Think about how you surf the Internet and what you do on your personal social media profiles. If you’re considering a purchase, maybe you look up the product online to get its specifications, pricing and, most importantly, to read the user-generated reviews before going to the brick-and-mortar store. Or you might look for the Facebook, Twitter or Yelp pages of the product or the company that makes it before making a buying decision.
At a very early stage, your opinion is being formed about the product you’re going to purchase. This is one of the many ways the Internet has changed the way we shop.
For us in insurance — an industry built on both products and services — Internet reviews and social media word-of-mouth play an integral part in credibility, too. Potential clients, especially millennials, trust advice from friends, family and even strangers on social media about the best insurance products or carriers, according to Accenture’s latest report, “The digital insurer: Unleashing the potential of social media in insurance.”
“Nearly half (48 percent) of the 6,000 insurance customers from 11 countries participating in Accenture’s 2013 Consumer-Driven Innovation Survey said they would consider comments on social media in making their insurance-buying decisions,” states the report. This is reason enough to pursue a social presence. In addition, social media is also a great place to find information about consumers, including their behaviors and possessions.
Here are other findings from the survey, along with some recommendations on how to launch a successful social media campaign and keep innovating in the digital world.
1. Create better communication between brokers and customers.
Social media channels might present a new way for advisors, brokers and insurers to communicate with clients. The study found that 92 percent of respondents saw risk management advice as either a “good” or “critical” service desired from their insurance provider. “Given the relative infrequency of contact between consumer, agent and insurer through traditional channels, social media data can help fill in the gaps,” says the study.
2. Stay tuned in to clients’ important life events.
According to the report, a whopping 80 percent of respondents saw personalized advice from their insurance carrier as either “somewhat” or “very” important. Another important aspect to keep in mind is that social data is rich with life events and “other information that can aid agents and insurers in providing more personalized and relevant experiences and offers.” And, right now, it’s all about creating a great online experience for clients.
3. Unleash brand rejuvenation.
The report found that most carriers use social media for marketing purposes, public relations or servicing, while they keep working to build trust and rejuvenate their brands. They also design and execute marketing campaigns, for example, by using brand icons like Progressive’s Flo, Allstate’s Mayhem and New York Life’s Keep Good Going campaign. Each of these campaigns or characters have specific pages on Facebook, often referred to as “passion pages.”
Another great example of making a brand relevant and visible to the consumer is how Farmers Insurance “sells” virtual insurance for farmers against crop withering in the popular Farmville Facebook game.