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How Can Insurers Expand Their Social Strategy?

Hearsay Social CTO Steve Garrity says creative insurers can develop strategies for different social networks.

Hearsay Social announced the next version of its social selling software today. Geared toward industries that, like insurance, use a distributed sales force, new capabilities include advanced analytics and alerts, as well as streamlined mobile access.

"We've got a bunch of machine learning technology behind the scenes now," CTO Steve Garrity told Insurance & Technology. "It's a view of everything that's happening for you at the agent level. Importantly, it deals with timing: this person just got married, or just had a baby."

Garrity says that this allows insurance agents to connect with those customers at the inflection point in their lives to suggest better insurance coverage. In addition, the company announced the Hearsay Social Brand Solution, which allows corporate marketers at the enterprise level access to similar social tools for higher-level social campaigns.

"People were adapting our existing tools to do it, so we decided we're going to solve this so they wouldn't have to piece it together," Garrity explained. "It's got massively improved fidelity on publishing, as well as calendaring and campaign planning tools for interaction and workflow."

[Hearsay CEO Clara Shih writes 3 tips for agent social use]

Insurance companies represent a large client base for Hearsay. Carriers including AXA, Sun Life and Nationwide are using one or both of Hearsay's platforms in their enterprise. Garrity says that insurers tend to congregate on a few social networks: Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

"YouTube is a big one. There are a couple things that are specific to insurance, and instructional videos are a good emotional way to communicate data about reliability," Garrity says. "We're also seeing adoption of Google Plus among some insurance companies."

When it comes to other social networks, though, there could be an opportunity for insurance, Garrity says. Instagram is commonly seen among retailers and in the fashion industry now, for example. But that doesn't mean that a creative insurance company or agent couldn't figure out some way to use it to great success.

"It's really all about your personal creativity and how true a story you can tell," Garrity says. "It's far more artistic than informational. If a specific agent has that flair it can be fantastic. If they gain followers on these networks, it's a really powerful position to have."

Nathan Golia is senior editor of Insurance & Technology. He joined the publication in 2010 as associate editor and covers all aspects of the nexus between insurance and information technology, including mobility, distribution, core systems, customer interaction, and risk ... View Full Bio

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