Post by Karen Monks
For the first time at ACORD LOMA one of the sessions was a discussion, a workshop on a topic that required the audience to participate. The session, “Social Media in Business: Friend, Foe, or Who Cares” was moderated by Mike Fitzgerald of Celent and in the end was well attended and well received.
When I first walked into the room, I noticed the room set up was different than most sessions. So did the others who followed. Instead of rows of chairs and tables, the tables were a U. There were only 30 chairs so the audience was limited to ensure the discussion flowed. Most people came in, sat down and made him or herself comfortable, but it was evident that a few did not expect the layout. A few people stepped into the room, looked for a seat, and opted to leave when they saw the layout and format of the session. This was different than other sessions.
And yes, it was different. The session began with introductions of each attendee. Slides were limited. Questions were asked of the moderator at first, but it quickly turned to the attendees asking the other attendees how things were being done where they worked. It was exactly how a Social Media discussion should be!
Mike presented a few slides on the different levels of social media involvement. Most insurers are still at the infantile stages of social media, meaning that the insurer is in the marketing or media stage of social media. They are promoting brand, using mascots, and getting their presence known in the space. However, a few in insurers in the room had moved into the next two stages in Social Media use, meaning they were further along in their use Social Media. Some insurers had developed networks both internally and externally using social media. This is often done through agents or agencies with customers or even within the enterprise itself. Others had gone as far as setting up methods for listening to Social Media chatter to understand and react to customer postings and feedback. The level of use of social tools for both internal and external engagement was a surprise.
Use of social for customer service was also covered. Results from the Celent report Realizing the ROI of Social Media in Insurance: Listen to the Mirror were reviewed. This research scanned over 350,000 posts that consumers left about their insurance companies – what topics were posted, what sentiments were expressed, etc. Real-life examples were offered by two of the participants in the room who exchanged their personal experiences using Twitter to engage with insurers about complaints. In both each case, the negative Tweet was answered, however, it was noted that neither person posted a subsequent positive, follow up Tweet! Overall, the consensus of the group was that is medium is an effective and rapid way to get attention.
The final topic dealt with using social data for core insurance processes such as claims and underwriting. Multiple participants reported that their Claims areas were accessing social sites as part of their investigations process. The group agreed that there is potential for use (and misuse) of social information in Underwriting, but that this area is still very much emerging.
Based on this experience at LOMA/ACORD, I encourage you to look for the discussion group sessions at next year’s event. It was a valuable source of information and enjoyable, too.