Canadian Underwriter

Insurance industry on board with social media, but now needs to get it right

July 12, 2013   by Canadian Underwriter

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The insurance industry seems to be getting on board with social media use, and is now shifting to getting it right, some industry experts say.

Insurance industry now needs to get social media right

Speaking recently at an Insurance Marketing and Communications Association event, Robert Hartwig, president of the Insurance Information Institute, said social media is an important way for insurers to communicate with younger consumers.

“It’s about very targeted marketing and segmenting audiences,” he commented in a video produced by rating agency A.M. Best. Using social media is also about getting in touch with younger consumers who may not even think they need insurance, Hartwig noted.

Social media presents an opportunity for companies to be more in touch with all consumers, though, not just young ones, and help them understand products and issues they may not know enough about, Peter Van Aartrijk, president  and CEO of Aartrijk Branding and Communications said in the video.

Using Twitter for catastrophe preparedness information or for stories about how companies are helping policyholders after they made a claim are just a couple of examples of how the industry can take advantage of social media’s uniqueness as a communications tool, he added.

“The next challenge for (companies) is to do it right,” noted Tom Wetzel, executive director of the Insurance Marketing and Communications Association.

But while using social media is unlike the one-way communication strategies of the past, it’s not that big of a deal, according to Steve Ryan, senior marketing manager for North America at XL Group.

“They’re tools,” he said of social media sites. “It’s just like when direct mail was pioneered…It’s just another tool.”

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