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By Annette Hubick 



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says Karen Rutherford of Cookson Walker Consulting and IBAA convention seminar presenter of Should Brokers Be Pursuing Clients Through Facebook? “Facebook is littered with corporate pages that nobody visits and nobody ‘likes.’ Then there are the brokers who avoid social media because it’s uncontrollable. But, if you embrace it, and understand it, it can be amazing.� Rutherford contends that one of the key mistakes that brokers make is that they attempt to create their Facebook page themselves. Her advice? “Give it to the youngest person in the office. Set the criteria, like don’t swear, don’t promise what we can’t deliver; then get out of their way.� A successful insurance broker for 23 years prior to becoming a consultant, Rutherford admits that she was pushed onto the whole social media bandwagon. She had started researching the subject with the goal to show how ridiculous and ineffective social media would be for business, “But along the way, I discovered it to be amazingly powerful.� In the interactive session, Rutherford plans to show attendees the useful and the useless. Participants will build a social media advertising campaign and launch it during the session. Brokers will get answers to the following questions: t*TUIFSFBO30*GPSJOTVSBODFCSPLFST who invest in social media? 















































t8IBUJTUIFEFNPHSBQIJDQSPmMFPG social media users? t)PXJNQPSUBOUJTUIFMBOHVBHFZPV use? t"SFCSPLFSTNBLJOHNPOFZPO'BDF book? How do they do it?

“The session will also tell you the way to attract thousands of potential new clients.� t"SFBMMBQQMJDBUJPOTMFHBM t)PXNVDIUJNFXJMMJUUBLFUPCF successful? t*TUIFSFBMJBCJMJUZFYQPTVSFZPVOFFE to assess? t%PZPVOFFEUPVTFPQUJNJ[BUJPO tools? t8IBUJTUIFCFTUIPPLUPIBWFZPVS Facebook campaign work? t$BOCMPHHJOHNBLFZPVQPQVMBSXJUI your clients?

Like all forms of advertising and marketing, brokers first need to be clear on two things. Who is my audience? What do I want them to do? “Understanding the demographic mix in your brokerage is critical before you start your social media campaign,� advises Rutherford. “Who do you have now and who do you want?� She points to Facebook as an example. Everyone knows the biggest user group in Canada is under the age of 36. But there is also a growing number of grandparents becoming Facebook literate so they can stay connected to their grandchildren. “The IBAA convention seminar will look at how messaging these clear groups can result in actual sales. The session will also tell you the way to attract thousands of potential new clients by using certain Facebook techniques that will amaze you with the results and the insignifi-


cant costs,� promises Rutherford. Have the recent world events convinced you that Twitter is capable of more than updates on celebrity’s lives? “Twitter offers something that most brokers have yet to capitalize on,� says Rutherford. “We will look at both Twitter and VLogs as a way to deliver meaningful risk management tips to personal lines and commercial lines clients on a regular basis, but in a way that clients will find helpful, not intrusive.� The world of business is busy building LinkedIn contacts. Once everyone has found a job, then what else can it do for you? Rutherford contends that surveys are under utilized in Canada as a way of discovering what your clients really want from you. Can you use LinkedIn to create the perfect package of value-added services and service standards that would make you stand out in the crowd? Learn how at the IBAA convention. Brokers are familiar with the statistics about how many times they need to interact with their clients, in addition to the invoicing experience; however, few brokers have found the way to do this in an efficient and effective way. Karen Rutherford intends to demonstrate how social media can do just that. Something to tweet about, indeed.

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Social media are media for social interaction, using highly accessible and scalable communication techniques. Social media is the use of web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into interactive dialogue. Andreas Kaplan and Michael Haenlein also define social media as â&#x20AC;&#x153;a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, which allows the creation and exchange of user-

generated content.â&#x20AC;? Businesses also refer to social media as consumer-generated media (CGM). A common thread running through all definitions of social media is a blending of technology and social interaction for the co-creation of value. Source: Wikipedia B

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Karen Rutherford Catch Karen Rutherfordâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s seminar starting at 8:45 a.m. on Tuesday, May 17th.

The Alberta Broker

























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Connecting to Customers through Social Media  

Article from the April/May Issue of Alberta Broker Magazine

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