Grow Your Online Community by Participating in Your Offline Community, Article by Kirk Faulkner from Agency Revolution

The Importance of Community Social Responsibility for Insurance Agents

Making social media work for you is no small feat. Even with our advanced Attract™ solution for insurance marketing, social media success will always depend on building relationships. To start, insurance agents must consider the best ways to introduce themselves and their agencies to their online audiences.

One proven way to create a relationship with your online audience is to invest in community social responsibility (CSR). When asked why they choose to do business with certain companies, consumers cited a company’s CSR as a critical reason. 
Today, more than ever before, potential customers see brands as either part of the problem or part of the answer. From promoting green insurance products to sponsoring a food drive, agencies have ample opportunities to provide that answer.

The Benefits of Community Social Responsibility for Insurance Agents

The importance of community social responsibility is not just that it’s a great way to increase your marketing effectiveness. When you play a positive and active role in your community, you have the opportunity to create compelling content that sparks conversations about your brand. Compared to sales messaging, community engagement content connects with a larger audience across social media platforms. 

What is CSR in the insurance business? Community social responsibility for insurance agencies means helping society, supporting local initiatives, contributing to important causes, creating meaningful employment, and so much more. Here are a few benefits of community social responsibility for insurance agencies.

Customer Engagement

When you serve your community outside the business by promoting fundraisers and other philanthropic events, your customers and prospects will want to engage with your agency. This engagement will lead to personal and business relationships — two essential benefits of community social responsibility.

Brand Awareness

If your audience can’t find you, they can’t do business with you. CSR efforts, combined with a digital marketing strategy, spread the word and put your brand top of mind. What other endeavor builds your brand and gives back to the communities you serve?

Trusted Reputation

You may have noticed that companies with social responsibility strategies seem to get more, and better, press. Their CSR efforts not only build their brand, but they also build trust. Show your community you care, and your agency will become synonymous with trustworthiness and goodwill.

Agent Recruiting and Retention

CSR is a powerful tool for talent retention, especially among millennials. A PricewaterhouseCoopers study found that 86% of millennial professionals said they would consider leaving a job whose CSR program had slipped. It’s important for young professionals entering the job market to work for an organization with meaningful initiatives.

Community Social Responsibility in Action

To better understand the importance of community social responsibility, look at a recent episode of The Connected Insurance Podcast, in which Wayne Ezekiel, president of AA Munro, discussed the benefits of CSR. He found that community involvement was a significant influence on both the effectiveness of his marketing and his team’s attitude.

“Most of our marketing is not spent on traditional advertising but on community activity. It’s having our people engaged in the community and in things that they want to be engaged in, things they feel passionate about,” Wayne explained. 

Wayne had his company partner with his local volunteer fire department to help them attract recruits. Supporting the local fire department allowed Wayne to give back while presenting his agency in a positive light. The content he posted on social media showed his agency’s authentic commitment to its community.

While the agency had the best of intentions, Wayne was clear about one thing, “The [volunteer firefighters are] the unsung heroes, and I wanted to bring attention to that.”

While Wayne was hopeful that the campaign would have some positive effect on his agency’s web presence, he was surprised when his social media audience swelled to over 20,000 followers. From an almost invisible web presence and after just a few community events, AA Munro grew its following to one that rivals many Internet influencers.

As clients and prospects see evidence of your altruistic actions on social media, their relationship with you will deepen, and their willingness to engage your services will increase.

As an insurance agent, you may not think the size of your social media following is all that important. But research shows that 71% of followers who have a positive experience with a brand on social media are likely to recommend the company to friends and family. 

It is essential to recognize that your followers are an audience. You need to keep in mind the expectations they have for your social presence. Living up to your brand promise through your social marketing is key to growing your audience.

If you follow Wayne’s example and invest in CSR, you’ll be able to grow your audience and deepen your client relationships. And, as any good insurance agent knows, it’s all about the relationships.

Community Social Responsibility During Times of Need

Helping individuals and businesses through tough times is a rewarding experience for insurance agents. Your products and services provide support for people when it’s needed most, and give them a feeling of security. Increase that feeling with outreach efforts and initiatives for community social responsibility. 

While we could see the recent pandemic as a hurdle for community social responsibility initiatives, it’s an opportunity to invest in increased community responsibility. A prime example is the plight of essential workers like healthcare professionals, store clerks, teachers, delivery people, postal employees, and many others. Whether you donate to groups that support these workers or offer support to essential workers directly, your support makes a tremendous difference in your community.  

Community social responsibility opportunities are plentiful, but your outreach during trying times can have the most impact and be the most meaningful. 

The importance of community social responsibility for insurance agencies can’t be overstated. Your prospects and customers expect it, and they’ll reward you for your efforts because you make a difference in their communities. Put CSR to work in your agency for the good of the community and your business.

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