Adding Social Media to Your Insurance Marketing Mix: What Are You Getting Into?

3rdJun. × ’09

I read an enewsletter this morning, and the article started a chain of events that lead me to post here. The chain of events goes like this: I click on a link in the newsletter that leads me to an excellent blog post about the evolution of businesses using social media for marketing. That blog post compels me to look at a funny YouTube Video and check out Xerox’s corporate website. Finally, here I’ve come full circle, doing exactly the same thing the enewsletter did: summarizing and commenting on the blog post and Xerox’s social media campaign.

The blog post I read was from Jason Falls’ Social Media Explorer blog and it is worth reading in its entirety. Here is the readers digest version of the post, points that should be considered by any insurance agent on the precipice of jumping into Facebook or some other social media venture.

Social media is about relationships and social media works for businesses when people have something they can be passionate about.  In the case at hand, passion takes the form of amusement over a video (more on that in a minute).  It’s hard to get anyone to be passionate about insurance as a product, but let me reproduce a quote from Jason’s blog post here that is instructive:

I polled folks on Twitter Saturday, asking what compels them to talk about brands. Almost to a person, the answer was something along the lines of, “When I have an exceptionally good or exceptionally bad experience.”

So customer experiences, as well as humor are candidates for Facebook content.  But for heaven’s sake, leave the insurance products out.

Social media campaigns are generally about branding, and the bottom line results are going to be hard to measure, just as with any other brand building initiative.  What that means is that you better have some patience with your campaign, and you will need to find some other way to measure success besides new insurance policies written.

Everyone has jumped on the social media bandwagon by now, so standing out is going to take more time and effort than the early days when only a few businesses were using YouTube or keeping a Facebook group or page.  Success, however you measure it, might require more of your money or time.  To get a feel for the level of competition, take a look at the craft that went into Xerox’s Information Overload Syndrom video.

I’m not suggesting you throw in the towel, just that as a a small local insurance agency, you have to be realistic about social media competition , how you need to use social media, and the kind of results you can expect.

As a final note, let me point out that social media campaigns do work.  If that weren’t the case, you wouldn’t be reading this post.  Because you have, the brand awareness meter for Xerox, and for that matter Jason Falls, have been nudged a couple of notches.

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