Are you thinking about hiring a full time blogger and social media marketer? According to Socialcast, the median salary for a Social Media Manager is $45,501. Toss another 20% on top of that for benefits and other head count related costs and the cost of a full time social media manager could be over $54,000 a year. For most insurance agencies, that means another 200 policies a year have to be written each year just to recover these new costs. That’s real money and real production.
Facebook and other social media, as I’ve said here before, aren’t sales mediums – they are branding channels. But an an ongoing expense like a Social Media Manager requires some justification – especially if new personnel costs are layered on top of additional new costs. Before you foray out beyond dabbling in social media commitment, a strategy and cost justification and ROI method should be put in place.
Source: Social Cast
Take a look at the chart above and notice that 77% of Social Media Managers have four years or less experience (and probably no experience as an insurance agent). That means that you may not be able to rely on your new hire to come up with a compelling case for social media return on investment. Social media campaigning for restaurants, entertainment-based business, and consumer products is not the same thing as social media marketing for insurance. The principles are the same, but the positive emotional attachment to insurance products and services are different, requiring a different approach and justification for insurance agents who are ready to dip more than a toe in the social media waters.
None of this is to say that insurance agents should eschew social media, only that a well thought through strategy and a way to tie social media success measures (number of fans, e.g.) to increased net revenue needs to be the first step.