Friday, April 27, 2012

Media and social networks: moving from communication to influence

Today, any insurance company questions the use of social media strategy for digital. Analysis of different positions and opportunities.

In the context of growing participatory media - blogs, social networks and personal professional, participatory media, microblogging, etc. -, the challenge of these areas of expression is well established for business: the opinions expressed therein are considered by consumers as more influential than advertising or official sites.

 Before the day of reckoning on the ROI of operations, communication strategies through social networks can be compared. Sia Consulting and BWI (Bolero Web Intelligence) analyzed approaches the 9 largest insurance companies in France.

This analysis is particularly interesting when compared to a comprehensive study conducted by Council and Sia-BWI (Bolero Web Intelligence) on the Internet and insurance and responded to two questions:
  •     Concerning insurance which (which community) said what about what social media?
  •     What are the paths of these communities on social media and can we influence them?

The choice of social media

Topping the list of areas most used by insurers: Facebook, platforms videos (YouTube, DailyMotion) and Twitter. The other three carriers that concentrate customer reviews - forums, blogs and review sites - they are shunned marketers.

The choice of Facebook is more of a postulate that results observed: because Facebook has managed to unite hundreds of millions of users, it is often considered THE influence of mass vector. Now used as a recruiting tool for a page "fan" Facebook needs to join one by one the members of his community. We are so far from the expected mass effect, and we can expect disappointments to come after years to bring together a few thousand fans obtained shots contests and entertainment content.

Our study shows that Facebook is not limited or not used by the Internet for research information. As a marketer of insurance company, THE question to ask should read "in which social media plays a choice of buying an insurance policy? ". The choice of social media used would be radically changed.

Content Policy

Another trend in the choice of social media, is to seek the support that best meets the goals of communication: "I have a new TV campaign to promote? I created a Youtube channel to ensure the window. "

Insurers included in the benchmark as well as offer editorial policy of their participatory spaces: the themes of their campaigns, their sponsorship operations, sponsorship or prevention.
Certainly, subjects that foster a consensual approach and thus generating a positive online reputation. Certainly, few subjects that expose the insurer to the controversy.

But ultimately, things that show again, a "top-down" of the relationship with the consumer, contrary to the operation of the web that requires horizontal communication, an exchange between equals.

These messages to Internet users should be "icing on the cake", once addressed the concerns of communities of web insurance or expectations of them rarely reside in the choice of the muse, the music pub or sport to sponsor ...

Influence strategies

This choice of media and content resulting three types of strategies implemented by the nine players of the benchmark:
  • Viral strategies (Marks 1, 2, 4, 5) influencing the ability to spread supports video and social networks to spread their advertising content or sponsorship with a view to fame

  • Cooptation strategies (brands 2, 5, 3) who aim to drive brand communities around prevention and sponsorship to develop closeness with their audience,

  • The occupation strategies (brands 6, 7, 8, 9) that favor the presence on search engines through thematic sites or community to promote awareness of their products and services.

None of these strategies is oriented sales growth. But surfers are seeking information to choose the products they need.

Social media to grow the business online insurers

Today, however, insurers are able to understand the search term prospects in insurance on the Internet. They are able to influence the user on this course and therefore grow their business online.

The paradox is that the Internet, which constitutes the recommendation of the media of choice, is not used to develop the prescription! In other words, at this time of budget cuts, none of the major insurance companies shall not use the social networks to develop its business.

It is true that building an influential brand in its sector requires two conditions:
  •     Methods and tools have to listen to the consumer and meet his needs,
  •     Adapt the organization to enable it to respond to this new channel of customer relations.
This study clearly shows the "Blue Ocean", which opens the opportunity for insurance companies that will truly listen to up to one-way communication and which decide to use their influence on the Internet.