On April 3, 2013, belairdirect launched a new social media campaign spanning across Facebook, Twitter (with @belairdirect_ and @bd_LittleKnight) , YouTube, LinkedIn and Google+ . Belairdirect is a direct car and home insurance provider in Ontario and Quebec, but before April 3, I probably wouldn’t have been able to tell you that. I also couldn’t tell you what their social media presence looked like before April 3, if there even was one. What I can tell you, is I like what I see now. The company carefully planned this launch and continues to spend a lot of time and effort to maintain it. For this entry, I’m going to focus on the Facebook and Twitter accounts, but please check out the other pieces of the campaign.
The two Twitter accounts are very different. @belairdirect_ is a customer service account with representatives available Monday to Friday to answer any questions from current and potential policyholders.
They have also introduced the Little Knight and given him his own Twitter account. @bd_LittleKnight has a tongue and cheek feel, while still sharing insurance information that can help customers. I think it was a great idea for them to create two accounts. They get two captive audiences for two different types of messages, but they are using them in tandem, often conversing between the two accounts to engage all followers.
They are also quick to respond. I sent messages to both accounts after hours and they were answered by lunchtime the next day. And as a bilingual company, they have the ability to answer English and French inquiries.
On the main feed of the Facebook account, visitors can chat with the Little Knight and ask him questions just like on his Twitter page. A lot of the information posted is the same, but the interactions are different due to the different user base.
The careers tab off the main page is directly connected to the careers section on belairdirect.com making their job postings easily accessible to all followers. The page also features a video from a current employee. Videos, even short ones, can have a huge impact and I think this is a great touch. It would be great if they rotated videos often.
Probably the most interesting part of the Facebook page is that customers can chat directly with a customer service rep six days a week. It only takes a minute to be connected to someone who can get them help on the spot. This is an insurance industry first and a whole new way of reaching out to customers. belairdirect has gone to where their customers are to provide them with a new type of customer service. I think this is the major strength of the campaign.
Currently, they are just shy of 8,000 likes on Facebook, while the Twitter accounts have 123 followers for the main feed and 170 for the Little Knight. They are only in the beginning stages of the campaign, so it’s a little early to decide whether or not it is a success. I think belairdirect started strong and is definitely on the right track. I think the most impressive thing they have done is to make insurance seem almost cool.
Lessons for others
If you’re going to do it, take your time and do it right. Know where your audience is and go to them so they can have easy access to you. They aren’t going to work for it, so you have to.
Since I think they’ve launched a great campaign, I asked @belairdirect_ if they had any advice:
I couldn’t agree more. If you don’t have the resources in house, look externally to get yourself started. belairdirect hired creative agency Sid Lee to help them launch their program.
- Twitter (@belairdirect_ and @bd_LittleKnight)
- April 3, 2013 media release on Canada Newswire
- Sid Lee
Submitted by: Katie Schrank – SMBP Student, University of Waterloo
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