Many of you are already champions in your own community. You serve on boards, you coach little league, volunteer and sponsor local events. And, hey, you have a business in that community - that alone is giving back. Community support certainly isn't a new concept to Independent Agents. One of the best things you can do for your neighbors and your agency is bring this community spirit to your social media channels.
Here are two easy ways:
1) Share What You're Doing
You know the old saying - "If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?"
We know that recognition is not the reason you and your staff are being amazing community stewards. But, you should be proud of it and share your story so that your clients and prospects know the kind of business you are. Likeablity leads to loyalty from customers. And, in the process you may even encourage others to follow in your footsteps.
How to share what you are currently doing
Photos: Take a photo at the various activities you are involved in. It can even be a simple cell phone picture. Make sure those in the photo are ok with you posting it and then post it on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. Caption the photo with a short anecdote about the activity. Advanced users can create montages/mosaics that include multiple photos and upload from the event.
Text status update: Sometimes a photo can't be taken. That's ok! A simple post will still do the trick.
Examples: "Our little league team played their hearts out tonight. Go Cubs!" or "I'm flipping hotcakes right now, come to the @rotary breakfast at Smithtown Mall before noon. Chocolate chip or blueberry?"
Share a friend's post: Often times another participant, charity or business in an activity or event with post a photo, video or text update. Simple click the 'share' link below the post to share it on your page. You can choose to add a comment.
Videos: Is there a performance of the National Anthem at your event? Special moments and even just simply capturing a few seconds of what's around you can make a great video share. Videos have tremendous response rates. You can do this with just about any smartphone. Just keep it short! A little over your head right now? Don't worry, just stick to text and photos.
2) Share What's Happening in Your Community
You may not be involved in the local high school's performance of My Fair Lady, or the village-wide garage sale or even the fire department's annual boot campaign. But you can position yourself as a champion of your community by helping spread the word. Does this mean sharing every little thing that's happening, no. Think of the lives your customers and prospects lead. Do many of them have children that go to area schools? Do they attend the Fourth of July Celebration or Christmas Tree Lighting every year? Be a part of their community conversation.
How to share other aspects of your community
School Activities: Back to school, big games and events, graduation, honor roll list, even a student spotlight.
Town/Village/City: Special Events, celebrations, a photo with the Mayor with a little fact many people don't know.
Around Town: We love to see photos of things that are familiar. Try taking photos around town. Local coffee shop, favorite diner, landmarks, firefighters and police officers, points of interest, popular apple orchard, supermarket (if you have a Wegman's in town it's a sure-fire hit). You can ask people to guess where the photo was taken, what it's of or if they went to that school or ate at that restaurant. Profile the lady on the crosswalk or the man that has worked at the post office for 40 years. A simple photo and quick caption and you have created great content!
- Start with minimum of one community post per week
- Don't ask your followers to donate (exception is something really special you're doing, 1x a year)
- Get other members of your staff involved. Each person's volunteer activities are great to share, they make up your agency. It's nice to shine the spotlight on them. And, a staffer may find taking some photos around town a fun, small project!
- Don't be afraid to share a piece of yourself and what you are involved with. It's makes you relatable.
- Be sincere!
- Don't get overwhelmed. This can literally take only 5 minutes a week.
Being a champion of your community is not something that's new to you. Social media provides a new outlet to tell your story, that of your community and spread it. It all comes full circle as you position yourself as that type of agency. Good community members. Good people.
Have a great day,