Which insurers are the most social media savvy?

By Vanessa De La Rosa

By Vanessa De La Rosa

Ever wonder which insurers are the most social media savvy? Social media benchmarking company Unmetric recently released a report, “Who’s Covered? Insurance Media Showdown,” which ranks insurance industry companies on their social media performance.

The report studied insurance companies from the beginning of September to the end of October last year, detailing their number of followers, depth of activity, and quality of presence on top social networks like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Key factors included timing and frequency of posts, tweets and videos, strategy of interaction, and growth on each social site. The scores were based on a combination of these qualitative and quantitative measures and weighted to a ranking scale from 0 to 100 for each social network. With three social sites being factored, the highest possible score was 300.

Allstate came in first, with a score 166. State Farm was next with 148. Not far behind was GEICO, with 145. Farmers Insurance had an overall score of 130, and MetLife ranked fifth in the report, with a score of 129.

Facebook ranked highest in popularity among those surveyed. The top five scores in the Facebook realm went, in descending order, to: MetLife (with a score of 58), Farmers (56), Liberty Mutual (48), USAA (41) and Allstate (37). Although it didn’t make the top five, Esurance was found to be the most responsive insurer on Facebook, replying to 76.5 percent of posts and queries with an average response time of four hours and ten minutes. State Farm also had an impressive Facebook response time at just less than four hours.

With over 2.3 million fans, Farmers Insurance led the race in number of followers on Facebook. However, their performance on Twitter and YouTube was not comparable. Farmers’ high performance was speculated to be linked with their sponsorship of Facebook’s Farmville, where “likes” can be exchanged for digital goods. In a distant second place for Facebook followers was MetLife, with 554,438 fans.

Insurance company mascots, like Flo from Progressive, Mayhem from Allstate and the Gecko from GEICO, each maintain their own Facebook page. Flo reached almost five million followers during the time the study was conducted, with a 4.9 percent growth. However, the report notes, “she did the worst job of actually engaging fans.” Allstate’s Mayhem earned the highest average engagement, with a score of 219.

Twitter was a close second in the list of most popular social media sites. Farmers had the quickest average Twitter response time — three and a half hours. Unmetric noted that State Farm took about twice as long to reply on Twitter and posted a total of 41 public apologies during the span of the study.

On YouTube, GEICO led the pack with almost 50 million views and over 17,000 subscribers during the two-month period.

“Today, social media is a natural extension of physical communities into the online world,” said Unmetric CEO Lux Naraya. “Insurance agents have always been skilled at building and maintaining long-lasting relationships, so it’s no surprise these companies have taken to social media like a fish to water.”