Canadian Underwriter

Instagram and TikTok are new tools for engagement

September 8, 2021   by Brooke Smith

iPad with social media icons

Print this page Share

In a world where many insurance brokerages offer the same products, trying to stand out can be a challenge.

“One of the main things we’ve been trying to do more of — especially in the last year or so — is to have more presence on social media,” said Crista Costen, owner and president of Costen Insurance in Calgary. “A lot of people are on social media, so we’re trying to use that to our advantage and reach out to more people.”

Costen said the brokerage focuses on education and uses its blog and social media posts to engage potential clients. “There [aren’t] a lot of insurance brokerages or companies that are really active on there.”

In addition to using Google display ads and posting on its Facebook and Twitter accounts, the brokerage has now added Instagram to its advertising arsenal.

Costen looked at some of the other local brokerages and found there’s only “a handful on Instagram,” she said, adding that only a couple of those post regularly.

In the past month, Costen also set up a TikTok account.

Adding the latest platform is wise. According to DataReportal, as of January, TikTok has almost 700 million active users per month around the world.

Costen said she and her team spend three to four days per month writing blogs, creating content and scheduling posts the following month. Their graphics are generally created in-house, and the team also sources photos and graphics from stock photography sites.

Has she gained more business through the social media channels? It’s hard to say, admitted Costen. “We get a lot of leads through our website, but it’s hard to say if they saw us on Instagram and then checked out our website.”

Word of mouth remains the brokerage’s largest source of leads. “Quality leads come in from friends and family of existing long-term clients,” Costen said.

When the brokerage receives referrals, it sends out thank-you cards to the referees and donates to its charity partner. This practice has been in place since 2003. “I’d like to think that makes a difference,” she said.

In the meantime, the brokerage has used its website mascot, a caricature face that Costen’s brother drew, in its TikTok videos — one announcing its arrival on the platform; another celebrating back to school.

Future content will follow along the lines of what’s posted on other social media channels — with a caveat.

“If I post something about commercial auto insurance,” she said, “we’ll use that content but make it fun, because TikTok seems to be a little more quirky.”


Feature image by

Print this page Share

1 Comment » for Instagram and TikTok are new tools for engagement
  1. LARRY COSTEN says:

    I am so proud how Crista is moving Costen Insurance forward to reach out to today’s younger generation. In this everchanging world including this current COVID pandemic it is a constant challenge to find ways to reach out to our current and future Customers. Crista has committed to meet that challenge to ensure the future and well being of Costen Insurance.
    Larry Costen aka “Dad”
    Founder and CEO – Retired

Have your say:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *