Social Media and Insurance Digitalisation

Patrick Nobbs

Just as social media gives power and voice to the consumer, so too digitalisation has moved the insurance industry from among the least responsive to consumers’ needs to among the most.

There’s no question about it; COVID-19 has accelerated online shopping, and convenience is a crucial aspect of it. However, let’s take a few steps back, to before COVID, DoorDash, Zoom, and the new consumer habits we’re all living with. All the signs were already there, way before the race for insurance digitalisation. It all began around the emergence of social media in 2003-2004, when businesses quickly realised its potential and started using it for marketing and business purposes.

Since then, traditional media has been pushed aside by social media to the point where today 90% of businesses use social media as their core marketing and customer engagement channels.

Insurance Digitalisation as Part of Social Media

Social media is often defined as a collective term for websites and applications that focus on communication, community-based input, interaction, content-sharing, and collaboration[1]. Digitalisation creates a customer engagement platform that focuses on products and services. The goal, just as in social media, is to engage with customers, and to share with them relevant information on a personal level. To establish, develop and maintain customer relations.

The Lost Hierarchy

Contrary to traditional media where communication is a ‘one-way street’, in our case from the insurance company to the market or consumers, social media has leveled out this hierarchy and opened the lines of communication in both directions. Consumers can now get in touch with companies and retailers publicly for all to see, good or bad. Social media provides customers with greater access to service providers, insurance companies, retailers, and any entity with an online presence. Accessibility is no longer a one-on-one phone call, but a public form of communication where a customer’s review or complaint can make or break reputations.

The Social Needs Behind Social Media

Understanding, relatability, comfort, and a sense of belonging are just some of the needs people look to fill with social media. The more people communicate on their screens rather than face-to-face, the more time they spend alone, and the greater their need for social interaction and to be part of a community again. It is precisely for this reason that social media communities flourish.

Social media communities have often come to replace the local community in our neighborhoods, schools, and towns. They unite people from across the world under shared values, experiences, opinions, beliefs, and needs.

The Fundamentals

It seems social media and insurance digitalisation have common goals: to establish, develop and maintain a relationship with users and to make them feel they are understood, supported, and engaged. For insurers, this has meant a change in that relationship. The experience the customer expects has fundamentally evolved. Customer expectation on access to instant digital products, decisioning and pricing has shifted the landscape, ensuring a far more dynamic, responsive digital environment that has enabled insurers faster, more accurate product delivery, and their customers a more competitive, simpler experience.

Merging the value users get from their social media communities into the insurance digital transformation will deliver a holistic experience for all stakeholders. Let’s ask: does our digital insurance platform also serve our customer’s needs?

Understanding by Glocalising

Glocalisation is when a brand presents personalised content based on the customer’s location, neighborhood, or local culture. By glocalising, a global insurance company can complement personalised content with referrals to the local branch, representative or other neighborhood establishment that has the appropriate insurance coverage for the customer. The result of a good glocal strategy is that customers feel their insurance provider understands them, knows their neighborhood, and is there for them.

A Sense of Belonging

More and more, online insurance and social media communities are gaining momentum. This is where people obtain a broader perspective on issues, benefit from others’ experiences and feel a part of a greater collective, which provides a sense of strength and belonging, especially with cumbersome and complicated issues such as insurance.

Does your digital insurance platform provide that sense of belonging? Does it motivate customers via wellness platforms? Does it include gamification to raise engagement? Does it refer the customer to relevant local resources?

Common Experiences

Beyond personalised content based on AI and machine learning, can we relate to our customers’ experiences through digital transformation?  Can we share case studies of similar experiences, or insights from them? Sharing experiences is not the same as posting case studies on a website. It entails a sense of empathy, of direct engagement.

Sapiens Platforms for a Holistic Approach

Let’s take a step back from the features, AI, applications, platforms, and even the race for digitalisation and think about the fundamentals. Think about what our customers are looking for so we can provide a holistic experience that is engaging and provides a sense of belonging that will ultimately increase customer loyalty and trust.

Let’s remember that technology is not a goal, but a means to support our customers’ needs as well as their post-COVID accelerated online shopping habits.

To check out how Sapiens’ solutions can support your digitalization click here.

[1] TechTarget: Social Media

  • digital
  • Social media
Patrick Nobbs

Patrick Nobbs Patrick Nobbs is regional marketing director for EMEA and APAC at insurance software provider Sapiens and had has several years experience in the financial services and technology sector.