Social media is no longer #trending. It's the way the next-generation communicates, entertains, informs, and decides what to buy. Leading brands such as Apple, Disney, Nike, Google, Delta, Amazon, and Coca-Cola already respect and benefit from this reality.
Insurance and retirement services? Not so much. Barely half are even registered to participate, according to a recent Celent survey, which isn't a surprise. For starters, insurance is heavily regulated, which prompts undue producer caution at times when engaging clients.
Second, insurance ranks 97th of the 100 least-desirable industries for college grads. In other words, youthful exuberance isn't ushering in the future as much as it does in other disciplines.
Consequently, millennials are underinsured in discretionary protection products, including life insurance, and have lower participation rates in retirement plans compared with previous generations. That's the price to pay for few digital natives among the ranks.
But it doesn't have to be this way, even with insurance's graying workforce. However challenging, old dogs can learn new tricks and by so doing encourage more youth to engage, learn, and participate on both sides of the table.
Consider a wealth advisor from Harris Financial Group. Managing partner Jamie Cox is a social media standout, amassing 15,000 Twitter followers, 1,000 Facebook likes and more than 500 LinkedIn connections, by one account. Cox converts his digital connections into tangible leads by directing targeted messages to them. Obviously, the setting is different—it's certainly not door-to-door—but Cox's approach is similar to the personal touch that has embodied discretionary insurance for decades.
What if other producers could achieve the same lead success, brand awareness, and constant contact online as Cox? How might participating in social media let others showcase their expertise and enhance sales?