Last week, I discussed the benefits that insurers can realize by adopting social media. This week, I’ll talk about how to develop an effective social media strategy.

Three phases of social media engagement

Despite lagging behind other industries in adopting social media, insurers are realizing that joining the fray is no longer an option. As consumers continue to engage in social media, insurers must have an effective strategy to participate in these channels.

Accenture recommends a three-phased approach to social media engagement:

  • Phase I: Listen. Analyze social media to determine the direction and tone of current customer sentiment, and to identify influencers with significant impact on customer opinion and decision making. At this stage, key actions include monitoring, information gathering and determining an appropriate response if an issue comes up.
  • Phase II: Engage. Continue to listen, but take systematic steps to engage with customers with the objective of establishing and building a presence. Insurers should be prepared to have conversations on-board (through brand-owned channels) and off-board (through public channels).
  • Phase III: Optimize. Integrate social media channels into a comprehensive customer relationship management (CRM) program to enable a single view of the customer. This also enables insurers to track the success and return on investment of specific campaigns, and to tailor campaigns for best results.

Four steps for developing a social media strategy

Accenture has created a four-step process for insurers to create and implement an effective social media strategy.

  1. Define the company’s vision with a two- to five-year strategic roadmap that addresses business strategy, organization and governance, and enabling technologies.
  2. Develop metrics, identify gaps between current capabilities and best practices, and define critical success factors.
  3. Create an organization and governance structure that has appropriate controls and reporting lines, and that addresses training and incentives for adaptation.
  4. Select technology and create a solution blueprint for an integrated social media solution.

To learn more, visit our social media in insurance coverage.

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