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P&C Insurers Expand Social Media Efforts: Study

In 2013, P&C firms improved social media strategies with blog posts, videos, conversation starters, and other brand-strengthening efforts.

Corporate Insight, a market research and consulting firm for the financial services, conducted a 2012 survey on social media use among 14 P&C insurers new to the trend. Those same companies now employ strategies on internal and external social media platforms to promote their brands.

“What we noticed is that firms are using these platforms as a way to build a relationship with consumers,” said Lauren Roncevic, head of property and casualty research at Corporate Insight. Over the past year, firms have especially increased their use of Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to provide service updates and engage customers.

Facebook had the most growth among P&C firms, which boast anywhere from 3,000 to 2 million “Likes” on their pages. This outlet proved popular because firms added promotional pages to their Facebook accounts and facilitated audience discussions with links, images, videos, and questions. Twitter and YouTube were also key outlets for content and video promotion, but neither is as customizable as Facebook.

[Independent agencies are also increasing social media use. Read: Agencies to Increase Tech Investments: What Carriers Should Know. ]

In addition to choosing popular outlets, firms must focus on quality information to engage followers. “Moving forward, it’s important for firms to capitalize on profile content,” Roncevic said.

Company blogs, a primary outlet for content promotion, also showed immense growth. Over half of P&C firms have company blogs in 2013 compared with just five in 2012. All blogs surveyed contained tag words, user comments, and links to their respective firm’s social media pages, which is critical for maximizing brand awareness.

Consumers respond well to blogs because of their informal style and mixture of promotional and entertaining content. While informative resources relate back to the brand, readers are more likely to share humorous content, sweepstakes, and videos with potential new subscribers.

Some P&C companies offer “secondary blogs” for certain groups of readers. Allstate, for example, added eight secondary blogs for readers in various locations “This allows consumers [in certain areas] to find out more specific information and tips that involve their daily lifestyles,” Roncevic explained. Secondary blogs boost firms’ social media presence and encourage greater audience interaction.

For 2014, Roncevic expects growth in social media and blog integration. Firms should especially focus on providing site users the ability to share public site content on social media. Readers can expose firms’ content to entirely new audiences if they can share companies’ websites, blogs, or Facebook pages through their personal accounts. This is critical, as audience growth is the ultimate goal in working with social media.

Kelly Sheridan is the Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focuses on cybersecurity news and analysis. She is a business technology journalist who previously reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft, and Insurance & Technology, where she covered financial ... View Full Bio

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