What happens when an avenue as vibrant as social media meets a sector as dry as Insurance? You either expect fireworks or utter disappointment.
Well, as much as I was expecting wild fireworks, deep down I knew what was coming: utter disappointment. As I was studying and reviewing the brands in this sector, it was difficult for me to see how they were being handled on social media.
Stay with me while I take you through my analysis (October 1st – 31st) of the Insurance sector comprising of the following 10 brands:
- Aviva India
- Apollo Munich
- ICICI Lombard
- Reliance Life Insurance
- Bajaj Allianz
- SBI Life
- HDFC Life
- L&T General Insurance
- Max Life
Some of these brands are life insurance providers, while some provide health and vehicle insurance. These brands represent the breadth of the Insurance industry as comprehensively as possible.
I am a little disheartened to see Insurance brands not doing much in terms of building their communities. Only three brands – LIC (1.7 million fans), HDFC Life (~1.6 million fans) and SBI (9,00,000 fans) – have actually taken the effort to grow their community on Facebook.
The rest are still lumbering along slowly with their community building efforts, and we can grant them the benefit of the doubt and think that they are trying to find their feet. SBI’s Facebook Page (branded as Celebrate Life) recorded the fastest growth in this period as it went on to add 62,221 people at the rate of 7.5%.
As you can see in the graph, they seem to have become very aggressive with Fan acquisition from October 7th onwards.
However, when I delved deeper within my Unmetric dashboard, I came across a shocking fact. SBI’s community on Facebook has more than 70% users below the age of 21! Why would you build a community of college goers when your service targets employed professionals?
While Aviva India is losing people from its community at an alarming rate, Apollo Munich witnessed a see-saw situation.
On Twitter, HDFC Life is miles ahead of everyone else. The HDFC Life account skyrocketed at a rate of 65% and added more than 30,000 followers.
The rest of the Insurance brands don’t seem to focus on community building on Twitter. The closest competitor is Max Life which is 1/15th the size of HDFC’s community.
It does come as a surprise to me that LIC and SBI, who have a decent sized community on Facebook, are not doing much on Twitter. But judging by how Twitter is becoming a hotbed for customer support, it’s only a matter of time before they start getting active.
Nature of Content
On Facebook, the content is similar everywhere. In fact, it’s so similar that if you remove brand names, it’s difficult to differ between one brand’s communication from another.
The brands are focusing on educating their users about key insurance terms and the importance of insurance as a whole.
Those providing life and health insurance are talking about safety and health tips while a brand like Bajaj Allianz is focusing more on driving safely since its premier service is that of car insurance.
While it focuses far too much on car safety, it would be beneficial to the brand if it can tie its communication to insurance as well. It needs to close the loop somewhere. And I would suggest, that they tone down the aggressiveness in promoting the #MyDriveMyStory campaign and focus more on their core communication.
And then there are the usual updates celebrating festivals, which is something that all brands across all sectors seem to be doing.
But a serious letdown is the overtly self-promotional nature of their updates. It is something that brands used to do a year ago, but these brands have not moved past it. Max Life is the most self-promotional out of all the others, even though such updates score very less on engagement.
As for creatives, only Aviva and HDFC are good at it and I love how Aviva is targeting fathers with their Daddy FAQs.
Among all the brands, I would strongly suggest that LIC and SBI work on improving their content. There is no clear strategy in place at all, but that is expected from a Government run enterprise.
In fact, 4 out of the 8 updates that SBI published on its Facebook page were about celebrating festivals. This is from a brand which is going all out to build a strong base on Facebook. I guess they weren’t aware about the importance of creating good content when running a fan acquisition campaign.
On Twitter, the communication is more or less same as that seen on Facebook. They don’t seem to realize the difference between these two platforms and have not chalked out a clear strategy for Twitter.Twitter as a platform is more vibrant and viral in nature, and mundane content will not work here.
They also need to make more proactive tweets and try to engage with the users because right now, most of it is dedicated to customer support.
I couldn’t come across any personality to any brand at all. All of them seem to be talking in a robotic fashion that is miles away from their offline communication.
If SBI wants to “celebrate life”, I would want to see the same reflect in its tone too.
I can understand that customer service can be little tedious, but the usual proactive content definitely needs a soul. It needs to be consistent with the brand’s positioning and have a tone that sounds human.
Amount of Content Created
Lazy is the word that comes to my mind when I look at the amount of content created by them. It is as if they think people will purchase their product just because they are present on social media.
Only ICICI Lombard and HDFC Life are making any kind of effort to create good content for Facebook.
On Twitter, most of the content created is related to customer service and hardly any brand posts more than 100 proactive tweets in a month, which in my opinion will not add much value to the brand.
Most of the updates are created between 12 Noon to 6 PM, clearly indicating the office hours. But what has been observed is that engagement scores tend to shoot up when content is shared either between 9 AM to 12 Noon, or 6 PM to 9 PM – perhaps because there is less noise for people to be distracted by or because people are commuting at this time and are more receptive to brand content.
I would suggest getting people to work in different shifts during these hours can help these brands.
Also, on Facebook, we can see from the graph below that Fridays and Saturdays tend to see good engagement for the Insurance sector, but there are fewer posts as compared to other days of the week.
Hashtag contests from these brands aren’t drawing much attention either. And the ones that drew good engagement were generic in nature with no mention of the brand.
Almost all the brands dabbled with generic hashtags that any other brand can hijack upon. Only HDFC Life’s #hdfclifefunda was the standout.
Feedback to Improve Content Strategy:
Let’s face it, Insurance is a boring niche and as a commodity, it is not something that people need every day. So as an insurance brand, you need to make sure that your content is interesting and is something that people consume daily.
If you are sharing Health tips and educating people about investing in insurance, try to make it interesting and soulful. Be less robotic and try to create a connection.
Carry out more themed activities and invest in creating video content–lots and lots of video content.
Well, you can’t expect much engagement in a sector that is undergoing a process of maturity. SBI and Reliance Life seem to engaging the most on Facebook as compared to the others even though these two create the least amount of content – with a big focus on festival wishes which always drives engagement.
Although we can’t say for certain, I won’t be surprised if they are using ads to generate the engagement for their posts. Unfortunately, Facebook doesn’t give us access to this kind of data so we can only guess.
On Twitter, the brands are getting a lot of mentions from users, which is understandable since customer service is such an integral part of their work.
Aviva India gets the maximum number of mentions (over 2,500) in a month, followed by Bajaj Allianz and ICICI Lombard (over 900). The fact that they are unable to address most of them is a different matter altogether.
On a per tweet basis, Aviva India engages the most. On average, its tweets receive 10 RTs, 9 replies and 2 favorites. No other insurance brand is able to pull off better engagement than Aviva on Twitter.
The apps on Facebook aren’t helping these brands much either as they don’t see any participation.
Bajaj Allianz, however, has managed to engage close to 3,000 users (which is just 3% of their userbase) but even that is through a total of 25 apps!
Feedback on Customer Engagement:
Brands need to create content that are more conversational in nature. Presently, the content is primarily around sharing knowledge and information. The brands aren’t giving the audience a way to interact with them.
Asking questions and asking for opinions is an easy way keep the community engaged with you.
On Facebook, Aviva India is doing a stellar job at addressing 75% of fan posts (most of which are complaints/queries) within the first 1,000 minutes. Even Bajaj Allianz is doing a fairly good job at addressing 60% of complaints at a rapid rate.
I wish LIC, ICICI, and Max Life had kept their wall open for posts from their community members as the complaints are now flooding the comments section of their updates.
On Twitter, ICICI and Bajaj Allianz are the fastest with an average response time of just 3 hours. But I was a little disheartened to see Aviva taking almost 70 hours on an average to respond to complaints. The fact that it gets ~2500 mentions might be something that overwhelms their customer team or perhaps the agency is waiting on approval for all replies.
However, L&T General Insurance and LIC don’t respond to any customer query that comes their way. The next in this line of culprits is Reliance Life Insurance which has an average response time of 115 hours; they always seem to be responding a week later!
Aviva and HDFC seem to be facing quite a bit of negativity on Facebook while Bajaj Allianz enjoys a lot of positivity followed by Reliance Life Insurance.
On Twitter, howoever, Aviva and HDFC garner most of the positive sentiments. Almost 60% of sentiments towards Aviva and HDFC are positive in nature.
On the other hand, Apollo and ICICI get more than 20% negative sentiments.
Of all the sectors that we have reviewed till now, the Insurance sector comes across as one that was way too late to adopt social media. With small communities and outdated ideas, I don’t think I would be be too far from the truth when I say that they are still testing waters on social media.
The brands need to realize the true potential of social media and come up with a strategy that is aligned to their overall business goal. Merely being present on social media and creating content in a half-hearted manner will not generate any business for them.
Analytics support courtesy: Unmetric