I ran across a great piece by writer Franz Wisner who lamented about social media, that in “the rush toward the instant and the intimate we’ve left something vital behind: our core stories. We’re awash in the information of now, ignoring our pasts and our futures. The problem is you can’t have one without the other. What’s the meaning and value of snapshot information without a deeper context?”
I am a passionate advocate of social media for both insurers and producers, however also understand its limitations as well as its power. The insurance industry needs to tell its story to buyers, not by beating them over the head with wordy ads and dense legal explanations and arguments, but rather with concise, accessible, spontaneous, accurate and ongoing dialogue. Clearly, this is a role that social media can and must play. However, this does not mean social can or should replace other forms of communications. The rule, however, that states that social media’s effectiveness starts with compelling content applies equally to other tools such whitepapers and reports. These longer documents can deliver critical details and insights that social media cannot provide. But their value and effectiveness is diminished if they fail to engage the reader in the same way social media must engage.
The fact is, our industry needs to do a far better job telling the insurance story in plain English, regardless of the forms they take.