People don’t usually talk with their insurance companies until something goes wrong. With few touchpoints in less-than-ideal circumstances, it can be difficult for insurance companies to build and maintain trust with their customers.
When customers have exceptionally positive experiences with agents, however, it has a significant impact. Positive narratives about insurance companies going the extra mile do exist. If the insurance industry wants to build more trust with the public, it needs to better leverage these and other positive examples.
The best way for insurance companies to tell these stories and build more trust is through social media. Here’s how:
1. Take person-to-person interactions to social media channels.
Insurance sales have traditionally happened in person. A January 2020 survey of life insurance agents found that 90% of sales conversations and 70% of ongoing customer conversations happened face to face. However, COVID-19 has changed things: A follow-up survey in May reported less than 5% of agents were talking to customers in person.
In a world where face-to-face interaction is fundamentally changed, social media is the next best channel for connecting directly with customers in meaningful ways, whether you’re responding to comments, liking posts, or interacting via direct messaging.
2. Activate individual agents and financial advisors in a social selling strategy.
Social selling is when individual employees share branded content on their own social media pages with their own networks. Employee pages have exponentially further reach on social than brand pages, and people trust people more than brands.
Marketing departments can encourage individual agents and advisors to share branded content with their social media networks. When you put individuals behind messaging, you’re both humanizing the employees to build more trust and increasing the brand’s reach to build more business.
3. Have agents and advisors share valuable content with their networks.
Sales pitches and product info aren’t likely to get your customers’ attention on social media, even when individual agents share it. And it certainly won’t help your agents and advisors build trusting relationships. Instead, they should share content that is specifically relevant and useful to their networks and in line with their areas of expertise.
First, brands and employees should practice social listening to see what the people in their networks are buzzing about. Then, they can share valuable content around those subjects. For example, if an agent recognizes that homebuying is a hot topic of conversation in their networks, they can share educational information about homeowners insurance.
4. Launch micro-targeted social media advertising at scale.
While agents and financial advisors can extend your brand’s reach on social media, there’s still no guarantee the content they share will end up in front of the right audience members. Paid social media advertising, however, can help amplify their messages to reach the right people. Denim Social uses advanced analytics to micro-target and automatically optimize ads across multiple locations, so you can launch successful campaigns at scale with ease.
What’s more, insurance agents are licensed on a state-by-state basis, so they’ll need to make sure their paid campaigns aren’t going to people outside the locations they can serve. Micro-targeting paid campaigns can ensure you’re optimizing your marketing spend to reach only the right people.
5. Continue to scale engagement safely with compliance workflows.
Any electronic communication — including all social media posts and engagement — will need to be compliant with regulatory standards to avoid landing your company and brand name in hot water. But making sure all social media activity is in line with regulatory and brand guidelines doesn’t have to be as daunting as it sounds.
Set an approval workflow for each post and response, then use a social media management tool like Denim to automate the workflow. Denim also offers compliance software to automatically archive all of your employees’ brand messages, posts, and engagements in case you ever need to prove compliance.
The way agents and advisors reach customers might be changing drastically, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Social media can help humanize the insurance industry and build trust. Take control of public perceptions by letting your employees engage with customers on social media and powering their conversations with analytics and compliance software in the background.