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These Agencies Gained New Clients Via Social Media

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Insurance producers and agencies are no different from insurance companies when it comes to spending time and money on social media. “How do we know we’ll see results in our bottom line?” the leaders ask.

They ask because they don’t want to spend money or time on social media initiatives without some chance of reaping rewards. By rewards, they don’t just mean gathering “fans,” “friends” and “followers.” They want to know if social media will help them attract new clients and income, and possibly new hit-the-ground-running staff and colleagues.

In short, they want payback, and sooner rather than later.

A recent conference on social media sponsored by LIMRA LOMA provided a window into this “results” issue as pertains to life insurance agencies.

As reported in LIMRA’s Industry Trends blog, Guardian Life ran a pilot program for 250 of their advisors using LinkedIn, a social media website frequented by many businesses and professionals, large and small. The project entailed use of LinkedIn’s prospecting tool, Sales Navigator.

After 12 weeks, the advisors gained 29 new clients and hired four new financial professionals, reported the blog. The advisors also increased their connections (i.e., fans, friends, followers, etc.) by 56 percent.

This story caught my eye because it provides insight into whether and how social media efforts at the agency level can “pay off.” Apparently, they can.

Whether other agencies can replicate the experience at the Guardian agencies is open to question. After all, life insurance agencies vary in business model (career, independent, captive, direct, etc.), target markets (business, professional, family, multicultural, etc.), product specialties (life, annuities, long-term care, etc.), technology acumen, and many other areas. But given the paucity of lore regarding social media payback at life insurance agencies, the story bears retelling — and mulling.

By the way, the Guardian initiative is one of several social media ventures that LIMRA LOMA honored with its Silver Bowl Awards this year. The other awards focused on other types of social media results aren’t singled out here.

Earlier this year, an American Century Investments’ study of financial advisor adoption of social media found that advisors, including those at insurance broker/dealers, use social media for various information activities. These include reading expert commentary and insights, researching prospects and current clients, and monitoring industry and market news.

Maybe it’s time to research how all this activity is translating into, or at least related to, the agency’s bottom line. It’s safe to say that insurance practitioners would appreciate seeing more quantifiable results along the lines of that provided by Guardian.

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Linda Koco, MBA, is a contributing editor to InsuranceNewsNet, specializing in life insurance, annuities and income planning. Connect with Linda →

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