Social Media In Insurance Marketing Today

Birgit Fien-Schmalzbauer

Marketing a product or service that is a need rather than a want can be a challenge. This is particularly true for services like insurance policies, as many consumers struggle to differentiate between products from different companies. That’s why branding is vital for the insurance industry. However, today’s insurance customers are busier than ever, turning to their mobile devices for information about buying decisions.

One place they turn is social media. The same social media networks where users connect with friends, share photos, and play games can be an excellent place to find information about products and services of all types—including insurance. Because customers are there, insurers must take advantage of social media marketing opportunities. But customer connection opportunities may not necessarily come in the way you expect.

Reaching a different audience

Plenty of baby boomers and Generation X customers are shopping for new insurance options, and one of the best ways to create a loyal insurance customer is to reach them when they are first looking for coverage. Millennials and post-millennials are buying homes and cars, and building insurance portfolios, for the first time. The younger crowd are also the most active users of social media. Pew Research states that as of November 2016 approximately 86% of those aged 18-29 are active on social media, compared to only 34% of those aged 65 and older.

The basics

The key to marketing on social media is to ensure that it doesn’t feel like marketing. You are distributing information, posting links, and sharing photos with your followers and with the public. Post regularly, use hashtags (if the network allows) to keyword-tag your posts, and make sure you are interacting with your audience. Your base of followers will grow organically, and you’ll have the opportunity to distribute content to an even wider audience as time passes.

How to get started

If you aren’t yet active on social media, it is time to become accessible. At a minimum, you should explore Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Other sites, like Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram, and Google+, can also be helpful if you want to take your marketing efforts even further. Different customers use different networks, so expanding to multiple platforms helps you connect with a wider network of people. Plus, there are tools available that allow you to easily schedule multiple posts and cross-post.

The gecko, Mayhem, and Flo

The Geico gecko, Allstate’s Mayhem, and Progressive’s Flo are three of the most memorable mascots in the insurance industry. However, these characters are more than just mascots, as each has become a social media star in its own right. All three have their own social media page, which are company-managed but separate from its company’s business page. Customers can follow these mascots, and viral posts are often launched directly from the profile. In one memorable example, Mayhem (who has nearly 2 million Facebook followers) searched for a mate through a widespread social media campaign.

Of course, all three of these insurance companies also have standard business websites, but by launching “fun” social media campaigns, they gain followers who would otherwise never bother to engage with an insurance company on social media.

Don’t fall behind

While some may still be tempted to look at social media as a trend, it shows no signs of fading. You can be confident that your competition is taking advantage of its opportunities, even if you are not. InsuranceNewsNet stated that social media budgets are rising to $381 million this year, up from $301 million last year. Even better, social media marketing is notably less expensive than print or television advertising.

A 2017 Pew Research Center study states that approximately 70% of Americans use social media to connect with each other, read news, and share information. With numbers like that, insurers must get on board with social technology and take advantage of the opportunities it offers.

Want to learn more about how you can stay connected with your customers across all channels? Reach out to SAP for Insurance today. 

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Birgit Fien-Schmalzbauer

About Birgit Fien-Schmalzbauer

Birgit Fien-Schmalzbauer leads the Research and Innovation Office within the insurance industry business unit at SAP. Her responsibilities include defining the innovation strategy and co-innovation with partners and customers for complementing the solution portfolio, especially in the area of IoT, blockchain, and ecosystem; selection and development of startups; definition and support of go-to-market strategy; as well as supporting marketing and analyst events.