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The power of social media

Russell Hutchinson shows you practical, yet simple, ways you can make social media work for you without being a tech genius.

Tuesday, October 6th 2020, 6:00AM

by Russell Hutchinson

Russell Hutchinson

You may not sell insurance through social media, but plenty is sold that way. By some estimates, more than $20 million in premium each year, here in New Zealand.

Try this exercise yourself, start typing “insurance” into Google. When on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or any web page, click on every insurance advert you see – and pretty soon, you will tend to see a lot more insurance adverts.

Check out all the companies that come up when you start doing this. You may see adverts for AIA (selling online through KiwiCover), ANZ,,, Momentum Life and Pinnacle Life, there will be more that turn up as campaigns come and go.

Some of the offers are engaging, some are really a gateway to advice, and some are exasperating – often offering very limited non-underwritten cover to people who could buy better cover for less money if they only had a little more patience and sought advice.

You may think “how could I ever compete with all that?” and the truth is, unless you are very motivated and have access to some willing and patient investors then you probably can’t compete. I suggest adding, nor should you.

Most of these offers aren’t advice and if you are reading this, then you probably care about giving good advice.

There are options that require no special technical genius.

Go and stand where your customers are. Right now, they are spending hours a day on those tiny screens getting worked up about everything from lockdown artwork to arguing over Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s legacy.

You don’t have to join them in submerging beneath these digital distractions but offering real help to people in your local community is a great way to start your digital journey.

1. Find your market – join your local Facebook group, LinkedIn group, or investigate local hashtags (your suburb, your city, your sport) and find out where your clients are hanging out online.
2. Offer something useful – track key words, share a news story about insurance with your comments added, check comments on news stories and add context (try not to argue). Write.
3. Do an “ask me anything” session focused on insurance on one of these groups. Start with answering questions on a post, then later, when you have enough followers, they can be livestreamed.
4. Offer to help with claims: Powerful. Put it out there that you will advocate for claimants. This never fails to generate goodwill, personalised content, and the right kind of attention.
5. Tell stories. Write short articles about recent claims stories.

In every case, stress your locality or connection – those are your great assets, allowing for the trust effects from a combination of digital, and the new trend to local, to combine in your favour.

Tags: insurance Opinion Russell Hutchinson social media

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