How to Drive Growth of Your Insurance Agency Using Social Media?

In today’s competitive market, every insurance broker should have their online presence as it’s the new way the world is moving towards. You can see the consumers shopping online these days be it clothes, home decors or daily groceries, everything is available at their doorstep. Similarly, consumers would love to purchase insurance policies online as well.

However, as an insurance carrier reaching your target customers and forecasts at the right time with the right strategies is crucial for your business success. And in this modern digital world, customers are looking for firms that are using different channels to improve their interaction with them including through Social networks, Live Chat, Email customer service, etc. But, marketing through these channels has always been challenging for the insurance sector as this industry is typically bogged down with outdated practices for a long period of time.

Today, one of the greatest tools to attract your target audience with zero investment, with no specific training is “Social Media”. Yes, you read it right! And if you look at the statistics of the active users on various social media platforms (in millions), you’ll be amazed!

  • Facebook- 2,234
  • YouTube- 1,900
  • WhatsApp- 1500
  • Facebook Messenger- 1300
  • WeChat- 1058
  • QQ- 803
  • QZone- 548
  • Twitter- 335
  • LinkedIn-303
  • Skype- 291
  • Pinterest- 250

However, being a professional, you should be wise enough to choose the right channel that will surely benefit your business.

So, which all platforms insurers should use to enhance their network?

If you are an independent insurance agent or an insurance carrier, you should be smart enough to choose the right platform that you can maintain well and people use it well. Thus below I have mentioned top social media platforms that insurers can use to excel in the market:

  1. Facebook-

Mark Zuckerberg’s this invention is most commonly used across the globe.  It is one of the powerful channels, regardless of what industry you are operating in. Millions of people use Facebook. Millions of businesses promote themselves through Facebook. And being an insurer, FB is the right pick for you as you will find maximum clients here. Everybody is online. Everybody is using FB in a different way. Now how you can explore this platform:

  • Create your business page
  • Use Facebook live
  • Upload work videos
  • Post informative things
  • Share images
  • Get involved in number of groups
  • You can tell stories
  1. LinkedIn-

This is another professional platform connecting businesses and users with each other. It is a must-use platform for B2B and B2C because everyone uses this platform in their own way and for different reasons. All you need to do is maintain your profile in a right manner, connect with number of people that you find are beneficial for your growth, and share inspiring stories, motivational quotes, etc.

You can utilize LinkedIn publishing platform to publish articles that are informative for the users. Similar to Facebook, users can upload photos, but it should be professional, revealing some strong message for the users.

  1. Twitter-

Twitter is another professional platform that has been used by generations. It is quite easy and limits the post description up to few characters. That’s the reason many famous personalities use it because it doesn’t involve long posts and it importantly play with hashtags. Insurers can write tricky posts and add link to their website or articles they have written. This can again be a helpful source for the insurance industry.

  1. Instagram-

Instagram can be a choice for the insurers because it involves people of every generation. And people love to use Instagram as it is easy-to-use, enabling people to upload pictures and videos of the current event. With the upgradation of Instagram stories, users have allured this channel tremendously.

Well, insurers can use this platform to connect with their clients for a long-term, just for the sake of building relationship or can use Instagram stories for posting their office videos that is inspirational and link their website in their Instagram profile. It is best for B2C businesses, but if strategically used it can benefit B2B firms as well.

A survey was conducted with a tagline “How insurers can benefit from the use of Social Media?”  And the response was:

  • Marketing- 89%
  • Customer Service- 83%
  • New Sales Leads- 79%
  • Catastrophe Response- 71%
  • Fraud Detection- 60%
  • Assessing Underwriting Risk- 39%
  • Pricing- 18%

Besides so many aspects, insurers still face some unique challenges while using social media to enhance their network, which are as follows:

  • Impact of public feedback and rising competition-

According to Mr. Richard Enthoven, founder of Hollard Australia and the chairperson of insurance firm Greenstone stated that all the disappointed policyholders’ turn up to social media platforms to viral their complaints, which is eventually driving up insurance prices. Today the rate of denying any claim is costing insurance owners thousands of bucks. Every customer is utilizing social media for lodging complaint, which not only impacts the reputation, but also increases the competition in the market.

  • Cyber Risk-

Insurance industry is known for its confidentiality. Sharing or storing consumer data through social media channels is increasing the risk of cybercrimes. With this the country law can also question the legal and privacy issues for the insurers.

  • Disrupts employee-employer relationship-

This is something very common happening today and the insurance sector is not excluded from this phenomenon. In this case, many former employees are using social media for bashing the insurance company openly. This is an unprofessional behavior that ultimately affects the reputation of the company. There are so many issues stemming up with the usage of social media for insurers.

  • Inconsistency when responding to customers-

Inconsistency is the number one challenge. Social media is a huge platform and you’ll find millions of people using it. The real challenge begins when your clients start inquiring about the policy or about the recent claim settlement and you have to respond them at the same time, which becomes a roadblock. What happens when you don’t response promptly? Users will start giving poor reviews on various other platforms, defaming your business in the market. So no response can be risky!

Now, let’s dive deeper into the benefits of using social media for insurance agencies:

  1. Evolving role of content marketing through social media-

Content marketing is nearly used in every industry, and it is particularly important for insurance agents. Why? The insurance sector is complex to understand but the complexities increase when your customers get tangled with the details of the policy, terms that are being used in the document, etc., which makes them think “What actually we are buying”. A survey was held by Nationwide Insurance, they asked their consumers to explain the policies they have purchased on which, 53% said it was too long to understand in-depth, 31% said it was overwhelming, 43% said it was complicated, and 29% said it was puzzling.

Moreover, the ballot, which surveyed nearly 1,600 people who have P&C insurance revealed the following aspects:

  • Only 1 in 5 consumers admitted that they fully understood the details of the insurance policy they have purchased.
  • Half of all consumers say, they don’t know how to file a claim with their insurance company after they met an accident, or any mishap happened to them.
  • Less than half of people who were surveyed, in which, approximately 40% have read their current insurance policy completely in the last 12 months.

Thus, sharing helpful content on social media channels for your customers and educating them on various terms, will not only improve your agency’s visibility and leads, but it will also help you retain potential consumers in a long run.  As today consumers don’t want that you should sell just your policy to them, but they want someone on whom they can have faith to protect their most valuable assets. Thus, you can win the race if you happen to fulfill their expectations!

  1. Utilize social media platforms for better customer service:

In today’s market, consumers are progressively moving towards social media channels for better customer service. As social media in customer servicing is playing a strategic role in the insurance sector. Consumers are looking for flexible insurance services, which means to get services whenever and wherever they want it and from the channels, they decide on. Edison Research center did some analysis to discover some facts related to customer service through social media channels. And the ratios were quite frightening. Around 32% of customers anticipates a company to reply within 30 minutes and 42% of customers anticipate a response within 60 minutes from their respective insurer. With this, we can add the report by Celent stating that 90% of the insurers consider their customer service processes advantageous by using social media platform.

However, precautionary measures should be taken by the insurers when it comes to servicing customers through social media. Hootsuite recommends some aspects to industries who deals with personal PII (Personally Identified Information) and other delicate information, which are as follows:

  • Try to work with Compliance and Public Relations and follow their crafted policies in order to decide, which messages should not be answered over public networks or should be answered to all on their timeline, or to detect customers that should be blocked straight away.
  • Train your team well so that they can take care of your consumer’s privacy concerns and make them understand when to take discussions on public social media channels and into other communication platforms.
  • Responding to your customer’s quickly is something your customers expect but don’t respond in bulk. You can ask your marketing team for the right content to reply to your customer’s and get it approved legally. Try to respond individually it will have an influential impact on your customers.
  1. Social media can help you generate more leads-

Customer’s love to share about current events of their life on social media. You might have seen people posting news about the car they have purchased or new the new life they have started, on Facebook. You might have seen people posting pictures on Instagram about their new married life. You might have also seen people asking for recommendations when they are about to purchase a car.

As per the researchers of IBM after analyzing 100 million profiles on social media they stated that more than 150,000 people shared information about new job loss or achievement, 23,000 shared news about their business startup or development, 20,000 shared their graduation pass-out details, and more than 2 million shared travel happiness. Thus, insurance firms can make use of social media to gather this data or can ask any vendor or insurance service providers who has accumulated data of the same in order to market these customers at the right time with the right note. It is considered as one of the best strategies according to experts

As social media leads can be a valuable source for insurers. LeadSift research showed some remarkable statistics concerning the social media for the insurance sector. As per the research:

  • Within a month, there were 3.7 million tweets about insurance and 23,401 social media enabled users to purchase different policies
  • 11,666 leads were generated through social media particularly car insurance
  • If we talk about opportunities for insurance firms in dollars through social media it was around $15 million a month

Verdict:

Insurance firms those have the capability to yield the profits through social media channels are true winners, in this highly-competitive market today. Whether you want to provide customer service, target customers based on life events, or stay aware of existing policyholders’, social media channels can be of great use to stay more connected with the digital customers.

However, marketing through social media is a not a cake walk as you have to be quick, efficient and responsive in a timely manner, besides your daily chores. Devising a winning strategy can be of great help here as you and your team will have clear goal to accomplish!

Author Bio:

Mika Edword works as a Business Development Manager at Cogneesol, a well-renowned company offering Insurance back office services, data management, accounting, and legal services. She has been working with Cogneesol for the past 10 years and is responsible for generating sales for the Insurance division.

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Author: Chakraborty

Dr Chakrabarty is the Chief Innovation Officer of IntuiComp TeraScience. Earlier she was Assistant Professor of Delhi University, a QS ranked university in India. Before that she has held research positions in IIT Mumbai, IIT Chennai and IISc Bangalore. She holds 2 patents and over 20 research publications in her name which are highly cited. Her area of research is in smart technologies, integrated devices and communications. She also has a penchant for blogging and is an editor of Business Fundas.