A recent Reuters article discussed a new report indicating that the benefits of social media as a marketing tool were on the decline for insurance agents and financial advisors. But according to ProducersWeb, the report should not suggest social media is no longer effective.
Conducted by the Aite Group, the survey found that 19 percent of financial advisors reached new prospects in 2011, 18 percent were able to generate an awareness of the practice and 9 percent differentiated themselves from the competition. All of these measures were down when contrasted with 2010.
While the study suggests social media's effectiveness is waning, Amanda Hodges, director of marketing and client operations for ProducersWeb, said agents may be relying too much on websites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to generate insurance sales.
"You can't expect social media to simply make the sales for you," said Hodges. "Social media should act as the foundation of your sales funnel. It's a place to cultivate relationships and build your brand and company's exposure in order to set yourself up for future sales and profitable relationships."
The source added that if agents are able to improve their communication with clients - which the Aite Group study found more agents have been doing - they'll be able to establish themselves more, which may then lead to a better return on investment.