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For many, social networking seems complicated, mysterious, intimidating and even a bit scary. While the social Web is a hot topic, it is not new. Many activities on social networking are no different than the real-life activities we have engaged in most of our lives. If you have ever asked for or given advice, given or received a recommendation, shared an experience, collaborated on a project, or interacted with a group: You have participated in social networking.

Over the past year I have had the opportunity to speak with agencies, brokers and carriers who are building a strategies and starting to embark on social Web journeys. The growing popularity of social networking has attracted their attention and users believe these platforms open new business opportunities. They recognize the rapid rise in the Main Street acceptance of social networking and see more insurance customers continuing to migrate online and adopt social networking to do research and buy insurance. These pioneer agencies are discovering its value as an essential tool for communication, customer engagement, lead generation, real-time customer contact, customer service, customer interaction and relationship building.

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