In the age of the internet, every industry is rapidly changing - it’s leaving nothing untouched. Social media has opened the door to an entirely new kind of interaction, especially between consumers and commercial insurance brokers.
While in some ways it’s extremely beneficial, the adoption of social media as a mainstream form of communication, advertising, and connection between those who would otherwise never meet, has left all kinds of footprints on the world of commercial insurance.
Social Media has become a platform to sell insurance.
Today’s insurance policies are being simplified to the point where they can be sold in less traditional formats - including on social media! The various online social platforms have transformed in the last 10 years, opening the door to interactions beyond traditional chatting, past marketing and to the sale of insurance policies over social media.
But, can insurance truly be simplified enough to generate leads and make sales over social media?
This is an ongoing debate and can depend on the policy. A potential hazard with social media sales is the elimination of the middleman. As a broker, it’s important to relay your knowledge of the insurance policy through social media. Make it known that although insurance is confusing, through your expertise, the client can find the right policy and make a good decision.
You don’t have to be a social media expert, you just have to be better than your competition.
Social media is only a threat to insurance brokerages if they don’t utilize it as well as their competition. Understanding how to use social media to reach your target audience and communicate with them in an effective manner is the key to a successful social media campaign, whether you’re using the platform to sell insurance, or just to advertise and build connections.
Of course, there are other ways to promote a business that may be more resilient in the future, like SEO and content marketing. But, these methods go hand in hand with social media! Presently, it’s wise to maximize all kinds of marketing campaigns, including a social media presence. Social media can be used to repurpose content, build an audience and increase leads on a wide range of channels.
It’s not just what you say, but what your audience says, that affects your reputation.
As more and more people go online to research and educate themselves, social media is often used to check the credibility of a company and to ensure it is an active and reliable business.
Not only do your audience and your potential customers speak to you and read your social media posts, but they also have the opportunity, through social media, to connect with other business partners and clients who have worked with you in the past.
All of their reviews, experiences, and thoughts, as well as your responses to these online posts, are available for the world to see.
This presents you with an opportunity to list your own credentials and areas of expertise, as well as the chance to respond to both positive and negative feedback and reactions from those you interact with throughout the course of your insurance business.
Social media advertising costs are low and full of potential.
Social media advertising costs are extremely low, especially compared to traditional methods of advertising. They’re also easy to control. Depending on your budget fluctuations and the immediate or long-term success of your advertising campaign, it’s relatively simple to change your marketing plan and costs.
However, social media guru Gary Vaynerchuk predicts that advertising costs are looking to rise substantially in the coming years!
Social media is likely to be a resilient form of communication with potential clients.
Today’s younger generations are reliant on social media as a form of communication. They often prefer it to other kinds of communication, like television, radio or telephones. As these methods were traditionally used for advertising and sales in insurance, today’s generations will likely rely on social media. The future will most likely include more direct selling to end-user customers via these new distribution methods.
Social media also allows underwriters to get to know their clients better, which can be useful in finding the right policy with the lowest premiums. Whether a client lies on an application, especially when it comes to life insurance, or they just don’t know that they’re not supplying all the necessary information, having a social media connection can help eliminate mistakes.
Insurance brokerages can and need to control their social media reputations!
Insurance brokerages don’t want to have negative comments posted on their social media pages, but that means it’s up to them to maintain their online reputations. Sometimes, it can be difficult to do!
Poor claims processing, competitively more expensive products and bad experiences can lead to negative online conversations, so insurance brokers who use social media face a higher risk of damage to their reputation than those that don’t.
However, those that don’t are missing out on a chance to respond to these claims! Using a social media platform is a great opportunity to take these negative experiences and turn them into positive ones. Problems and negative experiences happen in every industry, but it’s often how it’s handled that speaks to the nature of the company.
For example, when a broker suggests a policy and a client goes against their advice and chooses a less expensive policy and then has a negative experience with the claims process may leave negative remarks online.
So, this problem isn’t the fault of the broker - how can you respond?
Cost and time will eventually force the industry into social media.
If you’re not already on social media, it’s highly likely that you will be in the future. Like with most technologies, it’s best to learn and understand them sooner rather than later. Low costs and a tendency of younger generations to use social media puts it at the forefront of any successful business, in any industry.