Social Media and Online Marketing – What’s the Real Deal?
A short and objective survey of what insurance agencies and carriers
are currently doing in the online world (and how it compares to last year)
We repeated last year’s social media survey for many reasons, but two of the main ones were to see if the use of social media was growing in the insurance industry and whether or not it was proving to be valuable. To the first question I can unequivocally answer yes. To the second, I’d say it seems to be providing value, and at a minimum it is not hindering growth (see the last chart in the attached pdf).
With this in mind, I present the results of the 2012 BHBCo Social Media in the Insurance Industry Survey. What follows is the analysis of the responses from all insurance organizations. You may have seen the earlier results that showed only insurance agency data (and I am sending all respondents that version as well), but here is the full picture. This year we had a similar amount of overall responses, but once we removed duplicates from the same organization or responses that were mostly blank, we had 268 qualified responses. These respondents came from 36 states and Canada. Retail insurance agencies accounted for 76% of the respondents and fewer than ten percent were from insurance companies. Six percent were from MGAs or brokers and fewer than ten percent were from consulting firms, technology vendors and industry groups combined.
46% of the respondents are agency owners/principles.Just under 20% fill a marketing role at their organization and nine percent are in IT. Service staff, HR and producers comprised the remaining nine percent of the respondents. Again this year we are not making any recommendations in this report, just presenting the results for you to use as you see fit. Here are several of the items, keeping the 2011 results in mind, that I find revealing:
The use of social media, with good results, is definitely up. The use of the major platforms in social media has shown about a ten-point increase over last year for each.
But, a little more than a third of the respondents who are not using social media do not plan on starting to use it.
There has been a reasonable increase in the amount of organizations that allow the use of social media during working hours, in some cases with limitations, since last year. (By the way, they’re probably all using it on their phones if they cannot use their computers at work!!)