites or personal photos.

Board or Pinboard:

A posting page or area for pinners to post and re-pin images to allow other Pinterest users to view their images. It is fully editable, and you can create multiple boards.

Pinners:

the collective term for Pinterest users.

Why be interested in Pinterest? How about…

  • As of February, Pinterest has 110 million regular users.
  • 70 percent of brand engagement on Pinterest is generated by users, not brands.
  • Pinterest shoppers are spending significantly more per checkout averaging between $140-$180 per order compared with consistent $80 and $60 orders for Facebook and Twitter shoppers, respectively.
  • U.S. consumers who use Pinterest follow an average of 9.3 retailers on the site.
  • 81 percent of U.S. online consumers trust information and advice from Pinterest.
  • Pinterest accounts for 25 percent of retail referral traffic.
  • Average activity of popular pinners is 2,757 pins; 35 boards; following 355.
  • Businesses have more success on Pinterest when they post five times a day.

So it’s clearly worthwhile to have a presence on Pinterest. But how?

Let’s be honest — insurance information and tips aren’t exactly the most viral content on the Internet. But like all sales professionals, insurance agents need to build relationships. When used strategically and with sensitivity to what users of the site find appealing, Pinterest can be one more way for you to connect with potential clients.

In speaking with some of our UIG clients, a couple of very simple tips that worked for them in getting started were to 1) take a look at boards created by other insurance/brokers, taking note of what you like and don’t like as a basis to start your board and 2) create your own personal board or company introductory board. Whether you’re an owner operator or work as part of a larger agency, you still need to create rapport and trust before launching into your business spiel.

Beyond these steps:

Show that you’re more than a business.

Do use a business logo for your board’s user icon, and then assign someone in your office to be responsible for monitoring and posting to your account. By adding a name and a face to your board, you’re making it clear that there’s a real person behind your account.

Know the target audience.

You won’t find older baby boomer males here. More than 70 percent of Pinterest users are in the 25 – 34 age range and female. The same women looking for recipes and decorating tips are business decision makers that use Pinterest to research company service needs as well. So you want to be sure your pins cater to the commercial segments you service, but also the demographic that’s viewing your content.

Create original content.

If you have an artistic streak or access to someone who does, think about what images might appeal to your target audience and create them. You can also develop images that creatively display the title of an article on your company’s blog that would be of interest to potential customers. Find a way to subtly add your company’s name and website to the image, so that you can be sure people can still find you as your image gets shared. Once you put the time and effort in to creating your own image, you can also share it on your blog and Facebook accounts. It’s always good to create content that can work across multiple channels.

Know the rules of the game

A potential problem that anyone pinning images on Pinterest must be made aware of is that legally, you need to obtain permission from the owner of an image before you use it. Of course, many casual, personal users ignore this formality, but businesses are more likely to come under scrutiny and should abide by the law so as to not leave the company vulnerable. Either make sure an image is in the public domain or reach out to obtain permission.

Now lets get to work. Here are a few ideas for creating boards and populating them.

Pin your blogs.

When doing so, make sure your blog posts have at least one graphic in them as we discussed in “create original content.”

Pin your personality.

In addition to product and service information, be sure to include information about interests outside of the business, employee activities, special achievements, community events, etc.

Toot your horn.

Invite clients to handwrite a testimonial and then snap a picture. Pin away.  Or, snap a picture of happy customers (with their permission of course) and type their testimonial in the picture’s description.

Industry related resources and articles.

Create a board of your favorite insurance resources, such as a trade association like PIA, Big I or your state department of insurance. You can also create a resource board of all of your Insurance-related articles from other sources in one place.

Referrals.

Pin information about trusted partners, including clients that you work with. Your referral could result in business referrals generated for you.

Hopefully we’ve given you some food for thought and unraveled some of the mystery of Pinterest.

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