Social Media Strategy – Insurance Companies

Tushar    November 7, 2013

AAA-Accenture

For insurers, social media provides a rich, continuous and interactive relationship with their customers. In mastering a social media strategy for insurance companies, Accenture has identified the following areas where business impact is possible:

Enhancing the brand: The organization listens to the customer and responds to them in a timely manner addressing various issues.

Reducing Costs: Customers engaged in social media receive the right information and updates of their products in a timely manner, thus reducing the load on call centres. Also the cost of customer acquisition reduces through engagement of prospects in the social media.

Influencing customer behaviour and increasing customer satisfaction: Trust is built by strengthening relationships in social media which helps in changing customers’ perceptions. Sentiment analysisis a key component of social media metrics that help in identifying the bias of ongoing activity. One key metric is Net Promoter Score (NPS) which is the percentage of customers who would actively recommend the brand to others.

Increasing Sales: Social marketing campaigns for customer acquisition are designed with the help of product ratings, peer reviews and recommendations and reviews after mapping of products to identified audience in the social media.

Innovation:  Through valuable customer insight and competitor intelligence, new insurance product initiatives are taken up for design.

Accenture has created a four-step process for creating and implementing an effective strategy for social media. These are: (1) defining the company’s vision (2)  identifying critical success factors and key performance indicators to measure the effectiveness (3) creating an organization and governance structure with appropriate controls and reporting lines  and (4) selection of technology and design of a blueprint for an integrated social media solution.

Accenture has identified three phases of evolution of social media adoption: listen, engage and optimize.

What drives users to engage with insurance firms on social media sites ?

It is the content that is driving users to engage with insurance firms on social media sites:

Facebook offers the most variety for potential postings. Insurance firms rely heavily on contests, interactive games, quizzes and polls to illicit user feedback and response on Facebook. Facebook pages also feature in-depth content that focuses on a wide array of topics, including product promotions, company events, sponsorships, commercials, life insurance tips, healthy living tips, current event-themed posts and much more.

Twitter is used more to link to pertinent information and to push out quick updates or financial tips. Due to the 140 character limit, posts consist of hyperlinked resources to content on the firm’s public site, social media sites or other relevant pages for additional information.

LinkedIn is primarily utilized for recruiting and networking purposes.

The marketing mix in the use of social platforms is an important step in the creation of a social media campaign for an Insurance Company.  At the start the followers come in slowly and soon there comes a tipping point when there begins a surge of followers. A variety of factors may be responsible for this – continued promotion of social media on the firms’ general websites and television commercials, increased interaction and content promotion on social media sites themselves. The increased exposure offers an opportunity to interact with an existing (and potential) customer base and to build the firm’s brand in a social landscape.

Case: New York Life and AXA Equitable

New York Life boasted more than 33,000 Twitter followers last July, while today the firm has more than 80,000. AXA Equitable has increased its follower base from roughly 2,800 to over 4,400 as of August 2013. As an industry, insurance firms are seeing a tremendous increase in the level of engagement on multiple social media sites.

Case: MIG Insurance

MIG Insurance’s social media action plan plan was developed by Metric Marketing. The plan focussed on creating new opportunities by focussing on MIG’s target audience through Twitter, LinkedIn, a newly-developed Blog, and YouTube.  Insurance products to individuals and insurance-product offerings in the area of logistics were promoted. The most significant metrics measured were: leads of potential clients in Twitter, the MIG Blog and  LinkedIn.

Who is leading social media adoption ?

In order to assess the level of digital engagement amongst insurance companies a survey was conducted in terms of Twitter, Youtube and Facebook achievements.

The report called “Who’s covered?” determined insurers who have established the most social media presence. The rankings are based on the quality of social media performance and the number of followers, as well. The report showed the examination of 13 active in social media American insurers, studying their performances from September to October 2012.

The insurance company with the most followers was Farmers, having over 2.3 million Facebook fans. This may have been due to the fact that Farmers sponsored Farmville in 2011, leading to a massive increase in Facebook likes. Second was MetLife with 554,438 fans.

The final rankings were as follows: Allstate (@Allstate) with 166 points, State Farm (@StateFarm) with 148 points, GEICO (@GEICO_Service) with 145 points, Farmers (@WeAreFarmers) with 130 points, andMetLife (@MetLife) with 129 points.

Social Media Metrics for Insurance Companies

Some measures of success of social media campaigns are related to the engagement of the followers of a brand. Here are some metrics as referred in Risk Heads. Let’s take a look at some of the other important metrics to keep in mind when designing a social media campaign:

Reach

Reach is calculated by including not just those who “like” but by including all the people who are connected to those people too.

Referral Traffic

Google Analytics and other paid tools help in identifying the sources of referral of the web sites that are sending the most traffic. The “time spent on site” and “bounce rate” statistics are of relevance. The higher the time and the lower the bounce rate the better.

Share of Voice

This is a competitor analysis technique. The share of voice measures the number of people talking about a brand vs. its competitor.?  There are free tools such as SocialMention to get this data or one can pay for more detailed data using tools like Radian6.

Influence

Influence is still a relatively new metric. Tools like Klout offer the chance to find out how a company is really perceived. One can find out about competitors rank for influence too.

Management of multiple social media

There are multiple social media that is typically used in a marketing campaign and the complexity builds up very quickly.  Tools like HootSuite offer a social media dashboard to manage multiple social networks and analyze social media traffic. 

Lessons to learn:

  • Insurers are yet to discover the tremendous opportunity that social media presents to them.
  • A well thought out social media strategy would enable the realization of business benefits.
  • Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn are the top 3 social media platforms being used.
  • The design of metrics are essential to facilitate transformation as insurers evolve in their use of social media.
  • As the number of social media channels increase in a marketing campaign, the complexity increases rapidly. There are a number of tools to manage social media.

Web References

Submitted by: Tushar Goteti, SMBP Student, University of Waterloo.

If you have concerns as to the accuracy of anything posted on this site, please send your concerns to Peter Carr, Program Director, Social Media for Business Performance.