New research from Ecclesiastical Insurance reveals that two-thirds of brokers do not use social media for business purposes.
While half (49%) of brokerages are using social media platforms such as LinkedIn (40%), Facebook (30%) and Twitter (24%) to connect with customers, only a third of brokers are reaching out via social channels individually.
This is despite an acknowledgement amongst those surveyed, that social media platforms can help attract new business, strengthen relationships and help them reach a wider client base.
Seven in 10 (71%) brokers surveyed said that they do not want to use social media to reach out to customers. The main reasons that brokers are not using social media to support their businesses are a lack of time, a perceived lack of value to their business and the belief that their customers are not using social media. However, latest figures suggest that there are 45 million social media users in the UK and more than half of users (53%), are over the age of 35.
Currently, just 13%² of people use social media for business purposes. However, as more and more companies seek to promote their businesses through employee advocacy programmes that utilise social media channels this figure is set to increase. This could present additional growth and networking opportunities for brokers that engage clients on social media.
Of the third that are using social media, half admitted that they do not feel confident when it comes to using social media for business purposes, while 49% of brokers said they would welcome help engaging clients on social media platforms including creating content and understanding regulation.
In response to the research Ecclesiastical is launching The Social Club, a new training programme developed and delivered by social media experts from specialist agency Factor 3, and hosted by Adrian Saunders, Ecclesiastical’s commercial director.
The sessions will help brokers develop the skills and confidence to build networks, engage clients, find leads and sell through social media platforms.
Commenting on The Social Club, Adrian Saunders said: “Our research shows that, for those brokers that want to use social media, there is a gap in knowledge and a lack of confidence. The Social Club is about enabling those that want to start using or improve their social media presence to do so.
“We’ve teamed up with Factor 3 to produce a range of materials, including videos and guidance to enable brokers to fit the training in to their busy schedules. We hope that it will add real value to our broker partners and help them feel more confident in using social media to engage with clients.”
The Social Club will be delivered to brokers via six video training sessions, with supporting materials and Q&A sessions and a face-to-face masterclass at the end of the programme. It will initially be made available to a select group of brokers in July 2019, and will be available to all brokers from October 2019.
Insurance Edge Comment:
About 70% of brokers DON’T use social media at all! #FFS #LOL and #OMFG. How do these companies stay in business?
Something is better than nothing of course, but to imagine that brokers who currently do absolutely no social media marketing at all, can become reasonably competent in just six sessions with a catch-all agency is ridiculous. For one thing a specialist classic car broker has an entirely different set of channels, tone of voice and consumer queries than a broker whose core business is Commercial lines, or gadget insurance.
Our advice is blunt, and simple;
Dear old school brokers, you don’t have a clue, so hire someone who a. knows social media and has a track record of stats to back up their hype, and b. has an understanding of insurance services, regulations and resolving customer problems in the niche business sector where you currently operate. That way, lies success and building long term loyalty with your core customers.
Insurance is migrating online at a rapid pace and those who fall behind in this race to deliver products faster, sell via smartphone and respond immediately to complaints and questions, will fail. #truestory