Our Florida insurance agency is always looking for new ways to connect to our community as well as get our name out there. We have found that LinkedIn is a good tool to use to brand yourself and your business. Facebook and Twitter are the popular social media outlets used by agencies, often leaving LinkedIn behind and forgotten.
So you may be wondering, what exactly is LinkedIn, and what is its purpose?
LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking site, which was officially launched in May of 2003. Its main purpose is to act as an arena for professional networking. As of Fall 2010, LinkedIn had more than 80 million registered users, including the CEOs of every major Fortune 500 company. The site is intended to provide users with the opportunity to maintain a list of contact details from professionals they know and trust within the business scope. These “connections” can view each other’s personal profiles, which resemble professional resumes, as well as provide written recommendations for each other—a powerful tool for businesses in regards to word of mouth, brand reputation, and consumer trust.
Additionally, LinkedIn has proven to be a powerful recruiting tool. Employers can list career opportunities while job seekers can review the profile of hiring managers and companies as a whole. By proviAreding this sort of information to our community, we have found that we build a deeper connection with our employees, customers, and surrounding areas.
It all goes back to the goal of social media for insurance marketing—to get your agency brand and name out there, find leads via social networking, and share your expertise. The great thing is that LinkedIn isn’t like your other social sites because you don’t necessarily need to be updating it every day. It can be updated when it’s relevant and applicable to the agency’s professional profile overall. LinkedIn is a great resource that not only will aid in your credibility, but allow you to present your agency in the most professional way possible, via social media.
A few helpful hints from Fast Company when using your LinkedIn profile include exporting your connections, start and use groups, and customize your URL. To export your connections, you go to “My Connections” to view a list of all your LinkedIn contacts. This address book is a good way to get email addresses and updated information, but most importantly, you can export this list. At the bottom of the page, click "Export Connections," which will put all this contact information into a format suitable for your address book (Microsoft Outlook, Yahoo! Mail, etc.).
Another tip is to start and use groups. While, unlike Twitter, you might not find celebrities, you will find a wealth of relevant conversations within LinkedIn groups. Creating a group is easy and a great opportunity to jump-start good business chat. If you don't know what group to join, click on "Groups You May Like" to get you started.
One more way to heighten your business ventures through LinkedIn is to customize your URL. Custom domain names have become extremely popular on Facebook, but you can do the same on LinkedIn. Visit the "Edit Profile" tab and click "Public Profile" at the bottom left. Once you're on this page, on the far right you will see "Your current URL." This is where you can customize your LinkedIn domain name so you can better brand your account.
Through the power of LinkedIn, this is your chance to shine and truly showcase your insurance expertise and what will ultimately set your agency apart from your competitors.
About the Author: Laura Hart, owner of Florian Insurance Agency, has been in the insurance industry for many years. She is licensed in personal, commercial, life and health lines of insurance.