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Twitter in an Insurance Agency

Most insurance agencies have heard of Twitter, but few I know are utilizing it. Unfortunately Twitter is not as tangible a service as Facebook or Linked-in, meaning it can be more difficult to understand and the return the agency receives  might not be immediately felt. I believe that in an intangible product market such as insurance that Twitter can be extremely powerful and impactful.

Agencies have producers, clients, insurance products, value added services and competitors and are constantly looking for ways to make themselves stand out. Using this new media to secure current clients and hopefully gain new ones from prospects with products and value adds seems like a no-brainer.

What happens when the agency that provides insurance becomes much more than that, what if it becomes a huge proponent of their clients brand? What if on the weekends individual producers were using the product, service or other offering and talking it up on Twitter? What does that turn the relationship into? Does that make it more difficult to fire an agent if a competitor comes in with a slightly lower price? What if Twitter were used to ensure that clients and prospects were aware of the gamut of value added services that are offered or kept them up to date on the latest risk that might affect them? Inversely, if a competing agent has been lauding the accolades of a client or prospect on Twitter and both agencies offered similar coverages and VAS, is there a chance if losing the client? Is that something an agency wants to chance? Twitter creates and strengthens relationships, but it takes time just like any other relationship building process does.

Another advantage of Twitter are the insights into happenings of the client or prospect. It is criminal if your a producer in this day and age and your client has a Twitter account that is not being followed.  It needs to be mandated that this happens throughout the agency. What better way for a competing agent to get a toehold on existing clients than utilizing this burgeoning market?

I have a scenario in my head where a producer goes through his client and prospect list and finds out who’s on twitter and starts talking them up. Beginning to build or strengthen relationships utilizing this new avenue. Who ever is on the other side of that twitter account has some connection with C-level folks, they are obviously getting direction from someone. In most cases we are not talking fortune 500 clients we are talking 20-80k revenue accounts looking for any advantage they can get. If those clients are not currently utilizing Social Media wouldn’t it be neat if their trusted insurance advisor could increase word of mouth exposure by showing them the goodness that is Twitter.

What happens to that producer in the eyes of the client when a competing agent comes in offering similar coverage at 5-10% less. If the producer is on twitter always talking them up do they risk losing him as a source of free advertising. Do they risk alienating him? Do either of these 2 questions come in to play when the decision is made? I think yes, for mid market accounts  depending on local referrals and word of mouth advertising twitter will be a huge source for them in the future.

So if you are a producer or know a producer, show him Twitter, show him a prospect he is working on or a current client and what they are posting. It doesnt matter if you believe in this or not, its happeneing. We have to get our heads around it to start to take advantage of it. I can promise you that if you are not  figuring out how to use this to your advantage someone else is using it to theirs at your detriment.

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