One of my biggest pet peeves about businesses on Twitter is when they make it all about themselves. The beauty of the social network is how easy it is to have conversations with brands that we couldn’t have before. Twitter is not a broadcast medium and shouldn’t be treated as such. Otherwise, you will be spinning your wheels instead of gaining traction as you try to build relationships and position yourself as an insurance expert.
A good rule of thumb for brands on Twitter is the 1:10 ratio. Meaning for every one tweet I share about your agency, you need to have 10 that are about other topics.
So what do you tweet about if you aren’t supposed to tweet about yourself? Here are 11 ideas for what to tweet the next time you find yourself staring at that empty tweet box wondering what to say besides “Is your auto insurance up for renewal? Call us for a free quote!”
Retweeting (or in Twitter slang, RT-ing) This one is the easiest. When someone you follow posting something interesting or helpful, retweet them. There are a couple ways to do this. You can just retweet their post as is. For example, “RT @InsTechCorp: Happy Father’s Day!” (original tweet). Or you can add your own comment in front of the tweet expanding upon what the other person said. For example, “Great quote from Lance Armstrong! RT @nibbyp: 17 Manly Quotes for Father’s Day” (original tweet).
News Follow your local news sources as well as industry news sources. Share breaking news as it occurs. Also, if you witness something newsworthy, tweet about it. Tweeting live from the scene of a major news event, like the plane that landed in the Hudson River or Egyptian uprisings, can make you a part of history.
Share Interesting Content We are in the middle of a content revolution. There is so much content to sift through besides that found on news websites. Act as a content curator by finding and sharing other people’s informative content. Find interesting articles, blog posts, statistics, and facts. Chances are you are probably already reading content that would be great to share. Just tweet out those links.
Help Requests Often people will ask Twitter for help. They may be looking for a quick answer to a question, recommendations for products or services or help spreading the word about an event or cause. You can reply directly to these requests (even those not insurance related if you have the answer or know someone who can help). You can also retweet the request to your followers thereby increasing the chances they will find the answer they seek.
Thank Yous Thank your new followers. Thank people who retweet you. Thank those who share something about you or your agency. You can also acknowledge a special customer visit or interaction.
Evaluations, Reviews & Opinions Share your reviews and opinions on the latest movie, book, gadget, app, etc.
Oldies But Goodies If you wrote a fantastic blog post, share it more than once. Nothing says you can’t repeat a tweet. Also, look back in your archives. If the content is still relevant, members of your audience who missed it the first time around would appreciate seeing it. Be careful to spread it out though. Your followers would probably find it annoying if they saw the same tweet from you several times in quick succession. And consider admitting that it’s a re-post by adding something like this to your tweets: “(From the Archives)”.
Think Aloud If you’re a deep thinker, share your thoughts. People will follow you just to hear your thoughts.
Entertain Don’t think your tweets need to be serious and all business all the time. Many tweets are meant to entertain, whether the tweets are quotes, song lyrics, trivia, jokes, and entertaining videos or photos. Decide in advance what kind of humor is appropriate for your agency’s brand, and stay within those limits.
Be a Connector People like to use Twitter to make connections. Be the connector by introducing people who are looking for new people to follow, or recognize your favorite people to follow on #FollowFriday (alternate hashtag: #FF), which is a day people mention their favorite tweeps.
You Again Now you can tweet about you again! Here are a few suggestions for different tweets that can be about you while varying what you share so your tweets stay interesting:
– A new blog post
– Company news
– News releases
– If you’re hiring
– Events you’re hosting
– Awards or recognition your agency receives
– Special promotions or contests
About the Author: Laird Rixford, vice president of product development at Insurance Technologies Corporation (ITC), currently consults agencies nationwide on their online marketing initiatives. Laird and the Insurance Website Builder team have launched more than 2,000 insurance agency websites nationwide. In addition to Insurance Website Builder, Laird has designed the AgencyBuzz drip email marketing and lead management solution exclusively for the insurance industry. To learn more about ITC and its products and services for insurance agents, visit www.GetITC.com.