Insurance carriers are encouraged to invest in social media management software and update social media guidelines as often as necessary to give agents the confidence to be the face of well-known insurance brands. (ALM Media LLC)

According to a recent survey by Aon Programs, insurance agents are turning to social media to give them the biggest marketing boost this year. Of the 33% of agents who expect a boost from social media, 41% expect Facebook and 33% LinkedIn to be their top performing platforms.

As agents increasingly rely on social media to build their brands and connect with customers, they should employ four social strategies to get the best ROI.

# 1: less is more

While agents should be active on social media platforms, it is equally important to focus on quality content rather than quantity. Nobody likes an over-poster that only brings out content without a clear message. Agents should make sure that every post they share is relevant to their target audience.

With this in mind, agents should focus on their top performing platforms. You don’t want to bite off more than you can chew. And why do you need a YouTube channel if your customers and prospects aren’t on YouTube? Aligning with your social strategy is the way to get the best results.

# 2: create snack content

Would you read a 10 sentence social media post? How about a five-sentence social media post? We live in a time that is overloaded with digital media and can be overwhelming. How do agents combat digital fatigue on their business platforms? Keep posts nibble!

Delivering a short but impactful message increases the chances that your post will be read and well received. And remember, the bite-sized rule applies to all formats – from graphics and motion graphics to text. If you want to give your followers the opportunity to dig deeper into a topic, give them a link to a piece in longer form.

# 3: Let the video take center stage

If you haven’t jumped on the video bandwagon yet, make your plans! Whether on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter – videos are the format of choice these days. According to HubSpot, 72% of customers prefer to learn about a product or service via video. When we see a face and hear a voice conveying a message, it often feels more personal and can be more engaging than one-dimensional graphics or text.

And best of all, videos are so easy to make today – put together some talking points, find a professional background, and record the recording on your smartphone or tablet. Remember to keep it short. In most cases, social media videos should stay in the safe 30 to 90 seconds range.

# 4: be authentic

If ever there was a time for authenticity, it is now. Professionals need to be able to trust the brands they work with, and even those they like and follow. When agents commit to transparency in their social media strategy, they build deeper relationships with their network – and they even build their business. According to Cohn & Wolfe’s latest Authentic 100, “91% of consumers are willing to reward a brand for its authenticity with a purchase, investment, recommendation or something similar”.

How do you get an authentic voice on social media? Social media started, well, social! The personalization of your content with the representation of the personality of your team helps to increase the authenticity. One way to do this is to use authentic photos with your posts. Another way is to combine self-promotion with gratitude to others. People want to know that there are real people behind the Like button. With that in mind, sometimes it’s better not to speak up on a sensitive matter if you can’t be sure of the positive side of the problem.

Social media is always changing, but these four tips for better ROI never go out of style. By bringing these basic basics together with trending topics and tactics, you are on the right path to building social relationships that produce real business results.

Lex Daniele is the vice president of marketing for Aon Programs in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, and leads the development of broker-centric marketing strategies and helping individuals run multichannel digital campaigns. Lex can be reached at [email protected].