Social media continues to be a topic of conversation among insurance executives even though studies have indicated the insurance industry has been slow to accept and adopt the technologies. Moreover, results from a June survey show that even among insurance producers who have adopted social media a majority does not believe it is helping them to generate leads.
With this in mind, Vijay Pullur, CEO and founder of SocialTwist, provided INN five tips to help insurers and producers use social media for promotions and marketing.

1. Open the dialogue. Successful social media campaigns involve identifying core constituents and engaging them. Insurers can leverage social networks such as Facebook and Twitter to connect with, rather than communicate at, users. Making customer interactions feel more personal can significantly enhance loyalty and boost retention rates.

2. Build communities, not databases. It's not about collecting information about customers, but creating communities of influencers and brand ambassadors who can help to spread brand messaging to their online friends and followers.

3. Use social media to gain customer insight. Social media tools enable insurers to tap into customer sentiment like never before, revealing important customer concerns related to the industry, competition or the company itself. This can ultimately help insurers improve service quality or spot market opportunities.

4. Promote testimonies. Peer influence is ten times greater than advertising. Don't be afraid to promote word-of-mouth from happy insurance customers.

5. Spread knowledge to decrease risk. People tend to ignore the fine print these days. Social media enables them to gather information in digestible "bytes", creating more informed consumers. Insurers can use social media to disseminate important knowledge like updates, policy changes and alerts faster and without having to reissue and reprint brochures and pamphlets.