How Farmers Insurance’s agent-driven Facebook strategy found success

The company gave its agents Facebook pages, let them discuss what they want, and saw sales go up.

People are the killer app, according to Ryon Harms, director of social media at Farmers Insurance Group.

He created a program that put its 15,000 Farmers’ agents on Facebook, and boosted sales. He won’t reveal just how much, but it’s been substantial.

In a talk at the recent BlogWell conference in San Francisco, Harms shared how Facebook has helped agents grow their businesses, and the lessons you can apply to your company.

“It’s taken us from being a commodity to actually being part of the community,” Harms said of Facebook. “Lead with your people, not with your logos.”

1. Don’t make assumptions.

Harms expected many of the older agents would be reluctant to use Facebook.

“You wouldn’t normally think of them as being the Facebook crowd,” he said of older, longtime agents.

He assumed they saw Facebook as a distraction, something their kids used, or a site for people “who didn’t know how to make friends in the real world.”

“At least that’s what I thought,” Harms admitted.

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