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Customer Engagement
Tips from Social Media Insurance Leaders

Mar. 26, 2014

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Unmetric, a benchmarketing company, recently released a survey detailing the performance of insurance companies on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

The insurance industry report, called “Who’s Covered? Insurance Social Media Showdown” revealed what benchmarks insurance companies should be aiming for in their social media efforts. Here are some key information you should know:

  • Farmers, with 130 points, reached over 2.3 million Facebook fans
  • MetLife, with 129 points, has over 554,438 Facebook fans
  • Allstate ranked first with 166 points; State Farm second with 148 points and GEICO third with 145 points

These points are a combination of several metrics, which are carefully considered to calculate a single sector-specific score called the Unmetric score. Numbers aside, the immense importance of the report lies in the social media standards insurance leaders adopt. Here’s a brief look at them:

Customers Appreciate the Corporate Social Responsibility Companies are Doing

Insurance companies leading in the social media are mostly posting about their CSR activity, which was considered the most engaging type of content. There are other types of content included in the study—brand news, contest, ad campaigns, career, and insurance policy—but none are as effective as CSR activities in driving customer engagement.

The lesson here is plain and simple. When it comes to content strategy, insurance companies should strive to focus on their role in social and charity projects. DeSantis Breindel, a New York-based B2B branding and marketing firm, already talked about how it’s well worth the effort when a brand is associated with social responsibility.

Social Media Engagement is Not About Numbers

It’s about how you use it. Travelers Insurance, for instance, knows how to engage with Facebook fans in every post. Note that the company has the least number of fans among all brands surveyed but it knows what it’s doing. It scored the highest points on engagement at 303 points. Each post received a substantial number of Comments, Likes, Shares and views on Facebook. MetLife, which is second to Farmers in having the most number of followers, only scored 105 in terms of Engagement.

The moral is very basic: focus on driving engagement, on making people respond or care about your content—not on amassing thousands of passive followers. It’s very basic, yes, but one that’s often overlooked.

How Companies Handle Customer Complaint Matters

Statefarm and GEICO, which second and third respectively, take their Twitter accounts seriously. Statefarm (@StateFarm) has the largest number of replies with an average reply time of 4 hours and 17 minutes. StateFarm is also the most apologetic brand with the term “sorry” appearing in 8% of their tweet replies. GEICO has the second largest number of replies and is the only insurance company to have a dedicated support handle, @GEICO_Service. A majority of these replies are plain text. Some are delivered via direct message, but very few via email.

These numbers suggest the effective use of social media as a customer support platform. Customers, after all, are frequently using social networks to ask questions, raise a complaint or simply contact a brand for support. When brands are responsive, customers are better able to make a decision. Brands too, are better able to manage their reputation by catching complaints quickly before they go viral and by dealing with unhappy or unsatisfied customers. It shouldn’t be difficult as existing technologies are making it easier for brands to monitor and listen to their customers.

Big financial institutions such as Chase are already investing substantial resources in social media command centers. The idea is to deeply integrate social media with communication plans, marketing strategies and overall business goals. Insurance companies should definitely follow suit.

Download: Find New Leads Using Social Media


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