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 producers.
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 it.
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.
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 business.
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 business.
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 business.