There can be little if any doubt
remaining that social media in its various forms is here to stay as
an important communication medium in the life insurance industry.
But what is the attitude of life and annuity producers towards this
new, powerful phenomenon?

To find out professional services
firm Deloitte included attitudes towards social media as a
component of a recent survey of 650 US-based life and annuity

One of the most striking findings
of Deloitte’s survey is the extent to which social media has become
a part of many producers’ everyday life.

Specifically, 77% stated that they
use social media in their personal lives, including 36% who use
social media sites at least once a week.

When it came to using social media
to support their business, 20% of respondents said they already use
it currently while a further 28% said that they plan to adopt

Although the respondents
represented a range of ages, most were in the age groups 55 to 64
(34%) and 45 to 54 (28%). On a gender basis, 88% of respondents
were male and12% female.

Bar chart showing the reasons life and annuity producers use social media


The age of producers appears to
make little difference in their attitudes towards the adoption of
social media. Among respondents to the survey aged between 45 and
54, about 60% said they either use social media in their business
or plan to do so.

This, noted Deloitte, is the same
percentage as for those aged 44 or younger using or planning to use
social media. Deloitte found that even among those aged 55 and
older, about one third use social media in their business or plan
to do so.

Deloitte found that there is
particular interest in using social media in the promotion of

The other areas where producers are
especially interested in using social media to support their
business are to communicate with other producers and with clients
and to generate referrals.

Among producers who use social
media to support their business, Deloitte found that two uses rank
in joint first position and were selected by 42% of producers. One
is to gain experience and knowledge. The other is to promote their

Deloitte found that benefits
derived by producers using social media varied according to the use
to which they put it.

For example, half of the producers who use social media to
communicate with clients said it is extremely or very helpful,
while 47% said the same about using it to promote their