Social media is one trend in insurance technology that not allpeople can agree on. Talk with one group of insurers and you'retold how wonderful social media is; ask another group and theresponse is a shrug of the shoulders.

|

What is it about social media that gets some people hyped up andothers bored?

|

One reason is that the social media tail sometimes wags the dog.Companies put a social media policy together, butdon't always haverelevant content to communicate to their customers or businesspartners. Having the tools to communicate seems more important forsome companies than the message being presented.

|

Marshal McLuhan might as well have been talking about Twitternearly 50 years ago when he coined the phrase, “The medium is themessage.”

|

That line came from McLuhan's 1964 book, UnderstandingMedia: The Extensions of Man. McLuhan's beliefwas that the medium affects the society in which it plays a role,not only by the content delivered over the medium, but also by thecharacteristics of the medium itself.

|

That actually sounds like the business plan for Twitter. In theworld of 140-character postings, many people care only that you are“on” Twitter rather than worry that the content you are presentingis relevant.

|

The rush to be a part of something new or hip is understandablein a world where pop culture dominates the hearts and souls of somany people. But shouldn't communication mean something more whenyou get away from entertainment and look for ways to promote yourbusiness?

|

There is valuable information being tweeted. The constant flowof information over Twitter and Facebook makes professional newssites pale in their ability to break important news. You aren'tnecessarily looking for trusted sources when you rely on Twitterfor information, you are looking for speed.

|

So what can businesses gain from social media? Too often theytweet or post messages about any and every thing without fullyunderstanding what their audience wants or needs. And when usersbecome bored by someone's messages they go unread—no matter whatthe quality.

|

Twitter has demonstrated value as a communication tool to largegroups—almost like sharing personal text messages, only withhundreds or thousands of people. For insurance companies or agents,their customers want to know when a tornado is heading in theirdirection or if home-repair scams are taking place in a certaincommunity.

|

Being a media guy—especially one beyond the normal target age ofsocial media—probably doesn't improve my view on this subject, butI know that information is power and if it's not effectivelycommunicated through the right medium the message is lost.

|

McLuhan certainly got that right.

|

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free PropertyCasualty360 Digital Reader

  • All PropertyCasualty360.com news coverage, best practices, and in-depth analysis.
  • Educational webcasts, resources from industry leaders, and informative newsletters.
  • Other award-winning websites including BenefitsPRO.com and ThinkAdvisor.com.
NOT FOR REPRINT

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from www.copyright.com. All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.