Social media is still largely the domain of marketers and that’s not all bad. Marketing will remain the tip of the spear, so to speak, but social media’s power can only be maximized by establishing it as an enterprise function in which every department or office function plays a role.
On the agency side, human resources, personal and commercial lines personnel should all participate — whether it’s writing an occasional blog, suggesting topics for posts, weighing in on how to respond to a comment or question, or coming up with an idea for a promotion. On the company side, claims, underwriting, HR and customer service personnel need to be even more involved – responding to general customer service questions and addressing recurring coverage and policy issues. Legal counsel and compliance officers will set guidelines and review material. Bottom line is that a social media program can not, and never should be, a silo cut off from the firm as a whole.
A just-released study from the Software & Information Industry Association revealed that 90% of marketers use social media, and three-quarters believe it has a positive impact on their business. But 55% said their marketing teams spend fewer than 10 hours a week on social media, with 35% spending between one and five hours a week.
The numbers, I believe, in the insurance industry are even worse – fewer marketers use social media and too many of those that do spend too little time to assure productive and compliant participation. Social media is not the function of one person in a cubicle.