Leveraging Social Networks: An In-Depth View for Insurers

by Catherine Stagg-Macey,  Craig Beattie, April 14, 2010
Industry Trends
Global, Asia-Pacific, EMEA, Latin America, North America

Abstract

Social networks and social media are changing the way customers interact with companies across the globe. For some organizations, social networks are central to their marketing efforts, but are they here to stay?

In a new report, Leveraging Social Networks, Celent reviews the current usage of social networks by insurers and looks at the broader social networking trends that will drive innovation in insurance in the future. Many insurers are already testing the waters in the world of social networks, and best practices are only beginning to emerge. Adoption is much higher for insurers in the United States when compared to the UK, where interaction is rare and adoption is just starting.

“News in March 2010 reported that Facebook was the most visited website in the US, having more visits than Google for the first time,” says Catherine Stagg-Macey, Senior Analyst with Celent’s Insurance Group and coauthor of the report. “This announcement heralds the arrival of social networks.”

“There are lessons to be learned from the UK and financial services aggregators, where there are examples of insurance-related brands having far greater success with social media,” says Craig Beattie, Analyst with Celent’s Insurance Group and coauthor of the report.

This report aims to provide an overview of social networks and their use by businesses, and reviews current trends, influences, and the future of social networks. The report looks at the opportunities and risks surrounding the usage of social networks for both customers and insurers. In the final chapter, the report provides a set of guidelines on how insurers should use social networks and social media.

Celent is a research and advisory firm dedicated to helping financial institutions formulate comprehensive business and technology strategies. Celent publishes reports identifying trends and best practices in financial services technology and conducts consulting engagements for financial institutions looking to use technology to enhance existing business processes or launch new business strategies. With a team of internationally based analysts, Celent is uniquely positioned to offer strategic advice and market insights on a global basis. Celent is a member of the Oliver Wyman Group, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC].

Media Contacts

North America
Michele Pace
mpace@celent.com
Tel: +1 212 345 1366

Europe (London)
Chris Williams
cwilliams@celent.com
Tel: +44 (0)782 448 3336

Asia (Tokyo)
Yumi Nagaoka
ynagaoka@celent.com
Tel.: +81 3 3500 3023

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

3

Introduction

5

The Social Networking Buzz

7

 

What Is Social Networking?

7

 

Social Networks as a New Channel

7

A Fragmented Channel

10

 

Dominant Social Networks Differ by Country

11

 

Social Networks as Multiple Distinct Channels

11

Benefits and Risks of Social Networking

13

 

Why Are Organizations Interested in Social Networking?

13

 

Unintended Consequences

14

 

Organizational Risk

15

Insurers and Social Networking

17

 

Insurers in the United States: A Consistent Multinetwork Approach

17

 

Lessons from the United Kingdom

19

 

iPhone Apps

21

Insurer Social Networks

22

 

Financial Services Aggregators as Social Networks

22

 

Social Networking Trends

24

Social Networkers in the Future

25

 

Social Networks Start Seeking Revenue

27

Embracing the Digital Change

29

 

How to Adopt

29

 

Technology Solutions

31

Leveraging Celent’s Expertise

34

 

Support for Financial Institutions

34

 

Support for Vendors

34

Related Celent Research

35

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