Monthly Archives: November 2010

The Clock Is Ticking

Alarm Call!Many insurers have put off having to decide how to proceed on social media. Some cite budget concerns while others still doubt its value. Some also recognize the legal and regulatory pressures to forge a plan, however still resist taking any action saying that until regulators force the issue, there is no urgency.

This is a wake-up call.

State regulators are beginning to monitor insurers’ social media activity for compliance violations, not just in marketing but in claims, HR, and underwriting. What they are becoming concerned over is the lack of planning and the absence of reasonable and clear guidelines on the use of social media throughout the company for both communication and research.

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ROI – Is It Possible?

ROI - Social Media?One of the most frequent questions insurers ask about is the ROI for social media. Is there such a thing? It may be a nice thing to do but does it really deliver any tangible benefits?

The short answer is that social media does generate measurable value, but only if the company plans for it. It does not just happen.

Ask yourself this question. What communications and information gaps does your company need to fill? Are your agents taking full advantage of the communications tools you currently provide, such as co-op advertising? Do your brochures and press releases produce the results you want? Even if you aren’t taking on new employees, is the quality of the current applicant pool acceptable, or could it be better? Could your customer retention rate be improved? Continue reading

Tactics Vs. Strategy

In too many cases, the hype over Facebook has clouded insurers’ judgment on how to craft a truly productive social media program. Insurers make the assumption that because Facebook is the largest social networking site, it should, logically, also be the primary, and perhaps only, platform for their social media activity. This is flawed thinking, in that it puts the tactical decision to use Facebook ahead of the strategic question of why.

An oft-repeated rule of social media is to “go where your customers are,” which often gets misinterpreted to mean that insurers’ presence on Facebook is all that’s necessary to reach policyholders and prospects. The problem is Facebook is a global community, and unless you’re trying to reach 500 million users, a lot of effort may be wasted. Insurers need to first identify their own unique communities, such as farmers, or boat owners, or small business owners, or drivers with teenagers, or countless other examples. The it becomes easier to decide what content is appropriate for that market and what sites to use, including Facebook.

Bottom line: the who, what, and why always comes before the how.