Twitter has become an insurance industry gamechanger in the overall business growth for local agents. Nowadays, a small business owner can’t afford not having a presence on Twitter. A prominent social media presence, specifically Twitter, will work wonders for converting online traffic into new policy holders.

Leveraging this 140-character social media giant can help bolster your brand to success. According to Twitter’s Small Business Customer Insights Study in 2016, roughly 78% of people who follow SMBs retweet content from that business. Similarly, 69% of followers have purchased a product or service from an SMB after following them on Twitter.

So, what do you need to do to start taking advantage of the growth benefits of Twitter? Here’s how to employ the platform as a powerful business growth tool.

Optimize your Twitter Bio

Like all of your social media pages, it is important to make sure that all of the information in the bio section accurately represents who you are and what you offer.

The insurance company you represent likely has regulations around what type of language is considered compliant. Therefore, research your company’s restrictions before getting too personal in your bio.

Since Twitter is rooted in the application of quick, to the point content (each tweet is allotted 140 characters), use this same idea when creating your company bio. Keep it short and sweet and packed with useful information.

For example, take advantage of the opportunity to link your microsite to your bio to give users quick access to additional information about your services.

This is an opportunity for you to show your network the identity and voice of your agency’s brand.

Research Influencers and Experts in Your Industry

The Twitter platform is a great way to connect with thought leaders and industry movers and shakers in order to further connect you to prospective customers. How does this work exactly?

When you use Twitter as a research tool to uncover influential agents or insurance industry journalists, bloggers, and writers, you open of the possibility to start a relationship, engage with them daily, and most importantly, show your followers that you, too, are well connected in the influential crowd within the industry.

Your status as a thought leader shows potential customers that you know what you are talking about and adds yet another layer of trust in the eyes of policy holders.

Get Your Team Members Involved

Tweeting daily is recommended, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that posting this frequently falls on the agent’s lap alone. Enlist the help of your team members to share the responsibility. Many agents designate a specific team member as an administrator for the agency Twitter account, and allow that individual to create relevant, compliant content, and keep up with any new influencers or breaking news in the industry.

Tweet Regularly

Best practice for businesses using Twitter is to post at least once daily. Keeping your audience engaged on a consistent basis is part of the right formula to gaining a loyal following. It is your job to use this platform to stay top of mind with new and existing policy holders. Not every potential customer is in the market for a new policy every single day. Which means, you must stay on top of posting tweets or else people may forget about you. The main goal here is to be the agent that pops into a new customer’s mind when they decide to shop for a new policy.

Ask Followers to Help You Build Your Network

Let’s face the facts. Managing any social media account is not for the faint of heart. Twitter, however, can be a much more involved project since it is recommended to post every day of the week (at least once per day.)

Once you start to make connections with influencers on Twitter, don’t be afraid to ask your new connections to retweet, mention, or even share some of your tweets. Other users who are managing Twitter for their business as well are usually more than willing to lend a helping hand to help a fellow business leader.

As you grow your network in this way, be sure to share the love. When other businesses request that you retweet or mention their tweets, you can carefully select relevant tidbits from their profiles that resonate with your followers and meet regulations of compliance.

Respond to Mentions

Engaging in Twitter allows you the inside scoop on what is being said about you on the social platform. Task your designated social media guru to track mentions and keywords that pertain to your business, so you know what people are saying.

In a professional and compliant manner, you can respond to these mentions to further engage with potential policy holders.

Many customers are in the habit of posting their product and service questions and complaints online. Twitter has become a breeding ground for frustrated individuals to get a hold of large company decision makers when customer service is being unresponsive. Displaying “reviews” in a sense via Twitter is one of the largest platforms in which a customer can use to expose their true feelings regarding an interaction with a business. In many ways this can be beneficial for you.

If your interactions and customer service is up to par, policy holders will turn to Twitter to express how pleased they are with your service. Of course, on the other side, if a customer has a bad experience, their negative feedback could appear online too. The good news is that this social platform allows you to be a part of the conversation either way.

We are also seeing users take to Twitter to search for recommendations.

For example, say a new family has just moved to town and they are looking to purchase new insurance policies. The head of the household might send out a tweet saying, “I need to get new auto insurance. Anyone have recommendations for best insurance in Los Angeles, CA?” Here is where you can jump in and say, “We’d love to have you as a new policy holder.”

Retweet and Favorite Tweets!

When you see tweets that positively reinforce your brand’s message, retweet it! You can also favorite tweets, which will send a notification to the individual who wrote the original tweet.

This can get the attention of that user more effectively than even a retweet or a mention because it is more of a rare action on Twitter. If you’re engaging with industry influencers in these ways, chances are you will create lasting connections and build a more relevant follower base quickly.

Follow Relevant Trends and Hashtags. And use those hashtags in your own tweets

In the same vein as following industry influencers, it is a best practice to also follow relevant trends and hashtags. Popular hashtags will keep you up to speed on what’s going on in the insurance world. Research which hashtags are “trending” and start to use those in your own tweets. That will create a higher probability of new users discovering your tweets as they search through trending hashtags.

Hashtags can become trending when a multitude of users are incorporating that hashtag into their tweets. That means a trending hashtag can change moment to moment. Understanding that you don’t have the time to monitor trending hashtags all day every day, set a weekly schedule for when you research what’s trending. From there, craft your tweets around the hot topics for that week.

Use Images and Videos in Your Tweets

Images, videos, and other rich media have proven to be more engaging to the user than just plain words. In stream content, meaning content that the user can view directly in their feed without bouncing from web page to web page, receive more views, clicks, and shares.

It’s the convenience factor.

Twitter especially, has built its platform around quick and simple messages to connect users. Therefore, the ease of use factor contributes to how many people continue to use Twitter. Make connecting with your brand as simple as possible to garnish more positive feedback on the content you create.

Take Advantage of Promoted Tweets

As with any advertising, investing some marketing dollars in customer acquisition is a way to target your audience in a direct and impactful way.

Nowadays, promoted tweets appear in the feed in a way that looks just like a regular tweet. Although they are clearly labeled “Promoted,” it seems less intrusive to the user.

Promoted tweets are a way for agents to increase engagement and expand your network to a wider group of users beyond your follower base.

Use Twitter Analytics

Measure your Twitter performance with analytics. This tool shows you who is following you so you can reach out directly to your target audience.

Analyzing your tweets will also show you what type of content is most relevant for your followers. This way, you are able to tailor your tweets to engage with potential policy holders in a more meaningful way.

Following these guidelines for Twitter will amplify your agency’s overall social media impact. Integrating Twitter into your overall social media strategy is recommended for maximize engagement across the web.

Ultimately, investing time, budget, and resources into optimizing your Twitter account to align with industry best practices will only result in writing more insurance policies in 2019.