It’s always a pleasure to attend a Business Development Institute (BDI) event. The half-day format makes it easy to attend, content is targeted and the in-person networking is excellent. BDI is also an early adopter of social media, and supports participants “getting social” before, during and after the event. In fact, I’ve “met” some great people by following the live tweeting both in person and remotely.
I found this event very interesting. The primary focus was on internal social media, which I view as a great opportunity that firms have yet to fully embrace. For those who missed the BDI Insurance Social Business Forum, here’s a short recap:
Social Business, From the Inside Out
Andy Jankowski ( @AndyJankowski ) Founder of Enterprise Strategies, started off with a definition:
Social Business = External (Social Media) + Internal (Social Enterprise)
In short, Andy’s premise is that insurance firms have the opportunity to transform their business “From the Inside Out”, or through the integration of social media across the enterprise. He described how when departments work together, firms can increase brand awareness, reduce loss exposure, drive recruitment, enable sales, increase customer satisfaction, improve risk segmentation, investigate fraud, increase collaboration, enable knowledge sharing, and drive innovation. The keys to successfully transforming the business? Business objectives-driven strategy, executive mentorship, and integration with existing business process.
Because that is Where the Money Is
Jon Bidwell (@joncbidwell), Chief Innovation Officer, Chubb & Son (and Captain of his local Fire Department!), discussed how using internal social media drives the next wave of innovation, increases revenues and productivity. To date, about 50% of Chubb uses Jive (internal collaboration tool). Access is use case driven and departments must specifically justify how they plan to use the tool. Not surprisingly, Jon demonstrated that junior level staff generates the most innovation and interaction, often to the chagrin of established managers.The next challenge? Applying key learnings to field sales force to create bespoke messages to Producers. And finally, Jon suggested that John Stepper ( @johnstepper ) has the right idea when he blogs about “Working Out Loud”.
Going Social with Millennials: Setting the Foundation for Marketing Success
Lori Feldman ( @LBFeldman ), Global Head of Social Media, Cigna International, conveyed that Millennials disrupt how marketers traditionally work. Defined as 18-30 year olds, they are the most hopeful and optimistic of all the demographics and assume that their opinions are valued and will influence change. Millennials demand transparency and are eager to engage in conversations directly with the brand.The challenge for insurance firms is to be willing to engage in a dialog and to remember that a conversation goes two ways.
Terry Golesworthy Interview
For this session, I was asked by Steve Etzler of BDI ( @BDIonline) to interview Terry Golesworthy ( @TerryCRG ), President, The Customer Respect Group. I first became aware of Terry through SocialEyes, an informative monthly newsletter about how the insurance industry is using social media. Like the other speakers at this event, Terry stressed that social media has the opportunity to transform the business by using it across the enterprise, instead of solely as a corporate marketing channel. Some firms within the insurance industry are also using social media for internal communications, research, crisis communications, and customer service. Insurance firms are even using social media to investigate claims and disability case.Terry warned that these activities could backfire should taken with great care as not to harm the brand. Terry told the group that social media even eliminated the need for Producers to make cold calls. When asked for a specific example of how Producers are increasing revenues by using social media, I was able to share a recent success at an Actiance client. A Producer profiled his existing clients, selected 200 of his LinkedIn connections that fit the profile, sent them InMails, received 156 responses and ultimately sold 33 life insurance policies. The audience agreed that those are amazing response rates. Terry concluded that to leverage these benefits, firms need a social media champion who can gain buy-in from senior executives, break silos, tap the expertise of legal, compliance, and HR to develop usage policies, pull together training and oversee the activities to deploy technology, like Actiance’s Socialite platform, to reinforce the polices and allow the compliant use of social media.
How GEICO Users Social Media to Attract Talent
Shannon Smedstad ( @shannonsmedstad ) HR Branding and Social Media Leader, GEICO, relayed that 90% of companies plan to use social media in their recruiting strategy (Jobvite 2013). Shannon discussed how GEICO uses social media to listen to what people are saying about the brand, including on rating and review sites such as Glassdoor, Yahoo! Answers and Indeed. When people interested in working for GIECO are identified, they are proactively contacted. Social media is also used to increase the visibility of job listings and as a means to source candidates. She stated that recruiters use LinkedIn 93% of the time to search (Jobvite 2013). Interestingly, Shannon also discussed that job seekers are also consumers and a good experience with HR can lead to a new customer. She concluded that these things take time, firms need strong social media policies in place, rewards often outweigh the risk, and my personal favorite “sometimes you just have to try.”
How Social Media Changed Our Business
Mike Smith ( @axisins ), Principal / CEO, Axis Insurance Services wrapped up the speaker portion of the event and discussed how integrating social media into a traditional direct marketing campaigns (including email) created brand awareness and produced double digit sales increases. His suggestions were straight forward: go where you customers are, be willing to push outside your comfort zone and use social media to target and impact clients to generate ROI.
Today’s post is from Joanna Belbey ( @belbey ), Social Media and Compliance Specialist for Actiance.