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How to make your workforce social media savvy

01 Dec 2017

In a marketplace where social media has become the key to connecting with customers, here's how to develop a workforce who know how to make the most of it.

The insurance market is changing. With the advent of technology comes a different way of doing business, and one that companies need to adapt to if they want to make a success of working in the digital market: one where nimble InsurTech startups are making the most of the internet and offering customers cheap, fast services that can be accessed at the touch of a button. 

As a result, the market is becoming more customer-service driven. Companies need to work on their customer offering if they want to attract clients, and one key way in which to do this is by using social media. With the number of social media users worldwide due to hit 2.5bn by 2018, and 64% of sales professionals reporting closing at least one deal in 2014 as a direct result of using social media, it’s clear that insurance companies need to take another look at their social media accounts in order to thrive in the digital economy.

Whether it’s selling, customer service or promoting your brand, here’s how to put a plan in place that ensures your workforce knows how to engage your customers across all social media platforms.

Centralise your social media profiles

One of the first things you need to do is get your company’s social media profiles in order. Make an inventory of the profiles that you have- you should at least operate a Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn account if you want to maximise your online reach- and connect them to your website. To encourage ease of access amongst your employees, it may also be a good idea to invest in a centralised platform like Hootsuite or Edgar, from which you can schedule and post across all of your accounts.

It’s also worth taking a look at your colleagues’ private social media accounts. Employee advocacy has recently become a buzzword, and there’s a good reason for it: brand messages are re-shared 24 times more when distributed by employees, rather than the brand itself. Your employees are a valuable resource, and one that you should tap into.

Get people involved 

One way in which you can get people invested in social media is by strengthening your employer brand, and that’s about getting people involved. Hold a company meeting and ask for recommendations from your staff, or for ways in which you can improve your social media offering. Ask staff to do a survey to establish how well they know their way around social media, and which accounts they have, and encourage them to share blog posts or recent company news. You want social media to be a part of your company culture, and the main thing your employees’ social media should be doing is promoting your brand by sharing stories about that same company culture.

You can also help your employees by making social media easy for them to pick up on. Take inspiration from companies like Zurich Insurance, which has developed a video walk-through of LinkedIn to demonstrate how it works now, and how it’s changed. Try something similar: create a fact book, a video or a quick guide that lays out the rules and outlines how they can use it to maximise exposure and promote your company. 

Invest time into social media courses 

Social media is a resource, and one that you should invest time in educating your employees on. There are several good courses on the market that you can try out: the Digital Marketing Institute offers professional diplomas and courses in Social Media marketing that covers everything from Content Creation to Facebook, whilst Mindset Digital has a good course that offers social media training tailored to the insurance market. If you’d rather invest in a workshop, Imparture Training runs regular social media courses. By devoting time and money to staff social media training, you’ll be able to develop a social media aware workforce who will know how to use different platforms for maximum visibility and impact, and be able to start seizing the initiative and boosting your company presence online. 

Create a set of company-wide brand guidelines

Branding is important, and social media is a vital tool in developing and maintaining that brand: 71% of consumers who have had a good service on social media are likely to recommend that company to other people. If you’ve already got a set of brand guidelines, adapt them for social media, so your employees have a guide to what to post: they should know what types of posts are acceptable, and which aren’t, so there’s no confusion when it comes to posting and sharing information.

Establish a social media strategy 

If you want to establish a centralised, consistent message for your employees to share then you need to create a social media strategy. Though the overall responsibility for monitoring and publishing on your company’s social channels should be the responsibility of the Marketing Department, everybody from Sales to Customer Services needs to know how to respond to questions, how long the response time should be and whether they should take any specific approaches to stay within brand and offer an efficient and consistent service to customers.

To do this, you need to create a social media strategy that meets your needs as a business and supports your goals. Get together with the different departments in your company and identify your business objectives, and then plan out how your social media channels can support those objectives, before deciding what strategy to plan out. You can then adapt this strategy if needed: for instance, if the market changes or specific news like Brexit becomes relevant.

Being able to communicate with all the different departments in your company is particularly important when it comes to improving audience identification and engaging readers, especially in the diverse insurance sector. To ensure that social media users see posts that communicate an expert knowledge of the market and will therefore increase your brand reputation, it’s a good idea to work with people from different departments like underwriting, or property insurance, who will be able to post more engaging information on their relevant sector that will target the right people- and, hopefully, increase your clickthrough rate.

At IDEX, we take pride in keeping our finger on the pulse of the insurance market, so we can continue to provide a top-quality service matching talented job-hunters to the best vacancies. Read more about us here, or browse our jobs in General Insurance

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