ProducersWEB survey results: Are members benefitting from social media? [infographic]
By Vanessa De La Rosa
Social media is a hot topic on ProducersWEB, from opinions and strategies to success stories and eye-opening statistics. Some members believe social media is not a fruitful investment, especially with compliance hurdles, while others believe it is the only way to adapt and stay ahead of the competition. One member posed the question: “I wonder how many ProducersWEB members are on social media — and gaining any clients from it?” Well, after conducting an email survey on the subject, we are now able to shed some light on the answer.
Our survey polled ProducersWEB members about which social media platforms they’re familiar with, which networks they’re using for their businesses, and how many clients they’re acquiring from their efforts. The 123 respondents were composed of agents/advisors (76 percent), marketers (12 percent), broker-dealers (3 percent), coaches/consultants (3 percent), and “other” (5 percent).
As detailed in the infographic on the following page, the four most popular social sites for ProducersWEB members’ personal use are LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. While 85 percent of survey respondents are using LinkedIn — whether for personal or professional use — 9 percent are not on social media at all. They aren’t using insurance forums, bookmarking sites, or any other social network that could fall under the category of “other.”
Half of ProducersWEB members have a Facebook company profile/page. Of that half, 46 percent gained zero clients from their Facebook company pages in the last year, and 41 percent gained 1-10 clients. In fact, there is a similar trend with LinkedIn company pages and professional Twitter accounts. Why is there a lack of client acquisition from these efforts?
A lack of understanding about how to properly use each social network for business could be one culprit behind these client acquisition numbers. Or the answer may lie in how long the profiles have been active, or the absence of analytics that can quantify the use of these social sites. If your company “has a LinkedIn profile,” it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are capitalizing on the tools and exposure LinkedIn has to offer. If you’ve had a Twitter account for the past year and are just now starting to see a steady engagement of followers, it might be another year until you solidify a new client account. If your company Facebook page is doing a great job at building rapport with clients and prospects, you might be acquiring many new clients and referrals without realizing they first learned of your brand from a Facebook search.
This learning curve might be enough cause for a chunk of respondents to have shied away; for them, venturing into social media might be too much of an investment up front, with too much delay on the rate of return. Or it could just be the fact that social media isn't necessarily a prime client acquisition strategy but more of a tool for brand awareness and establishing your expertise. It's important to note, however, the outliers of each category: There were two respondents who claimed to have gained over 1,000 clients from Facebook and Twitter in the last year alone.
You can view the infographic on the next page. Do you think this data is an accurate reflection of the ProducersWEB community, and the overall relationship insurance and financial services professionals have with social media? We'd love to hear your thoughts.