Insurance agents and financial advisers who don’t have a strong social media presence could be missing out on a lot of potential business, according to a new study conducted jointly by Life Happens and LIMRA. The study found:
- More than a third of Americans (34%) — and more than half of millennials (54%) — are likely to ask for recommendations for an insurance agent or financial adviser on social media.
- 54% of millennials and 44% of Gen Xers are likely to check an agent’s or adviser’s social-media presence on sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
“This year’s study reinforces the increasingly important role that social media has on an adviser’s marketing efforts,” said Marvin Feldman, CLU, ChFC, RFC, president and CEO of Life Happens. “Advisers and agents must ensure their profiles are regularly updated and provide consumers with quality content and information.”
At the same time, the study found, most consumers still desire a personal connection with a professional when buying insurance. Millennials are the most likely to want to meet with a financial professional before purchasing life insurance (73%), compared with Gen X (64%) and Boomers (69%).
How should we respond to these findings?
Below are three ways for insurance and financial services firms and their agents and advisers to make the most of these findings.
- Invest in social media and mobile marketing (especially advertising). With so many consumers turning to social media to evaluate financial products and professionals, it is critical that agents and advisers have an active social media presence. And, with recent changes Facebook made to its News Feed algorithm making it harder for businesses to get into consumers’ News Feeds organically, it’s more important than ever to invest in ads.
- Take a multi-channel approach. Consumers want to take advantage of both personal networks and professional help, online research and in-person guidance. Agents and advisers must present an “always-on” persona as consumers utilize a multi-channel approach to researching and buying insurance.
- Connect personally — and locally. Meaningful, human relationships still play a critical role in the insurance and financial services industry. One of the best ways to create these relationships is to connect with people on a local level. Consumers may not have an intrinsic connection with a national brand logo, but they can create a tangible connection with an agent or adviser with an office down the street.
See also: 3 Useful Cases for Social Media