Who is Using Social Media? Are You Missing the Party?
To continue my three part series: “Three Topics for the Modern Advisor” I am going to take a closer look at social media and how it impacts your clients and your business.
We already learned that Gen Y, Gen X and Baby Boomers have different online and social media habits. However, they collaborate with their advisor using technology and research and buy insurance online. When looking at social media the questions that arise include: who is using social media, how is it being used and are you missing out if you aren’t creating your own social media footprint?
The answer to our first question is simple, many people in the insurance industry are using social media: consumers, brokers and insurance companies alike.
LIMRA demonstrated that 95% of Canadians are online and that almost two-thirds of those who participated in their 2015 survey indicated that they look for information on insurance products, prices other information via the web (1).
Consumers not only research and buy insurance online (1), but they will see what other clients, studies, and marketing teams tweet, “like” or share about insurance, advisors and companies. Articles, ads and stories which are put on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are circulated to your clients. Do you know what they are seeing, do you follow the same groups and people to keep current on the information being circulated?
Consumers may research you, because as we know Clients choose you. Similar to companies who are hiring or teams prospecting athletes, clients are going to “look you up”. If a client refers you to someone they know, that person is also quite likely going to start with 'Googleing' you. Next they'll probably visit your website, read your blog or look at online profiles of people who have recommended you or with whom you are connected and/or work with (9). So what does your LinkedIn Profile, Facebook Account, Twitter Account, Pinterest Account and website reveal about you? You can control most of the content on your website, but have you ever Googled yourself to see what else is online about you?
Brokers can operate their businesses and find success in many different ways. But in the time of the Robo advisor and direct sales, client relationships and referrals are increasingly important. Social media provides a way for you as an advisor not only to market, but more importantly to stay connected to your clients, keep in touch with prospects, build trust and long term relationships. Social media gives you insights into who your client and potential clients are, to “know” them, stay in touch and most importantly, provide a way for them to get to know you.
Brokers can use social media to better understand clients by recognizing key life events, understanding and recording customers’ preferences and having deeper customer knowledge (7). We find ourselves back to the concept of Know Your Client (KYC)! You can follow your clients on Twitter or Connect on LinkedIn, that will keep you current to job changes, events that they are partaking in and you can see what interests them. You can deepen client relationships by knowing more about them and recognizing them as unique people, not just financial plans.
According to a Life Insurance Marketing and Research Association (LIMRA) survey, 93% of life insurance companies had social media programs in place in 2013. This represents a large increase (55% increase from 2010), when only 60% of life insurance companies were using social media (8).
In the LIMRA report, Where Are We Now? Leveraging Social Media With the Public, it was demonstrated that companies reported using social media programs both to target the public and to connect with insurance advisors. 77% of companies had a public social media program while 70% are using this strategy to reach the advisors (8).
Where do you see these organizations being active? According to LIMRA; 98% of insurers have a presence on LinkedIn, and other avenues include Facebook, Youtube accounts, and Twitter.
Stay tuned for part 3 in our series; Robo Advisors – How will they impact you?