The buzz of social media is known across the globe. People, many of which happen to be insurance buyers, leverage the power of social platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter, and more to stay informed and connected with the world.
Considering this earth-wide acceptance and the ever-increasing use of social media, even the traditional sectors like the Insurance industry have started to explore the possibilities of using social media analytics. Many leading insurance companies including Metlife, Aegon, and Liberty Mutual are tapping the potential of social media and using analytics to derive business intelligence and actionable insights.
Today, we have drafted this mini-guide that covers the basics of social media analytics and how it is impacting the insurance industry. Let’s get started.
What is Social Media Analytics?
Social media analytics is a much sought-after process of curating and analyzing data from various social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and so on. Smart digital marketers use this to track data such as online interaction and conversations around a specific product or service.
- It impacts business growthand allows people to measure the performance of marketing campaigns.
- Make better business decisions that improve sales profitability.
- It helps to formulate a strong marketing strategy.
- Understand the needs and preferences of customers aimed to amp up customer satisfaction.
- It helps to capture the attention of people and improve awareness of your brand.
Social Media Analytics Examples
The first and foremost question that arises in our mind is, how to use social media analytics?
Social media analytics can be leveraged in numerous ways. In Microsoft’s presentation deck that accompanied their announcement of acquiring LinkedIn, they explained how they would use the data gathered from social media to grow their business through this professional-centric social channel.
It included building connections with the professional world, delivering productive brand experiences, and using Social Selling to transform the sales cycles and build better business relationships.
The Current Dynamics of Social Media Analytics
As discussed, social media analytics is an innovative solution to gather social media data and use it to derive useful business-building insights. It is a valuable practice depending on whom to ask and what to ask. Microsoft is playing the game well in terms of the business value of social media analysis with its $26.2 billion acquisition of LinkedIn. It uses LinkedIn’s social graph of more than 433 million users. So, why shouldn’t you bet for the same?
Social media data is indeed a little complicated due to the involvement of various elements at play. Text, jargon, links, comments, slangs, images and GIFS, hashtags, and many more players are there that constitute the social media data. all this together can make it look cluttered, unstructured, and challenging to handle. However, the best analytics tools bring different bits together and let users gather information that can help them make smarter decisions.
Why Should Companies Use Social Media Analytics?
- Social media analytics enables companies to learn about their target audience. To plan your campaign, it’s always wise to know about your target segment and their behavior. For instance, an American gaming & media streaming website is unlocking the power of social media analytics – they are using the data to assess and define the segments of its audience. This is helping them develop the understanding of their audience’s video game preference and frame plan strategic ad campaigns.
- Analytics to nurture engagement and improve user responsiveness: As the company or businesses get valuable insights into customer preferences, needs, and what they like to see. It helps in increasing engagement and responsiveness provided that the company gives information about its products and services.
Apart from this, brand awareness has also played a major role to play. Any company can amplify its message and improve their brand image by using social media analytics. They can track the user comments, success of hashtags, and more to refine their marketing strategies and achieve better results.
- To learn and outmatch the market competition: Continuous monitoring of unstructured social media data empowers a company to understand their competitor’s strategy and build better plans to boost profitability.
Moreover, they also get to know about the activities that they need to avoid. Companies can analyze social conversations around various services that their competitors have to offer. They can also get access to their key customers, how the customers described the service, and the credibility they have in the market.
All that being explained, now it’s safe to explain how and why social media analytics and modern business intelligence tools have a major part to play in the insurance arena.
Social Media Analytics and Its Correlation with the Insurance Industry
Social media is a great channel that contains information about the current, and potential customers and insurers can harvest this critical information to make significant product developments. Let’s look at the common ways insurers can leverage social media to gain a competitive edge over others:
Insurers can mine crucial customer data and utilize predictive analytics to gain valuable insights. It would ultimately help their customers to reach better underwriting decisions.
Looking at the customer inclination and preferences from the data gathered through social channels, insurers can formulate service policies that suffice customers.
Insurers can utilize social channels to detect fraudulent claims and provide claim-related information to their customers, primarily in times of natural disasters.
Social channels could be the best way to gauge and identify the emerging needs of customers via interactive discussion forums and social posts. They can improve products and services.
Apart from the above common benefits, insurance businesses can prospect for and attract the right talent to grow the business through social sites such as LinkedIn.
No one can deny the necessity of engaging with social media for analytics, to form opinions, draw conclusions, and reach better decisions. However, the conservative nature of the insurance industry has been a significant factor in the delayed adoption of social media.
The Beautiful Blending of Social and Insurance World
Social networking sites have been popular and are considered as a significant source of information, and as a result, social media adoption seems to rise continually. The insurance industry was not prepared for the sudden and rapid gush of social media. Insurers could not leverage the widespread advantages of social media. After a few years, they realized the immense potential that lay behind the mere online interaction and took initiatives to reap the myriad of benefits.
Today, insurers can mine a vast amount of data to accurately assess and address customer needs by deploying the right technology and social media analytics tool. When it comes to social media analytics, we can see that there is a lot to come in the future. According to a report, nearly 70% of insurers are already using social media, and the majority of them are formulating plans to develop a social media strategy.
Insurers are Using Social Media Analytics to Form Strategies
Social media analytics lays the foundation to form strategies where the insurance enterprise streamlines the process of analyzing the data through social media. Moreover, the rapid adoption of social media analytics has opened up a great opportunity in insurance outsourcing services.
The insurance companies began teaming up with BPO partners to:
- Find unique ways to monitor their brand image and online reputation to increase their social media index.
- Leverage the channel for actively participating in social conversations.
- Offer a collaborative platform or an interactive customer service interface so that they can monetize it effectively.
Today social media has got the upper hand over other marketing channels where insurers have started to leverage social media to re-shape the insurance sector. However, it not only provides ample opportunities but also gives you an insight into possible challenges and risks associated with the insurance industry.
The learn-analyze-define process has formed the basis for a successful social media strategy. Here the company’s existing process is reviewed; possible gaps are identified to define a new framework and delivery model in the industry.
What are the Sources of Social Media Analytics Data?
The insurance company is paying attention to the strategizing process in social media. But, it is essential to have proper knowledge of the authentic sources from where you can get the insights. The primary data sources are:
- Google+ and Google My Business
- Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics
After you are done with identifying the key sources, it is crucial to understand the major parameters of measuring the impact of social media. What are the common parameters to analyze social media performance in the industry? So, here are some of the common data points that the insurer needs to focus on while reporting and analysis:
- The number of Post Likes and Page Likes
- New Follower Count
- Tweets and Retweets
- New Connections
- Post Impressions
- Referral Traffic
- Page Visits
How Can Insurers Record the Data for Analysis?
When it comes to gathering the data, the insurer can rely on analytics tools. But, when it comes to recording and organizing the data for further analysis, the insurer can create an excel report template. It would be easier to maintain and update it with new data every time.
Moreover, the insurer can also automate the recording activities to fasten the process of analysis further. It will save them from the hassle of updating the template manually.
Let’s look at the process of social media strategizing for the insurance industry:
- Social Listening
As per a report from Glean.info, insurance companies can largely benefit from social listening.
The process of strategizing social media activities starts with social media listening, where insurers tend to monitor social media. It hints towards the signals that many businesses tend to ignore, which results in numerous PR issues harming the brand image.
However, when the insurance industry works on social listening, then they look for a portfolio of issues via social media. It is basically to identify the needs of customers and the business. What do we get out of social listening?
- Brand mentions that portray the insurance business in a positive or negative light
- Number of loyal customers
- Any issues that customers are facing while using the services
- You get an opportunity to understand your competitors as to what tactics they are using, which helps you form a counter-strategy to gain a competitive edge.
– Business Analysis
Business analysis is another step in the process of social media analysis that provides great insight into the following:
- The trends in consumer conduct
- Customer preferences
- Customer concerns and issues
- Consumer sentiments
- Buzz around the product and policies
- Peer influences
As the insurers tend to invest their time and resources in getting such insights, it not only improves interaction with their customers but helps in proper retargeting of customers. All this ultimately helps to improve the company’s revenue.
However, it is crucial for insurance businesses to understand where they would begin and how they will use the data. The data can be used in many places, but for the proper utilization, a focused approach is required for KPIs.
Here are some sample KPIs that an insurer must keep in focus:
- Social Media Influencing and Recommendations
As we all know that influencers and customer recommendations have a major role to play in social media that it has become an industry in itself that influences the buying decision of customers. You would be surprised to know that around 17% of companies tend to spend over half their marketing budget on influencers. It paves the way for a great opportunity ahead for the insurance sector.
Insurers can work on categorizing their customers on the basis of social media influencers. Every social media channel has different kinds of social media influencers, but it’s better if you could find one with vlogs and who has a large customer fan base. This way you could get better comments and huge brand mentions due to their popularity in a specific domain.
Social media influencers really have the potential to influence the buying decision of customers. But, how would you define the parameter of a good influencer and a bad influencer? Here are some performance indicators that you must consider:
- Number of shares of the influencer’s message
- Number of brand mentions by influencer
- Number of relevant brand mentions
- Level of awareness about the insurance product or service after the influencer uploads his video or blog or after he chats with the customers.
- Engagement came through the influencer
- When we talk about the number of shares, then it relates to the intensity and rate at which the message is being shared. Social media is the best way to amplify the message. It could be further categorized into the number of shares per post.
- Customer Profiling
Another critical aspect of social media analytics is customer profiling, which is a little tricky on the part of insurers. The reason behind this difficulty is that the agents form a layer between the customer and the business. But why is customer profiling essential? It helps in deciding the premium rates as you get to know the trends and changes in customer preferences depending upon the services and premium rates.
When you create an open social platform for all stakeholders to interact in one place, then it somehow improves the direct customer reach. However, we cannot rely on a single factor, but there could be numerous variables at play that help in the analysis of social media.
Hotspot or customer profiling is an organized way of categorizing customers and segregating the social data. It classifies crucial relationships, interactions, dependencies, and associations among numerous factors. The manual analysis may take a little time and effort on the part of your customer support team.
You can take the help of artificial intelligence techniques and other social media analytic tools to retarget your campaign. It saves you time and keeps productivity high.
The insurance company can use the data to target customers with customized products and services and find the most responsive class of consumers. It will help to formulate a better marketing strategy.
What are the benefits of customer profiling?
Hotspot or customer profiling has a plethora of benefits to offer:
- It improves brand mentions and image because the company targets the correct segment of customers who would bring business.
- As the company knows the correct marketing segment to target, it reduces the efforts of the marketing team and sales overheads.
- Customer profiling helps to increase visibility and reach in different segments of customers depending on their preferences and what they want to see.
- Since there is proper targeting of customers, it improves the relationship that lays the foundation for long-term association where the policy renewals could increase.
- Correct targeting of customers paves the way for increased conversions.
Social media analytics has been quite popular for a few years, though it was new in the insurance industry. But, the ability to gather, record, decode, and act on the data is picking pace. External signals have the potential to influence the decision-making process, and as a result, many insurance companies are bound to rely on the data.
It seems that the skill to speak data is going to overpower every other way of strategizing, especially in businesses like insurance. We have discussed social media analytics, its uses, benefits, and the process of strategizing with the help of data.
Apart from this, automation has also been in focus, where the companies are looking forward to some great automation tools from where they can gather data. If you are also looking forward to automating your social media analytics, Mentionlytics is a robust and user-friendly analytics tool you can try. Here you can get crucial insights into brand mentions, finding the right influencers and sales leads, and competitors that grow your brand reputation.
We hope this blog proved to be useful. For more such updates, stay tuned with us!