Financial institutions, including the life insurance industry, are looking towards building up their social media presence to help support their marketing efforts, and the Aite Group and EFMA recently did a report which surveyed 166 financial services executives in the U.S. and Europe.
The report provided an in-depth analysis of each financial institution’s previous – and current – social media plan and the study focused on the impact those plans had on their companies.
According to the report, most financial institutions consider themselves “novices” or “beginners” in the way they leverage their use of social media. In 2010, just 30 percent of these firms had a dedicated budget for social media, but by 2012, that number rose to 90 percent. In fact, many of the companies surveyed said they now spend an average of 6-8% of their market budgets on social media-focused efforts.
There are also a number of insurtech companies trying to provide policy-related data and reminders on renewals through Facebook messenger.
Experts say that, although social media offers access to a wealth of customer interactions, the strategies companies use are key to getting a message across and gathering essential data and topics about – and for – your consumer’s interests. They point out that humanizing a brand through consumer-led content and employee advocacy are methods of connecting with consumers at a deeper and more personal level. Those same experts say companies can increase their brand reputation and maintain a level of positive public perception in the highly regulated field of insurance.
Companies like Metlife, Cigna, Liberty Mutual, Statefarm Group, Aegon and Northwestern Mutual are on the bleeding edge of using social media to tap into deeper consumer engagement, more targeted content creation and an understanding of consumer habits and needs.
The Financial Brand has provided a list of methods financial institutions can employ to help them effectively use social media:
- Peer-to-peer networking and professional development
- Resolving Customer Issues
- Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives
- Public Relations and Corporate Communications
“Life insurers increasingly prize nimbleness and speed to market which enables them to observe trends and quickly get products in the hands of producers and clients,” says Clark Troy, a senior analyst at Aite Group.