Consumer use of social media sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter grows unabated, yet insurers and producers have been slow to embrace them as communications tools. Those who stay on the sidelines risk lost business and a diminishing ability to protect their brands.

To be fair, producers are ahead of insurers in their social media activity, ranging from a single Facebook page to ongoing dialogue on multiple sites. Indeed, there are estimates that up to 50 percent of producers may be using social media in some form.

In contrast, a survey conducted in June by the Insurance Marketing and Communications Association showed that as few as one-in-10 insurance companies had any type of social media program, although many more had begun to study the issue.

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