Archive for August, 2010
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I remember conversations I had with other insurance professionals back when I was first discovering social media. I knew that social media would eventually gain traction in the world of insurance, but the possibilities were so great in number that it was hard to really focus on one area.
When I would discuss social media with others in my field, I would usually get the question “but how can social media be used for life insurance?”
Leveraging social media for other forms of insurance like auto and health was more intuitive I suppose. Social media involves a conversation between people. Listen, respond, and repeat.
Not all insurance encounters are the same. Some can be one night stands; others can lead to ongoing relationships. To form a relationship, people must converse on a regular basis. Some forms of insurance just clearly lend themselves to a regular relationship more than others.
… is usually a lie.
My wife and I have Facebook profiles. Her parents don’t. Recently, I told her parents that they actually were on Facebook. They of course vehemently denied it and said that they are not on Facebook and never will be. I then pointed out that they’ve been on Facebook since the first time someone posted a picture of them.
A story is being written about you online whether you like it or not.
I gave in and joined the rush to Facebook in 2008. I don’t use it a whole lot, but I do find it handy for keeping up with a certain circle of friends and family. It’s also proven to be a really great way of getting references for contractors, painters, roofers, etc. Yes, believe it or not, there are practical uses for Facebook.
Most importantly, though, I like being on Facebook because I feel like I have a little more control over my information. If someone posts a photo of me, at least I know about it.
This kind of vigilance is important for companies too.
Are you doing social media?
Social media expert Chris Dessi recently told a poignant story that really illustrates the risk of social media ignorance. One day, Chris met with one of his clients, a luxury watch maker, with the goal of convincing the client to try a social media marketing strategy.
The client had the perception that social media was basically just fun and games. They didn’t see how it could possibly benefit a luxury goods manufacturer, and they stated that they “don’t ‘do’ social media.”
Chris then made the point that they were in fact doing social media:
I turned to my laptop which was projecting on the wall to four other executives in the room. I logged into Facebook, typed in the name of their company and found an active Facebook Page with over 18,000 fans of the page (it now has over 30,000 likes). She seemed shocked. The administrator was a gentleman from Jordan. It was obviously not a company sanctioned Facebook page, but my point was made.
Whether you’re an individual, small business, or large company, I think it’s well worth spending a few minutes finding out whether you’re already doing social media.
Even if there’s no mention of your brand or product yet, it will happen. Why not take this opportunity to start the story out right?
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- J. Eddie Smith, IV