Firstly, Happy New Year to you all – may you all have a prosperous 2011.
Secondly, thanks for your support in 2010, and for reading my blog. Last year was a year when many wholesale insurers, reinsurers and service providers start to use social media. Some jumped in with both feet, while others dipped their toes and others still watched from the sidelines to admire the ripples… and see if anyone drowned in this medium that scares so many.
How are insurance and reinsurance companies using social media?
Results were varied. Under the sheer weight of the work needed to harness the power of LinkedIn, blogging, Facebook and Twitter successfully as a big corporate, some floundered, others lost their way and some even gave up the ghost and left their excellent work hanging in cyberspace. Some kept hacking away at the cliff-face and have made real progress in their understanding and use of the medium within the restrictions of the corporate world.
That said, not one company that I have seen has (so far) conquered all mediums and come up with decent business-to-business plan that spans all platforms in a unified way that works hand-in-hand with their PR, marketing and/or advertising.
How can you plan your content for success on social media?
Which is why this blog is dedicated to the art of planning – and here are some points to help you plan in 2011:
- Like any other PR, Marketing or Advertising campaign, your social media should have a point to it.
- You need to know what you want to say, and who you want to say it to. Investors, press, brokers, clients, underwriters, C-suite executives, risk managers… there is a long list of people out there who you might want to reach.
- You need to find out where they are, and if they are on social media, what is the best way to get to them IN TANDEM with your other activity.
- An afternoon working out a strategy will reap amazing results – and if you can’t do it yourself, get in the experts to help out even if it is an ad-hoc basis.
- Have a timeline for increasing your followers (who have to be relevant) and readership.
- Have a timeline that takes into consideration the key events of the year – hurricane season, European windstorms, renewals, the main conferences… and work out your activity to coincide with it.
In short, plan your posts, your content and help develop your readership. That way, no matter how gung-ho or gently you move into social media, you will have relevant and decent content, and a plan that will take you 12 months into the future.
The challenges faced in being an online success
As many of you who have been trying to crack social media know, this is no easy feat. From IT departments that will not allow access to the platforms, to executives whose only experience of social media is through their kids, to internal politics on who will have control of the new medium, there are many, many hurdles to get over to allow you to just open a corporate twitter account, let alone a Facebook page or a potentially time-intensive blog.
Good luck and may 2011 be good to you – and happy planning!