Social media presence and marketing have become part and parcel of promotions for products, services, films as well as social awareness messages. Insurance Banking is probably the biggest service industry in India. With a large number of Indians considering insurance as a means of tax saving, are insurers targeting the young Indian workforce on social media? Are they taking them beyond tax saving to protection and wealth creation opportunities in the long run?
The days when insurance companies relied on agents or walk-ins for sales, marketing and distribution of their insurance policies are long gone. With the advent of the internet in the 90’s and the subsequent evolution of social media, insurers are now exploring methods of helping customers renew their policies by using their social networking accounts and more.
Which insurance providers are using social media in India?
For those who thought that only private companies are aggressively using social media space, it might be surprising to know that India’s largest insurance provider, the government-owned Life Insurance Corporation of India is on Orkut, Facebook and Twitter via its ‘LIC India Forever’ handle. It uses social media to disseminate information about products and policy updates. It also has a dedicated YouTube channel for promotional activities and contains information on new products.
Apart from initiatives about customer zones, or how one can become an LIC agent, LIC also introduces fun dedicated Facebook apps like the LIC Holi Hai app to let the world know how you celebrated Holi this year, colour your profile picture with vivid colours and share it with your friends.
The Company has capitalized on the speed and efficiency of the web and social media to create online platforms which are very user-friendly and have quick response times. Their online platforms are capable of transactions and issue of digitally signed policies instantly, for most retail products.
TATA AIG GENERAL INSURANCE
Tata AIG General Insurance, In keeping with the core values of the Tata Group, Tata AIG has worked to build customer relationships and offer customer service by establishing its presence on social networking sites. Apart from using social media for marketing and branding they also use it to respond to customer issues. Their marketing plans include using Facebook and Twitter to manage feedback. Tata AIG’s vision for the future can be understood as being that “in times to come customers will interact with social media to manage all the processes that are currently managed by their branches.” Need they say more?
Dedicated Facebook apps, simple and engaging contests like “There 4 You” and status updates that shed light on making life healthier and encouraging people to drive safely, are a big part of the company’s social media initiatives.
Research on social media at Aviva has indicated that 95 per cent of their target group was on social media platforms and 74 per cent were happy to engage with brands and services. No surprise then that Aviva India is well entrenched on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The company has a customer and a product centre on Facebook, that leads to their website, to finalise sales for online products. Plans are afoot to further strengthen social media endeavours on LinkedIn and YouTube.
Aviva’s “Want to meet Sachin?” on Facebook together with the recent Aviva Monsoon Moments contest implemented through a dedicated app, is just one example of the company’s many social media initiatives.
ICICI Prudential Life Insurance:
Making innovative use of social media through a blend of videos, TVC’s and social media campaigns, ICICI is working to build a strong social brand. A Twitter campaign powered by the hashtag ‘#AchcheBande‘ trended in February this year. A contest aimed at increasing awareness about their Child Plans was implemented through an interactive app created for the contest on the Youtube page.
Kotak Life Insurance:
Another example of how insurers are using social media to engage with customers and prospects is Kotak Life Insurance. Their Facebook page has updates with tidbits of information called “Fayde ki baat” (which incidentally is their tag line) wherein they share tips on health, work, traffic, etc. They have also developed and used dedicated apps, one among which helps customers to buy life insurance worth rupees one crore online.
L&T GENERAL INSURANCE
Garnering attention for its campaign for insurance for domestic workers is the latest social media endeavour by L&T. This Fathers Day they had the Likh Ke Do Campaign where participants could win a Blackberry for dad hosted on a dedicated Facebook app. Tips to get your car ready for the monsoons is another example of their social media initiatives.
Promoting travel insurance, getting an instant quote on motor insurance, how to drive in the heavy rains are all examples of social media initiatives by HDFC Ergo. Though they haven’t exploited the power of dedicated apps for contests, they are doing a great job on Facebook.
Max Bupa Health Insurance:
Max Bupa is present on both Facebook and Twitter. The brand welcomes feedback, even if negative, from customers on these social media sites.
How are these companies using social media?
- Insurance providers today have taken social media marketing beyond the realm of product offers. They are working towards helping customers carry out otherwise cumbersome tasks like policy renewals through social networking accounts.
- To begin with, the presence of insurance companies on Facebook and Twitter was restricted only to branding activities. However most players today, are using these networks for marketing new products and instant responses to customer queries.
- Initiatives to make people healthier and engaging with customers online are being implemented.
- Customer feedback is sought and collected on social media without shying away from negative feedback.
- LinkedIn and YouTube are also important social media platforms for insurance providers.
What does the future hold?
In the near future, policy-related data and reminders on renewals through Facebook messages are some endeavors insurers in India are actively working towards. Increased customer interaction on social media might even obliterate the need for customers to visit branch offices in the future. Things certainly seem to be looking up for insurers on the social media horizon in India.