A new study suggests that social media has a heavy influence on the pool of insurance customers agents wish to reach.
According to data published by J.D. Power and Associates in its 2013 Social Media Benchmark Study, approximately 40 percent of individuals between 30 and 49 years old and 38 percent of people over the age of 50 interacted with a company primarily through social media for servicing needs. However, this type of reach was not the same among young adults. Only 23 percent of consumers between the ages of 18 and 29 years old used social media for servicing.
"While there are vast differences among age groups in the frequency of servicing and marketing engagements, there is a consistency in the impact on brand perception and purchase intent through both types of engagement," said Jacqueline Anderson, J.D. Power's director of social media and text integration. "Companies that are focused only on promoting their brand and deals, or only servicing existing customers, are excluding major groups of their online community, negatively impacting their satisfaction and influencing their future purchasing decision."
She added that it's crucial for marketing professionals to understand the group or community and how they are engaged with social media. For example, if social media is used to promote discounts but what customers really want when they're on these websites is customer service, "you're going to end up with dissatisfied customers."
It's important for insurance agents to promote their business through a variety of channels and not just social media. That's because some people aren't completely sold about its reliability. In a separate study recently conducted by Allstate and National Journal, nearly two-thirds of customers said they were skeptical about some of the things they learned through Facebook and Twitter, even though using the medium made them feel more informed.