When you think about it, the very foundation of the insurance industry is based on person-to-person connection. From merchant ships with insured cargo to burial clubs, insurance has always been about protecting and linking people.
It makes sense, then, that social media is becoming an increasingly important tool connecting agents and insurers to prospective clients, especially millennials, a market that all agents need to be focusing on. And social media isn’t just helpful in prospecting—it also creates a tool for client retention. Let’s take a look at four ways social media is changing the face of insurance sales and service.
1. Social media allows for increased visibility. Look around yourself the next time you’re out in a restaurant, at a mall, coffee shop or even in a park. You’ll no doubt notice a high percentage of people slouched over a smartphone, tablet or laptop. Sometimes it feels as if people are paying more attention to the digital world than they are to the real world around them. By using social media to establish yourself, you will broaden your reach and catch the attention of those more digitally-minded prospects.
2. Technology allows for a head start in relationship building. As mentioned, insurance has always been about relationships. Before our more recent technological advancements we had to build those relationships one cold call and in-person meeting at a time. That wasn’t easy—and it wasn’t exactly efficient. Now we can create an interactive online presence that establishes a firm foundation for a relationship with many, many prospects at once. We can do this simply by using social media as a way to be social—to share information, humor, announcements and more and to converse with people.
3. Technology, including social media, gives us a whole new way to present marketing materials. Hand someone a brochure and they know they’re being marketed to. Give someone a presentation on his or her mobile device and they feel like they’re being informed. When you focus on online content marketing, you create something that’s informative and shareable and isn’t seen as an ad. With 70 percent of customers preferring to learn about a business through content rather than ads (according to a study by Content+) and 78 percent of consumers believing that a business building branded content is more interested in building a good relationship with them (per Custom Content Council) and 90 percent of Internet users listening to recommendations shared by friends (according to NewsCred) this is an important route to take.
4. Social media offers social proof. Insurance sales might not be a high school popularity contest, but having social proof of your popularity sure will help your business. Testimonials on your website are a good step but verified social proof—such as recommendations on LinkedIn and comments via Facebook and Twitter—go the extra mile. Likewise, certain online awards and recognition can give added social proof that makes people trust you (and your firm) immediately.
Our journey with social technology is far from over. Adapt or die may sound like an overstatement, but for an insurance agent hoping to keep his or her career going over the next few decades, it’s a truism that needs to be recognized.
Written by Jon Scaman, Financial Services Manager, Global Financial Distributors