Social media can prove a powerful tool to get your insurance business’s message across, but with the positives come some pitfalls. Insurance Business connected with three expert insurance marketers from the Insurance Marketing & Communications Association (IMCA) to find out how they refine their social media insurance marketing strategies to make sure they reach their intended audiences and boost rather than burn their brands.
Globally, 4.48 billion people were estimated to be using social media as of 2021, according to data analysis by Backlinko. Digital platforms may now be a daily part of many people’s existence, but things haven’t always been this way and businesses haven’t always been quick to embrace them.
One IMCA expert recalled, 15 years ago, trying to convince an underwriting CEO that they needed to engage with social media. While the marketer was ultimately successful, it took a couple of “educational but frightful show-and-tell sessions” to get the executive on board.
Fast-forward to today’s world and increasingly digitally aware businesses have flocked online. One misstep, though, can cause viral chaos for a brand and its public relations and marketing teams.
IMCA experts’ insurance social media marketing top tips
Insurance Business asked the IMCA experts how they navigate social media marketing and keep their branding and messaging on point.
Emily Hathcoat, vice president, marketing, Risk Placement Services (RPS), former IMCA board chair
“Encourage employees to be active, to amplify your brand and message, but educate them on the pitfalls and rules of the road for such public engagement”
To me, the first place to start is to identify your goal – why is your company, and why are your people, on social media? That will guide which social media channel is appropriate to meet your goal and help determine the type of content and frequency of posting. Not all social media is the same, and each has a different personality, so that will also drive your brand’s tone of voice within that channel.
We focus on using social media to amplify our thought leadership content, present our company as an employer of choice, and provide content that enables our producers to present their expertise, building their own personal brands under the umbrella of our company brand.
The great part of social media is that it is all measurable, and you get immediate results. Use the results to modify what you post, when and where. We watch which types of posts our audience and our colleagues share or engage with, and then feed the channels with more of that. Our most successful campaigns have originated from a business need, but the creative is based on prior social media metrics – not internal assumptions.
Social media provides a distinct opportunity for insurance marketers to listen. Pay attention to what your target audience likes, shares, and posts. Those are all clues for you to develop your own content that will be relevant to your audience.
The last thing to remember is that when employees are on social media and representing themselves as a member of your company, versus representing themselves as their own individual separate from their employment, they are acting as spokespeople for your company, and you are accountable for their actions. Encourage employees to be active, to amplify your brand and message, but educate them on the pitfalls and rules of the road for such public engagement.
Jessica Marshall, senior vice president, director of marketing, CRC Group and IMCA director and treasurer
“Social media a great tool, especially if you can use it to bond with your target audience over shared values.”
Social media a great tool, especially if you can use it to bond with your target audience over shared values. It’s a good idea to be as consistent as possible in your messaging, look, and sound, so that it’s easier to make sure content is appropriate for your channel.
A 2018 study by OnShare on the effects of passive and active ad exposure demonstrates that even when a person doesn’t recall a specific ad they were shown, there’s still an increase in brand awareness. So, maintaining a consistent message and style is a vital piece of campaign success.
Charlene Goodwin, vice president, marketing, Admiral Insurance Group and IMCA director
“Through social media, we have a unique opportunity to share with the world what our company culture is like and what we value the most as an organization – our people.”
Social media by its nature is intended to connect people, regardless of geographic location. Through social media, we have a unique opportunity to share with the world what our company culture is like and what we value the most as an organization – our people.
We’ve had the most success when focusing on people – our employees, partners, and communities. We aim to help our employees and partners understand more about the people they work with on a personal level by sharing interesting facts, celebrations, philanthropic causes, and more. Not only does it start conversations, but it also helps build the foundation for the relationships that are so critical to our business.
About the IMCA
All three of the expert marketers not only have years of insurance marketing experience under their belts, they are also members of the IMCA. The North American marketing trade association was founded in 1923 and is made up of individuals with expertise in marketing, public relations, corporate communications, and emerging digital communication practices. In addition to connecting professionals and seeking to elevate the insurance marketing profession, the organisation also has guidelines intended to maintain brand standards within the industry.
More top tips from the IMCA expert marketers
Share your insurance social media and marketing top tips with us in the comments below.
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