Here at Insurance Age we are heralding a new dawn. Entering the age of enlightenment. Opening a new chapter.
We got a Facebook page.
Yes, we are making a big effort to use all the social media tools out there to our advantage. Readers are hopefully aware that we are regular tweeters (you can find us here, here and here), and the Age LinkedIn group is doing nicely, with discussions on topics ranging from the cost of regulation to the callous pet-owners killing animals to make money off insurance policies.
But one can always do more, and so I found myself at a conference run by the Social Media Academy this week, ready to soak in as much knowledge as possible.
The conference was great, and I did learn a lot, most of which I'm not going to detail here because, well, that would just be telling.
One thing I can share however was how focused people seem to be on 'monetising' their social media efforts. How do you monetise your Twitter feed, and how do you do it FAST?
Obviously everyone wants to make as much money as possible, but it's never going to happen instantly. There's no quick fix, you can't set up a LinkedIn profile and expect your products to start selling like never before.
What I took away from the conference was that social media enables a conversation, whether that's between publications and readers, or companies and customers. This means that, if you're doing it right, you can get near-constant feedback from your target audience, and you start to attract a bigger following.
Maybe in time, this translates to money, but I think social media is first and foremost a way to raise your game - if you're lagging behind in whatever market you're in, there are so many free ways to start changing that message. It's a great way to foster loyalty.
There's no point in sending out a barrage of information, because that's really just going to annoy people - baby steps seems to be the key. Try something small; if it doesn't work, no harm done, and try something different.
And maybe connecting with Age on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter could be your first step - had to get a shameless plug in somewhere, didn't I?
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