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Social media marketing for insurance is experiencing major growth.

According to a report by consultancy firm ITDS, 100 percent of 20 major global insurers are active on Facebook. 100 percent are also active on LinkedIn and YouTube. 95 percent are active on Twitter and 75 percent are using Instagram.

But there are challenges. While insurance providers recognize that social media marketing is essential to future growth, many struggle to keep up with the pace and drive real results from their efforts.

Social Media Marketing for Insurance: The Challenge

People are not quick to trust insurance providers.

That’s one of the biggest obstacles to doing social media marketing for insurance.

  • According to an IBM survey, only 43 percent of consumers trust the insurance industry. The lack of trust in insurance providers has remained above 50 percent since 2007.

One of the key goals of any social media marketing strategy is to build meaningful and engaging connections with the audience. These connections are predicated on trust.

So how do you get to the point where your insurance brand or agency is able to inspire trust among potential and existing customers?

Here are some dos and don’ts to help you craft a winning strategy for insurance social media marketing.

Social Media Marketing for Insurance: Dos and Don’ts

DO: Deliver quality content

Your Facebook Page or Instagram account aren’t online billboards. The content you share on social media should be informative, helpful, or educational instead of exclusively self-promotional or salesy.

Consumers are looking for insurance providers not only to sell them a policy, but also to educate them on ways to protect their assets and most valuable possessions.

Here are some good social content ideas: a quick video to explain your policy coverage, detailed FAQs and step-by-step instructions on how to claim, a link to interactive expense or investment calculators, or educational posts like “things to consider before buying your first car” or “how to prepare for emergencies.”

By sharing the kind of content that consumers are specifically looking for, you can drive higher engagement levels on social media, foster trust more effectively, and potentially gain more referrals.

DON’T: Ignore the power of LinkedIn

A number of agents sign up for professional networking site LinkedIn only to end up not using it, or not using it the right way.

Here’s an example of the power of LinkedIn at work. Connecting with almost 8,000 followers, Bianca posts a message about the importance and practicality of having life insurance: a kind of food for thought that also serves as a subtle marketing message.

The post has generated 47 likes and 5 comments. Not super mind-blowing, but this kind of engagement is akin to Bianca walking into a networking event and getting 52 people (and their connections and friends) to take notice of and engage with what she is saying.

Again, the key to social media marketing in insurance is to get people’s mindshare, deliver information that can foster trust, and offer options and resources that continually educate your audience.

DO: Embrace online reviews

It’s totally natural for insurance providers and agents — for almost all types of business owners, really — to be kind of wary of social media comment sections and online reviews.

According to research, only 20 percent of insurers show reviews on their website. And only 10 percent allow visitors to post or read Facebook recommendations and reviews, with the remaining 90 percent choosing to disable that option.

But reviews should be a crucial part of social media marketing in insurance.

Whether it’s in the form of a Yelp review, an overall star rating on Credit Karma or Lending Tree, or a candid comment on Facebook or Google, reviews are an important trust factor that plays a crucial role in shaping consumer behavior.

By staying on top of your online reviews, and by listening and responding to customer feedback, you can more effectively develop and sustain trust-based relationships with your customers and policyholders.

DON’T: Ignore feedback on social media

Social media has become a valuable platform for insurance consumers to ask questions, get help with policy or claiming issues, air out complaints, and get customer service.

Don’t ignore them.

Here are some numbers that will make your jaw drop:

  • The value dollar of the opportunities for insurance companies to drive results through social media is over $15 million a month.
  • In one month, there were 3.7 million tweets about insurance and 23,401 social leads with purchase intent.
  • Only 1 percent of these social leads received a response.

Simply put: if you’re not listening and responding to people on social media, you’re losing leads.

Of course, you can also use social media for customer service and responding quickly to questions, inquiries, feedback, and complaints. This helps demonstrate your commitment to customer experience, which in turn can build up your trustworthiness and online reputation.

Important note: When responding on social media, ensure that you’re meeting compliance requirements that are designed to protect your customers’ privacy. If and when in doubt, always consult with your compliance or public relations team.

DO: Use testimonials

With trust being a powerful business currency in insurance, your client success stories, photos, and videos are a great way to humanize your insurance brand and incorporate user-generated content into your social media marketing.

Again, in this situation, client privacy should be top priority, so make sure that if you obtain testimonials from your happiest clients, you already have their consent or permission to use the content.

DON’T: Make likes and follows your ultimate goal

Social media marketing in insurance involves so much more than getting a hundred or thousand “likes”, or growing a community of followers.

Have tracking systems in place so that you can measure the ROI of your efforts. Track how many leads have been generated via social, check out your cross-sell and referral stats, monitor your engagement rates and sentiment data, etc.

The data you collect will help you refine your future social media initiatives and efforts, adjust your investment priorities, and reach out to and engage with the right audience.

Migs Bassig

Migs is the Content Manager for ReviewTrackers. He's a creative writer who has helped numerous companies communicate more effectively online, and he loves sharing his local marketing knowledge to help brands and business succeed.