Big opportunity! How to leverage social media branding to boost exposure and get more Medicare leads and referrals
By Shauna Haltom
Let’s take a step back. What do Medicare beneficiaries want when looking to get a plan through an agent?
- Good to best coverage, depending on individual’s health needs.
- Right price, based on a budget and fixed income.
- Great service, based solely on you.
Your expertise will take care of coverage and price. Technology can help the service by showing prospects and customers your authenticity, authority and availability.
- Authenticity: Social media is a good way to create transparency. You can make your personal brand more relatable by posting pictures of your community involvement or sharing some fun links that could resonate with your audience. Put your personality on display to lay the foundation for a relationship.
- Authority: Have a steady stream of educational resources available to your social audience and they’ll start to see you as their reliable Medicare expert.
- Availability: Social media is a great space to answer questions, respond to comments and offer current client support. It’s okay to create a dialogue with individuals on social media, so long as it remains educational and helpful. But be careful about soliciting Medicare through social. See more on that in the compliance section below.
Which Social Platforms?
The numbers are in, and baby boomers love Facebook. Data from Pew Research Center states that 72% of online American adults use Facebook and 70% of all Facebook users are on the social platform daily.
- Facebook is an ideal platform for all types of content. According to DigitalTrends, Baby boomers are 19% more likely to share content on Facebook compared to any other generation—making the case that Facebook’s demographic is getting older. You can use Facebook to post all things relevant to your brand and start getting more exposure.
- LinkedIn is known as the most professional social network platform. To keep your brand authentic, you should have a complete profile on there. Include your work history, skills, causes and groups you’re interested in. LinkedIn Groups are an excellent way to connect with other business professionals in your area and niche (which is a good opportunity to start seeking out a professional referral network). You can also use LinkedIn Pulse to publish helpful articles on Medicare.
- Google+ isn’t irrelevant. An active Google+ profile can do wonders for your local search rankings. Using hashtags like #medicarebroker[SH1] or #medicareadvantage can help your page get pulled in under search results for those terms. More specific hashtags such as #medicareagentanaheim will work to establish your local presence. You can also use Google+ to explore other users and groups to see what’s going on in your community, and to target individuals for a professional referral network.
- YouTube is another great opportunity for agentsMedicare brokers. You can make YouTube videos explaining how to choose the bestright plan, the history of Medicare, or the difference between Medicare Advantage Plans and Medigap policies. Get creative and let your personal brand shine through. Promote your YouTube videos on your other social platforms or in a client newsletterNeed HelpwithYour Social Media Branding?
How to use social media for personal branding
What you post is entirely up to you. But don’t make your feed overly promotional—mix it up with educational resources, tips and advice, client testimonials, news announcements, recommendations and (appropriate) humor.When it comes to when and how often to post, check out this article by CoSchedule.
The main goal of being present on social is to expand your brand awareness. You can make it easier to be found online when you use relevant search terms in your social profile descriptions.Keywords like: Medicare Advantageand , Medicare Supplement, Medicare broker and Medicare agent are important to include in your brio to make your pages relevant online searches. The more relevant they are to terms people are searching, the more likely your page will show up in search results. If you have something of value that could create leads for you (like a YouTube video), promote your content to target groups. This helps to “get found” easier”. Social media also makes targeted ads easy. Learn more about Facebook advertising and LinkedIn advertising to see how they may work for you.
Consistency is key. Based on what your personal brand represents, develop a brand voice and tone to use. Always use same look and feel throughout all platforms. Hubspot offers some good visual marketing tips you can adopt into your social media branding.
Always encourage people to share your content—you want your content to grow legs and run as far down the social space as possible! Link to your social profiles in your email signature to bring traffic to your pages. You can also include them on your direct mail brochures and business card.
What do we always say?
Always practice with compliance.
Before you start executing your social media branding strategy, make sure your planned activities are compliant per CMS guidelines. When prospecting and marketing on social media, look to CMS rules on in-person sales and print marketing.
- All marketing posts on social media must be approved first.
- Targeted ads must comply with CMS marketing rules.
- If an individual follows your page, likes or comments on an activity, Medicare brokers cannot take this as an “okay” to solicit Medicare to them.
- Medicare brokers cannot solicit Medicare to individuals who have not expressed interest.
- If someone reaches out to you for more information, provide a SOA form.
Google Medicare Marketing Guidelines for more information.
All in all, your clients are in the social space and you should be too. Use social media branding to add credibility to your brand, showcase your true value and get more quality Medicare leads and referrals.
Shauna Haltom has been AGA’s marketing director since 2009. She is responsible for the development and management of agency B2B and B2C marketing campaigns, serving brokers through community events and grassroots marketing campaigns that include direct mail, database marketing, email and digital marketing.