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May 3, 2013 – Social media began to impact insurers in 2009 as pioneering companies used the networks to promote and protect their brands. With this in mind, Celent and Locke Lord, LLP conducted a survey among their respective clients to answer the questions most often received about the use of social media. Celent is a research and advisory firm dedicated to helping financial institutions formulate comprehensive business and technology strategies. Over the last several years, businesses have increased the pace of adopting social media strategies for use in marketing, service and other related capacities. Charlene Li and I spent the better of the last year studying how organizations approach social media and how planning, processes, and outcomes mature over time.
On one side the chasm, there are businesses (or departments) that are actively investing in social media without intentions or outcomes being tied to business goals.
In fact, we found that only 34% of businesses felt that their social strategy was connected to business outcomes and just 28% felt that they had a holistic approach to social media, where lines of business and business functions work together under a common vision. The goal of this first stage is to ensure that there is a strong foundation for strategy development, organizational alignment, resource development, and execution. When organizations move into this stage, they make a commitment where social media is no longer a “nice to “have” but instead, is seen as a critical element in relationship building. As organizations migrate along the maturity model, the social media initiatives gain greater visibility as they begin to have real business impact.
As a result of the cross-functional and executive support, social business strategies start to weave into the fabric of an evolving organization. Most of our clients are somewhere between stages 3 & 4 with an eye on 5, becoming more strategic.
Obviously, marketing and public relations have drastically changed after the implementation of social media. Steve Jobs Effect: Social Media Impact of a Celebrity CEO You are using an outdated browser. Apple itself may not know the answer to the first question and so far, it has been silent on the second one. MEDIA RELEASEMarketing expert and Impact PR director Fleur Revell provided her thoughts on how to make the most of social media for NZ Business online magazine. Growing a social media presence for a company requires careful thought about which sites your business may benefit from the most, what your strategy will be for the coming 12 months, and how to cope with negative feedback.
If growing your company’s social media offering is on the wish list for 2015, there are some key factors to take into account before you start planning the strategy and resources you intend to put into it. Impact PR public relations and social media specialist Fleur Revell says social media can be a powerful tool when it comes to promoting your brand and engaging with clients, but it is crucial to invest time and resource to make them work well for your company. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are the three sites that currently have the most following, with Instagram recently overtaking Twitter in active user numbers.
The benefits of being on Facebook are many – there is the potential to advertise relatively cheaply with good planning, update information on business promotions or new products easily, and to create a community of dedicated customers or supporters to interact with on a regular basis who will then help expose your brand to their wider networks.

However, simply establishing a Facebook page will not take advantage of the possibilities the social site offers. Revell says queries and questions need to be answered promptly to prevent complaints such as these escalating, and new posts need to go up preferably once a week, and whenever there is something notable happening within the business. Content-wise, Revell says commercial posts about products or services may be part of your plan, but there is a need to think creatively about what more you can do. While Twitter’s popularity has been waning lately, the site can be a valuable way to start conversations with customers and keep them informed in real-time about events, or situations affecting them. If you can’t commit the resource to monitor Twitter, it may be best not to have an account, advises Revell. If visual content is a strength for your company, then you could consider making Instagram a focus for 2015. The advantage of the site, however, is the focus on quality rather than quantity which means not as much content is required. No matter what your social media plans are for the new year, Revell says it’s important to make a thorough strategic plan, set goals for what you want to achieve, and ensure you have an appropriate staff member to action the plan and manage the accounts to get the best out of them for your business. Fleur Revell is one of the country’s most eminent PR consultants and public relations practitioners with more than 20 years industry experience behind her. Fleur is also a three times Qantas Media Awards winner and Feature Writer of the Year; and has an exceptional working knowledge of the New Zealand media landscape and its accelerating evolution in the digital age. Impact PR is a dedicated PR and marketing agency with an enviable reputation for delivering impressive results. A new report, Social Media Use in North American Insurance, explores the benefits, barriers, plans, legal considerations, and business results related to social media in insurance.
Celent publishes reports identifying trends and best practices in financial services technology and conducts consulting engagements for financial institutions looking to use technology to enhance existing business processes or launch new business strategies.
What’s becoming very clear however is that adopting social media and understanding its impact on customer and employee relationships and also the bottom line are not always linked.
We uncovered a notable gap between organizations that executive social media programs and campaigns and those that specifically invest in social business strategies. On the other side are organizations that are deeply integrating social media and social methodologies throughout the company to drive tangible business impact.
Charlene and I learned that the two most important criteria for a successful social business strategy are that it is 1) clearly aligned with strategic business goals of an organization, and 2) has organizational alignment and support that enables execution of that strategy.
As you move along the journey, your experience establishes a formal and informed presence in social media. This captures the attention of C-level executives and department heads who see the potential of social.
I think my business is currently in the third stage and trying to figure out how to get to the fourth stage. My guess is that most organizations are currently at Stage Three: engaging with their wider audience and learning how to converse with them.

But I believe that there are tenets in each stage that benefit organizations, so to some extent, yes. Yet most of them think they are much more advanced than they are until you really start to peel back the layers. What I found helpful is that you mention communication has gone from one-way strategies to consumers to being able to educate, investigate and follow how companies arrange their products for themselves.
As with Facebook, a regular plan of content is needed, and it’s even more important to have someone assigned to monitoring the site constantly. With an impressive 300 million users, the image-focused site is perfect for companies who can create original images that will inspire and entertain users. We take your marketing objectives seriously - that is why only the most experienced senior of our consultants work directly on your business. As 2013 begins, social media in insurance has established a firm foothold in North America.
With a team of internationally based analysts, Celent is uniquely positioned to offer strategic advice and market insights on a global basis.
In an Altimeter Group survey of 700 executives and social strategists fielded in late 2012, we found that 100 percent of participating enterprise organizations run to varying extents an active social media strategy.
This disconnect between social media strategies and business value is forcing many executives to rethink their overall approach and the infrastructure they built to support it.
Altimeter defines the evolution to a Social Business as the deep integration of social media and social methodologies into the organization to drive business impact. What separates them are six distinct stages that we believe most organizations have or will traverse as they mature. Key tenets of this stage include leveraging social content to amplify existing marketing efforts, providing information to support post-transaction issues; and aligning metrics with departmental or functional business objectives.
Organizations should plan for a potential CoE pitfall, however, as creating one may lead to scaling problems in the long-term. It seems the internet has given consumers and companies a more efficient way to understand the functions of business all through social media. Unfortunately, 75 percent of exiting employees would not recommend their former places of business, and about one in six openly admit to having shared criticism or negative comments about their employers online. Celent is a member of the Oliver Wyman Group, which is part of Marsh & McLennan Companies.
But unlike email, organizations haven’t mastered how to effectively communicate through the likes of Facebook or the tweets of Twitter. The result of this reflective process is motivating organizations to transform everyday social media initiatives into deeper social business strategies.

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