It’s no secret that many individuals within an insurance agency are forced to wear several hats, leaving little time available to take on new responsibilities. When it comes to social marketing, it may be tempting to hire an intern or a family member in college who “gets technology” instead of tackling it internally. Please don’t sell yourself – or your brand – short. You’ve spent years developing your agency through advertising, carefully creating a brand that communicates the exact message you’d like for your audience. Your social efforts are no different. If anything, they are much more powerful tools than any other form of advertising. Social media is constant and ongoing communications. It is fluid and the only marketing channel that allows your audience to talk back – creating a real-time, public conversation.

Because of that, I recommend you take the time to train in-house or hire someone specifically to control your social presence. The time commitment doesn’t need to be huge, and having a knowledgeable community manager means you can rest assured that your brand is safe. After all, it only takes one bad post or comment to undo years of your hard work.

So what should you look for in your community manager?

A passion for insurance and your agency.

This quality is by far the most important. Your community manager can learn how to use Facebook and Twitter, but they can’t be taught passion. A genuine passion shines through in your brand’s tone, helps to produce better content, and also increases posting frequency. Most importantly, people will naturally be attracted to the community manager’s enthusiasm, which will help your audience grow organically.

Experience with customer service.

Customers will inevitably come to your social networks to post complaints, ask questions about their policy, or even attempt to initiate a claim. A community manager who has previously worked directly with customers has the skillset to handle the situation while ensuring your customer has a positive experience.

A strong understanding of the goals and needs of your agency.

Why is your agency participating in social media? How can the channels help your agency reach its goals? Without that knowledge, your community manager’s efforts will move along without a clear strategy or benefit to your agency.

An ability to initiate and support customer conversations.

Does your potential hire have a personality similar to your target audience? While this quality certainly isn’t mandatory, it can help the community manager identify with your target audience and curate content that fits their interests and engagement styles.

Basic skills in social networks and a desire to learn.

In all honesty, posting content on social channels is an easy process and literally anyone could learn to do it successfully. Social platforms do, however, change on a regular basis, so it’s important to hire someone who has an interest in the industry. That interest will help your community manager keep up with the latest revamp of Facebook’s timeline or even check out the newest network to determine whether it can be of use to your agency.

Whether you find the resources within or hire a new employee, having all or a few of these qualities will help to ensure your social presence is in good hands.

Just think of it as insurance for your brand.