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Some people take the position that coming in second is the same as being “first loser”. At iMGA we’re always looking to be better at everything we do. We couldn’t help but take some enjoyment from the comment we received from Allen M. in Muleshoe, though:

Everyone with IMGA has gone out of their way to help me and you have the 2nd best computer quoting system I use. Right behind Progressive and we all know they spent a ton and years in the making.

We don’t compete against Progressive, but we do know that they spend hundreds of millions of dollars each year on their systems and they’ve been refining those systems for decades. So this is definitely high praise, and we appreciate it very much. Most importantly we appreciate that our focus on making things EASY for our agents is showing.

We won’t rest on our laurels, though. If you have any suggestions for how we can make things even easier, add a comment or send it in an email to us.

PIA Texas LogoAt iMGA we’re proud to support our independent insurance agents and the organizations that help them grow and succeed. The Texas Professional Insurance Agents association is strongly in that camp, and as such we are pleased to have joined as Associate members.

We look forward to working with Texas PIA members to grow their agencies and strengthen their association.

If you’re a member of PIA and would like to offer our Texas Personal Property products to your clients please complete the iMGA New Agent Interest Form.

More information is released daily on social media in general and social media in insurance specifically every day. The day after our last post about the topic large research firm Celent announced the results of their study on the topic, titled Leveraging Social Networks: An In-Depth View for Insurers.

In that report they note that nine of the top 10 of the top 10 P&C U.S. insurers have at least one Twitter account, and eight have at least one Facebook page.

Also noted is that in March 2010 Facebook received more visits than Google for the first time.

So, in short, social media is big, getting bigger, and being supported by major insurers. If you, as an insurance agent, haven’t started already, why not?

If you’re like most independent insurance agents you may be getting irritated about all the talk about “Social Media” these days. Every week, it seems, there’s another reference to the latest darling, whether it be Foursquare or Gowalla or Google Buzz.

Personally you may already be using Facebook. If you follow news or entertainment you can’t help but have heard of Twitter.

But what does all this mean for your agency? Is this all just a way for you and your staff to waste time playing the latest farming or mafia game or is there something more to it?

Social Media is Word of Mouth only Easier

If your agency is like most, word of mouth is your top new lead source. Your current customers are pleased with what you have done for them. The subject of insurance somehow comes up and they tell their friends what you did. Social Media makes that whole great cycle happen faster. Being connected with clients and friends on Facebook, Twitter and other sites means:

  1. The subject of insurance, and the fact that you’re an insurance agent, comes up more often. It’s in your profile, you can’t help but talk about it occasionally (not in a “salesy” way, but in a “you won’t believe what happened” or “this sure was interesting” or “watch out for this” way).
  2. You, as an insurance expert, are an easy click away for current and prospective customers. A friend of a client doesn’t even have to say “who’s your insurance agent?” They only have to look at the “friends list” or “following list” and see you there. You’ve just eliminated a huge step between you and someone looking for an insurance agent.
  3. Your information, and several easy ways for them to contact you, are at their fingertips whenever they’re ready to shop for insurance. Or, if they do get asked by someone not connected online, your information – and a great snapshot of your personality – is at a link they can easily find and forward.

Social Media is the Ultimate Soft Sell

Social Media done well is not just word-of-mouth made easier, though. You’re there. They’ve seen you. They’ve interacted with you and seen you interact with others. They’ve come to like and trust you as a result. It’s the ultimate soft-sell. For this reason, independent insurance agents we’ve worked with often have over 75% close rates on leads that come to them via Social Media.

Are You Using Social Media Already?

If so, what have your experiences been? If not, why not? What other reasons are there that insurance agents should be active in Social Media? Why or why not?

Please add your comments below (or by clicking on the “comments” button on the top right of this post) and share your thoughts, suggestions and experiences.

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