Technology has certainly changed the insurance industry for the better. From using less paper to more efficient processes, the digital age has enabled insurers and agents to improve productivity and boost customer satisfaction tenfold. As social media has exponentially gained traction with individuals and businesses alike, insurance agencies and agents may be quick to jump on the Facebook train in order to reach out to new markets. However, using Facebook for business comes with both risks and benefits. Here are some of the big ones all agents should know.
Benefits of Facebook for the Insurance Industry
Over 80 percent of adults in America are now on Facebook. The sheer number of people using this social platform on a regular basis is a huge advantage for agents and agencies, providing easy and immediate access to a broad audience. Businesses with an online social media presence are able to reach out to consumers in more fun and meaningful ways than ever before. Creating the space for a casual and conversational relationship with current and potential policyholders was traditionally not an easy feat, and could help revolutionize people’s attitudes toward the insurance industry.
In addition, joining this online community allows customers to follow your updates regularly, speak on your behalf with reviews, share your page and posts with their network of friends and family and communicate easily with people who may have questions. Within the last few years, Facebook has also employed a variety of great tools for the business side, including simple advertising methods, call to action buttons for users to link directly to your website or special promotions and analytics to manage your marketing strategies.
Potential Risks to Keep in Mind
Whether your agency is already on Facebook or you are about to take the leap, the disadvantages of using the platform are also important to consider. One of the downfalls of Facebook is simultaneously one of the benefits: users reviewing your page. Although this can be a great asset at times, there’s always a risk that people who have not been satisfied with your agency in the past will post a negative review for others to see. One thing you can do is prepare for these situations by coming up with a positive way of addressing these issues should they ever occur.
Advertising on Facebook is a wonderful method to get your posts out there to a broader audience, but it will cost you. Trying to compete with other agencies on Facebook will likely involve a budget of some kind. Consider how much you’d like to spend, if anything, but try viewing this as a long-term investment rather than an option for a quick return.
In order to truly utilize many of the benefits Facebook can offer your agency will also require an investment of time — whether that is yours or someone else’s. If you are a small, new agency, it might be best to start out doing it yourself. However, if your agency is quickly growing and you find that running social media pages takes up too much time, consider hiring a full-time online marketing specialist to help you.
Learn More About ASI
ASI is one of the largest homeowners insurance carriers in the United States. Through a network of independent agents, the company offers home, condo, renters, dwelling, fire and flood insurance in over half the country, with plans to cover the rest by 2017. Find out more at americanstrategic.com.