Do You Have A Social Media Plan?

In January 2010 I presented a session at the Independent Insurance Agents of TexasJoe Vincent Seminar on Social Media in Insurance Agencies. I have received so much positive feedback about this session. As a result of this session I have had the pleasure to work with an agency on developing their social media plan. The owner of the agency attended the session and had some ideas in mind. The initial question was – “What tools do we use?” Then – “How do we manage them?”


I had designed a product called Web 2.0 Strategies some months ago. This was its initial outing. What fun and what a challenge. I initially met with the agency for a Q&A. One of the great parts of this session was that the owner thought it was important that I also get feedback from various staff members on what they think the agency’s social media plan should look like. I received great information from them and ideas on a couple of items we had not discussed in the executive meeting.

Back in my office I began pulling all the information together for a presentation and recommendations. While a small number of social media outlets are meaningful, to support them properly, there are a number of tools needed. How was I going to take this very confusing world and make it easily understandable?

Only a few days before my initial meeting with the agency I didn’t have a clear understanding myself of why you would want or need to use foursquare. I had inquired to the twitter community about this question and my friend Liz Kittell provided me with a definition. However, it just didn’t seem to fit a social media plan in my mind. Oddly enough the owner was describing to me a benefit that the agency negotiates on behalf of all clients with some of the agency’s commercial clients. While he is talking it become crystal clear to me what foursquare is all about.

Another challenge I found while working on this plan is that Web 2.0 and social media are ever changing. Each day there are new articles with great ideas and uses for social media. Functions as social media sites are changing frequently as well. Then when you think you have documented everything applicable a new idea comes along or you find that piece of information you have been looking for endlessly.

This is a chart I used to simplify the plan visually for the client. Then I provided them with a detailed report of what each of these could accomplish and suggestions on how to use. Additionally, we discussed tools such as hootsuite for managing their twitter accounts and their usage of foursquare.

Sample  Insurance Social Media Big Pic Chart.jpg

This picture was our focal point for the meeting that we could re-visit at anytime. As the client said, this chart helped them through the mass of information to focus on the tools that would benefit them. What additional tools does our agency use to facilitate your social media plan? What questions do you have about putting together a social media plan?

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  • Hi Pat –

    Thanks for sharing your thinking and diagram. It's very helpful. I noticed that you have Twitter pointing to Facebook and LinkedIn. Do you recommend pushing updates that direction instead of FB to Twitter? It's something I've been curious about because the character lengths do not seem compatible and clicking a FB link in Twitter requires multiple clicks to get to the data (assuming you even have an account).

    Also, would you elaborate on why you decided to recommend Foursquare? Thank you!

    • Wendy, initially you could only push from twitter to FB. I still like this method because it also update LinkedIn and you can have a twitter feed widget on your website/blog which is also fed. Using a twitter management tool such as HootSuite, Tweetdeck, etc, managing your twitter posts becomes very easy.

      I can't give you the full details of how my new client is using FourSquare due to a non-disclosure agreement, but think about 4square this way. 4square identifies a location and lets you add a shout out. You might use this to promote your commercial clients when visiting their location. No one needs to follow you on 4square since it can feed your twitter, which feeds everything else. I tried Gowalla and Loopt in addition to 4square and I found it the most accurate and user friendly.

      Let me know if I can provide additional information and thanks for commenting on this post.

  • Pat, thanks for sharing your ideas. I love that social media gives us the opportunity to say that on a daily basis and participate with people on their life's journey!

    • Wendy, I agree. Thanks for asking the questions and interacting.

  • TERRIFIC post Pat!!!

    I found social media to be a terrific asset in building my insurance business. You have a wonderful blog that I will come back OFTEN to read. You know me from twitter and facebook. I also recently started a blog and am also using YouTube now. Keep the great content coming! Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and others are here to stay. Some will go…. Thanks for the great information!

    Joseph Puckett, Alabama Insurance Agency Owner

    • Joseph, thank for your comments. I do know you from twitter and facebook and enjoy following you. I will be adding your blog to both this site's blog list and also Visit often and interact.