On this Web page you will find three major sections:
(1) Resources: to help agencies create a social media policy, including some sample agency social media policies. This section also has two articles pointing out E&O issues to manage relating to agency websites and the use of social media, including sample website disclaimers.
(2) Webinars (live & recorded): to assist agencies in building websites and using social media.
(3) Articles: to provide practical tips for agencies with regard to several aspects of digital marketing: websites, search engine positioning, social media and local search.
See also ACT's page on Sales and Marketing for several resources to help your agency create a balanced marketing strategy and to become a sales focused organization.
(1) Agency Social Web Policies and E&O Considerations
Creating a Social Web Policy for Your Independent Agency
This new ACT resource will assist you in developing the social web policy for your employees' permissible use of social media for business purposes, so that you protect your agency and maintain the productivity of your employees. The report contains a checklist of key steps to take in developing and implementing such a policy, samples of the policies being employed by some prominent companies, examples of possible provisions to include, and suggestions for a social web code of conduct for your employees.
Click here for PDF version of report.
Click here for the Word version of the report. (Best to "save" document to desktop to view it.)
Project CAP also has developed a sample social media policy for agency use. (Provided with permission; best to save document to desktop to open it.)
We have also included the social media policies that two independent agencies are using today as an additional resource for agencies to use in customizing the policies appropriate for their firms.
Click here for Agency #1 Social Web Policy. (Best to "save" document to desktop to view it.)
Click here for Agency #2 Social Web Policy. (Best to "save" document to desktop to view it.)
See also the Social Media Governance website to view the policies of more than 200 other companies and governmental entities.
Agency E&O Considerations When Using Social Media
A lot has been written about how agencies can use social networking tools to enhance their online marketing and market reach. This article explores how the use of social media can impact the E&O risks agencies face and recommends specific steps agencies can take to mitigate those risks, so that the agency can get the full benefit out of these new tools.
Don't Get Caught in the Web!
Managing Agency Website E&O Exposures
Sabrena Sally identifies major agency website E&O exposures and provides several tips, along with sample website disclaimers, to help agents manage those risks.
Sample Agency Website Disclaimers
Protect your agency from E&O exposure by including a Privacy Statement & Disclaimers on your agency websites and social media sites. These sample disclaimers can be used as a starting point. For sample Privacy Statements, please review the Privacy Statement on the IIABA website as well as that used by other independent agencies and organizations. For more details on the E&O risks arising from agency websites and the use of social media, please see the ACT articles "Don't Get Caught on the Web" and "Agency E&O Considerations when using Social Networking" found below on this web page.
None currently scheduled.
Measuring your Social Networking Success
Recorded webinar (July 31 2012)
In this recorded webinar, Chris Paradiso, an agent who has had great success with social media, was joined by four prominent agency consultants known for their social media expertise-- Steve Anderson, Rick Morgan, Mike Peterson and Mike Wise-- to discuss why you should measure your social media activity; the importance of having goals; the most appropriate metric(s) to use; and how to use some of the available measurement tools.
To view the recorded webinar, please click here.
To download a PDF of the webinar slides, click here.
Creating a Successful Agency Web Site (Recorded Webinar)
This webinar gives independent agencies a great roadmap and practical "how to" tips on creating successful agency web sites both for their current clients and to attract new business. This webinar was hosted by the Independent Insurance Agents of Texas as part of its "Moving Your Agency Online" series and the session is presented by agency consultant Steve Anderson. The agency's web sites provide the anchor for an effective online presence and every agent will find this recording well worth his or her time.
Facebook for Insurance Professionals
Recorded webinar (August 9, 2011)
Cindy Donaldson, Director of Marketing & Personal & Commercial Lines Sales at Founders Insurance Group, and consultant Rick Morgan, present the ins and outs of using Facebook effectively as an independent agent. The session covered how to set up a Fan Page, utilize Facebook to increase your brand awareness and market share, understand how Facebook Ads work, and connect with clients and prospects.
Click here to view the recorded webinar.
LinkedIn for Insurance Professionals -- how to increase your brand, your sales and recruit top performers via LinkedIn
Recorded Webinar (May 5, 2011)
This webinar was presented by Cindy Donaldson, Founders Insurance Group and Rick Morgan, Chair of ACT Social Web Work Group. Cindy and Rick provided independent agents with scores of tips on how to use LinkedIn and how to get the most out it.
Click here to access the recording.
Click here to access the PDF of the presentation.
The Social Web and Insurance--Finding Success & Lessons Learned
Agents & consultants overview the lessons learned over the past 18 months and the best practices agents can use to help ensure a successful experience. Panelists include agents Claudia McClain & Angelyn Treutel and consultants Rick Morgan & Mike Wise. Some of the subjects treated were: does it really drive new business; how important is blogging; where do I get content; how does social networking fit into an overall marketing strategy; how do I budget my time for social networking?
Click here to view recorded webinar
Click here for PDF of PowerPoint
ACT's Webinar "Introduction to the Social Web - A New Way to Connect"
View the recorded version of this highly successful webinar which outlines how agents can use the Social Web to build new relationships, explains the basics of the tools and provides agent examples as to how they are leveraging the tools in their agencies. See also the PowerPoint which includes additional information about social networking and some great links to explore for additional information and agency examples.
Click here to view webinar.
Click here for the PowerPoint (Best to "save" document to desktop to view it.)
ACT's Webinar "Creating a Social Web Strategy & Policy for Your Agency" (Recorded)
Learn the issues two agents and a carrier executive tackled in formulating the appropriate social media policies for their organizations. Participating are Cindy Adams (Holmes Murphy), Angelyn Treutel (Treutel Insurance Agency), Katie Herbst (Westfield Insurance), Rick Morgan (ACT Social Web WG Chair & Consultant) and Jeff Yates (ACT Executive Director). (Note the visual portion of the Webinar comes on at about one and a half minutes into the recording.)
Click here to view webinar recording.
Click here to view PDF of webinar slides.
ACT's Webinar "Agency E&O Considerations when Social Networking"
This webinar explores the major agency E&O risks involved with social networking and provides specific guidance on how agencies can manage those risks. Presenters were Sabrena Sally (Westport Insurance/Swiss Re), Colleen Murphy (Goldberg Segalla), David Hulcher (IIABA) and Rick Morgan (ACT Social Web Work Group Chair).
Click here for the PowerPoint (Best to "save" document to desktop to view it.)
Click here for Webinar recording. (We apologize for some audio drop-outs that occur about 35 minutes into the recording.)
Successful Agency Techniques to Build, Integrate and Manage your Blog, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube Click for the recorded webinar featuring Ryan Hanley, Chris Jordan & Rick Morgan. This webinar demonstrates how to build content and manage a blog, create an effective Facebook Fan page, leverage a Twitter account, and incorporate video into your branding and communication strategy. Find out how to get followers and fans and how all of these tools can be integrated into a comprehensive and successful social networking strategy that will help you grow your business.
(3) ACT Articles on Effective Digital Marketing (Websites, Social Networking, Local Search)
Building Engagement and Reach on Facebook
Kevin Ament, Progressive Insurance, provides agents with valuable insights and practical tips as to how they can build the number of their business page fans who see the agency’s posts. Facebook uses an algorithm called EdgeRank to choose which status updates to display in agency fans’ news feeds. As a result, typically 84 percent of business page fans do not see the page’s posts in their Facebook news feeds! Kevin shows how agencies can beat these averages and points out some great tools and resources for agencies to use to monitor the reach of their posts and to keep up with changes in Facebook’s algorithm.
A Millennial's Take on Social Media
Lauren Foy, a sophomore at the University of Rhode Island, provides a great window into the millennial generation's views and uses social media, by critiquing a recent Independent Agent article, "Marketing to Millennials." Foy makes a great case for why independent agencies should get involved with social media and enhance the experiences they provide to their clients by combining the strong personal relationships they offer with online tools, such as a functional website, social media and mobile apps.
Social Media & Online Marketing Survey Results
This survey, conducted in late 2011 by the agency consulting firm B.H. Burke & Co., provides excellent data on the mix of independent agency traditional and nontraditional marketing approaches, including the extent to which they are using particular types of social media. The study also includes the percentages of agencies with coordinated marketing plans and the extent to which they are measuring their R.0.I. when using social media and other marketing approaches.
Expand Your Marketing Strategy Online: Three Digital Parallels to Traditional Tactics
This article, authored by Matt Marko of Progressive Insurance, discusses three powerful online marketing strategies agencies can move to as a logical extension of the traditional marketing approaches they have used for years. These strategies are to use Local Search (to complement or replace Yellow Pages), Online Reviews (to expand word-of-mouth referrals), and Tile Ads (to supplement print ads).
How does your agency extend its reach on Facebook beyond current fans? This article by Progressive's Kevin Ament explains step by step how you can use the Tagging, Questioning and Contests tools to create new potential business and individual prospects on Facebook
Rick Morgan discusses how numerous agencies, carriers and associations used social media & e-newsletters to keep their clients and members well informed during the recent series of disasters in the East. He also lays out our distribution system’s opportunity to create a national disaster communications plan and resources for agencies and state agent associations to access, to deliver a coordinated approach and messages during disaster situations.
Social Media Time-Savers
In this article, Matt Marko outlines three levels of involvement for agencies with social media, depending upon the agency’s objectives and the amount of time it wants to dedicate. With each level of involvement, the author recommends specific time-savers that will help agency employees get the greatest impact from the time they spend working on the social web.
The Best Web Marketing Strategy You've Never Heard
How to get the most out of “local search”
Matt Marko discusses the benefits agents can derive from using free online "local search" tools and directories. He then outlines the steps agents can take to fully utilize them.
A Discussion of Agency Website and Social Media “Best Practices”
Internet savvy agent, carrier and vendor executives discuss their experiences and lessons using social media and blogging and provide several "best practice" tips that will be helpful to agencies as they build their online presence and brand.
Five Steps to Find Your Inner Social Networker
Katie Herbst provides agents with five easy steps to get started with social networking and to expand their networking and relationship building skills to a whole new market.
Build a Web presence worthy of 2010
Matt Marko provides some practical and cost effective tips that every independent agent can implement to build a stronger Web site and Internet presence.
Your Digital Brand
Relationships increasingly have a digital component and learning to effectively use online tools can enhance your offline relationships and build your agency brand. Maureen Wall Bentley cuts through all the hype about social media to provide some easy to follow, common sense tips on integrating your website and social networking with your overall agency marketing plan.
Social Networking’s Value to Insurance Agents and Brokers - Making the Case
Rick Morgan makes the compelling case that the Social Web represents a lasting societal transformation and evolution in marketing that independent agents and brokers should capitalize upon and cites several specific agencies and how they are capitalizing on these new tools to build trust and profitable relationships with prospective as well as existing clients.
Consumer Shopping for Auto Insurance Grows Online
Ron Berg reviews the latest comScore study of online shopping and purchasing for auto insurance and points to a number of strategies that independent agents can employ to duplicate the speed and convenience that the direct carriers provide, while adding the personal advice and service that agents uniquely can offer.
[Internet Marketing] Tools for the Successful Agent of the Future
This article provides independent agencies with practical guidance on how they can benefit from social networking cost effectively to extend their marketing reach and improve client contact and service. Angelyn Treutel outlines the sites and free online tools her agency uses; how she budgets her time spent on social web marketing; and how she ties in her social networking with her website to create an integrated Internet presence and brand.
Introduction to Web 2.0 as a Practical Agency Marketing Tool
Irwin Siegel Agency (ISA), a managing general agency, has created an excellent primer on how independent agents can use Web 2.0 to enhance their marketing efforts and it has authorized ACT to make it available to the industry on its Web site. The eBook "Web 2.0: Practical Marketing for Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers" was primarily authored by Kristin Rielly, ISA's New Media Developer, who also serves on ACT's Web 2.0 Work Group and is featured in the webinar below "Three Agencies Demonstrate Their Successes with Social Media." Not only does the eBook define the various Web 2.0 media, it contains some excellent tips on how agencies can maximize the effectiveness of their Web site(s), email marketing, social media networking, and blogging. Readers will find links throughout the eBook and an informative glossary.
Web 2.0: Empowering a Cultural Transformation
Many independent agency owners are wary of the hype around online social media, but they should think about them as today’s business-building tools. Younger producers will want to take advantage of them to grow their books. This ACT article outlines some new social meida tools and how they are changing our world.
Is There A Blog in Your Future?
Branding consultant Rick Morgan makes the case that independent agents should create blogs—a simple, low cost, effective way to create a professional online presence. A blog simply builds a conversation between you and your customers and prospects. This ACT article explains blogs and provides a practical how-to overview.
Additional Social Networking Articles
ACT's Web 2.0 work group has been sharing a number of additional resources on social networking tools and how businesses are effectively using them. Rick Morgan, who chairs the ACT Web 2.0 work group and consults with ACT, has tagged the numerous social networking articles ACT's work group has been sharing. Go to http://delicious.com/Rickjmiv and click on the ACT tag on the right hand side of his site.
Ten Things Agents Should Know about SEO
Like an inviting, easy-to-spot storefront on Main Street, independent insurance agents and brokers must be visible online. Unlike popular belief, most agencies don’t need a big budget to optimize their sites for search engines. This ACT article explains search engine optimization (SEO) and provides a how-to overview.
Designing an Effective Independent Agent Web Site
The Web is fast becoming a major influencer for nearly all sales of personal auto and individual life and health products, with other lines not far behind. Agencies that want to position themselves competitively by creating and managing a modern Web site, will benefit from the recommendations and agency Web site examples provided in this article.
Positioning Your Agency Successfully on Internet Search Engines
It is critical for independent agencies to build an effective brand on the Internet that is easily found by prospects and customers.
Most of us are looking first on the Web for the information we need and we are using search engines to find it. Click on the latest ACT article to learn how consumer buying habits are changing and on how agencies can improve their position on search engines.
Click here to download full story in Word.
Click here to download full story in a PDF
Reaching out to Clients 24/7
This article highlights the opportunity agents have to improve their agency brand as well as their service by providing customers with 24/7 access using the agency’s web site as well as after hours telephone service. The article discusses the areas where 24/7 has provided an early payback for agents.
The Right Way to Find New Insurance Prospects & Sales on the Internet
Gary Savelli is one of the most successful independent agents selling insurance on the Internet. He shares with us the tips he has learned both from his own experience, as well as from those of other agents he has helped to sell on the Web. He also discusses the importance of agents establishing a brand on the Web and learning how to position themselves on search engines. Word PDF