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By now, we all know that a combination of social media channels, including corporate blogs, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube (among others), can be used to great effect by insurance companies when communicating with insurance buyers. Three of the many companies that are “hitting it out of the park” with business-to-consumer (B2C) social media include State Farm, Allstate, and USAA.

Insurance B2B Social Media Success: Know What Matters Most To Agents and Brokers

 Determining which insurance companies are doing a great job utilizing social media marketing directed at their agents/brokers is not so easy to identify. But one of the things we do know is that to make social media work for an agent/broker audience, insurance company marketers must use a variety of channels to communicate the messages that matter most to their producers. According to the most recent (2010) Agent/Insurer Relationship Survey conducted by American Agent & Broker Magazine, agents/brokers care most about the following items pertaining to insurance companies (presented in order from most important to less important):

  1. Underwriting flexibility
  2. Claims handling
  3. Market stability
  4. Ease of doing business (e.g. real time technology)
  5. Commission structure
  6. Breadth of products and services
  7. Contingent commissions
  8. Marketing support

The Right Message Can Build Relationships

If I were an insurance company marketing professional looking to start a B2B blog to build relationships with agents/brokers, I would probably use the above list as my starting point for defining the keywords/categories the blog would address. Clear and consistent messaging on where your insurance company stands on the issues listed above (or what it has to offer agents/brokers pertaining to the listed items) could help your insurance company stand out as a transparent organization that understands agent/broker concerns. This type of content can attract blog readers including not only agents/brokers, but also journalists and potential policyholders. Increased readership increases the potential to build new relationships and bolster existing ones. Most important, it could be the right mix of content to prompt readers to:

  1. TALK about your company, products and services
  2. COMMENT on your blog (which can provide your company with powerful insight from the folks on the front lines)
  3. SHARE your content via their own blogs, Twitter, Facebook, etc.
  4. GROW YOUR FANS and advocates within the agent/broker community 

That, in a nutshell, is B2B relationship-building via social media. It's an active and engaging process that can greatly enhance all insurer-to-agent/broker communication efforts.