This Just In…Insurance Agents Are Relctant to Delve Into Social Media

26thMar. × ’10

The Insurance Journal posted an article yesterday, summarizing the main reasons why insurance agents aren’t adopting social media as a communication tool. I think it is worth commenting on each….

Some agencies are concerned about the errors and omissions risks that might arise out of the use of social media outlets…

E&O exposures can be managed to zero – if your insurance agency is willing to go out of business. On the other hand, E&O exposures can shoot through the roof if agencies don’t manage their communication policies at all. Somewhere between going out of business by practicing absolute avoidance and going out of business by not controlling E&O is a level of Errors and Omissions exposure that can be acceptably managed. That management should start with a policy, include staff training and monitoring of communications. Social media, including blogs, Facebook, Twitter and the like, are communication tools, just like the telephone, snail mail and email they should be managed the same way.

Many agents are reluctant to blog because they view themselves as insurance people, not writers….

All businesses – insurance agencies included – are in the business of acquiring customers, keeping them, and maximizing customer value by doing as much business as possible with each customer. There are numerous and varied techniques for getting new business and developing customers but one thing all tactics share in common is communication; without communication, no business gets done. Insurance agents need to know about insurance products and coverage if they are to provide professional counsel to customers and prospects (besides, licensing pretty much requires it) but that counsel won’t be received unless agents can communicate effectively. Increasingly, people use social media to communicate all kinds of things. Taking a head-in-the-sand approach to social media will eventually lead to deteriorating business results – even for insurance people.

Some (insurance agents) see social media as just fad…

MySpace used to be the leader in the U.S. in online social networking until it was supervened by Facebook. LinkedIn is the leading business social networking tool among Americans but it is being challenged by the Europe’s leading social network Xing. Twitter is a johnny-come-lately; maybe it will be a force a year from now, maybe not. The point is this: individual social media services may be fads but social media, as a communication trend, is clearly not.

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