When was the last time you put the world to rights in a snappy Twitter post, shared a selfie on Instagram or told your friends what you had for breakfast on Facebook?
Love or loathe it, social media is a big part of the world we live in – and it’s also a major business influencer too. Yet in that area at least, it seems brokers haven’t yet got the message.
A new study carried out by FWD Research on behalf of Ecclesiastical Insurance has discovered that two-thirds of brokers are not using social media for business purposes – while 49% use social media platforms including LinkedIn (40%), Twitter (24%) and Facebook (30%) to connect with customers only a third reach out via social channels. This is despite the fact that those surveyed admitted that social media can help attract new business and strengthen relationships.
So, what’s prompting the reluctance to get posting?
Apparently, 71% of brokers don’t want to use social media believing they either have a lack of time or that it lacks value for their business – some suggested that their customers are not using social media even though there are 45 million social media users across the UK with more than half being above the age of 35, according to wearesocial.com research.
Meanwhile, among those that are using social media, half admitted they are not confident about using it for business purposes and 49% of brokers said they would welcome help with engaging customers through these platforms.
This is something Ecclesiastical itself is hoping to address by launching The Social Club as a training programme, with specialist agency Factor 3, designed to help brokers develop skills and confidence in this area.
“Our research shows that, for those brokers that want to use social media, there is a gap in knowledge and a lack of confidence. The Social Club is about enabling those that want to start using or improve their social media presence to do so,” said Adrian Saunders, Ecclesiastical’s commercial director.
“We’ve teamed up with Factor 3 to produce a range of materials, including videos and guidance to enable brokers to fit the training in to their busy schedules. We hope that it will add real value to our broker partners and help them feel more confident in using social media to engage with clients.”
The club takes the form of six video training sessions along with supporting materials, Q&A sessions and a face-to-face masterclass. It was made available to a select group in July this year and will be launched for all brokers as of October.