Are you sitting down and hopefully not drinking anything? OK, here it goes: There are more than 200 active social media platforms in the online world right now, and that’s not counting dating sites.
But before you become overwhelmed: You don’t have to join all of these platforms. Sit down, take another sip of your coffee or water and keep reading.
Recently, Boston, Mass. was the host of the 2014 LIMRA LOMA Social Media Conference for Financial Services, where social media gurus spoke about trends and the different platforms.
LIMRA also announced the 2014 Social Media Bowl winners. Here, we’ll talk about the takeaways from some of these campaigns.
Inspiration, sports, Twitter hashtags: John Hancock Financial Services does it again. Last year, they developed a campaign to sponsor and support the Boston Marathon community and to help facilitate its recovery and revitalization. With the use of the #WeRunTogether hashtag and by enabling people to share their stories on Twitter, the campaign resulted in more than 1.6 million impressions.
Takeaway: “Cause marketing” works. Partner with a cause and with a community and you’ll most likely see results. People want to feel good and want to do good. Plus, there’s nothing better than giving back to the community where you live.
Dream of a better future, use GIFs to depict said future: There have been lengthy online discussions about the death and resuscitation of GIFs (Graphics Interchange Format, aka three or five second moving pics that can be very annoying). But, hey, they seem to be making a strong comeback. Transamerica decided to have a designer specifically dedicated to making GIFs about the U.S., known as “Mr. Gif,” and post these “moving pics” to their Tumblr. They called their campaign “Transform Tomorrow.”
Tumblr is one of those 200 social media platforms I mentioned above. It’s mostly used as a microblog, tolerates all types of multimedia files like GIFs (you can’t post GIFs on Facebook), and is where teenage kids usually “hang out” until age 25-ish, according to Business Insider.
Takeaway: Now, the fact that a financial services company dared to enter the wild, wild territory of Tumblr is a feat on its own. That’s why they received the “Best Use of Other Social Network” award. Keep creating, you brave pioneers!
LinkedIn for prospecting: The most popular social media platform for professionals, LinkedIn keeps innovating with new tools on how to engage the B2B segment. Guardian Life Insurance took advantage of this and launched a prospecting campaign with 250 of their advisors. In addition to increasing their connections by 56 percent, they also gained 29 new clients.
Takeaway: Take what you know about social media, put it in a blender, then try to sort it out. Social media platforms are changing how the sales landscape is being played, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t participate. Being part of these platforms will teach you the new rules of the game, even though it’s constantly changing.