Meadowlands USA interviewed Amy Decker, senior social media specialist for NJM Insurance Group, to discuss her company’s approach to social media and to share best practices other businesses might want to consider. NJM was a finalist for Best Social Customer Care in the finance category for the Corporate Social Media Awards held this summer in Brooklyn.
Are there differences interacting on social media as a business than as a consumer?
Social media for personal use might seem very different from social media for business, but there are actually many similarities. As consumers—especially millennials—increasingly utilize social media to connect with brands, it is critical for businesses to adapt accordingly. This might mean revising your online engagement strategy.
At NJM, there are tactics we use that go a long way to humanizing our brand and optimizing our customers’ online experiences. Our ultimate goal is to adapt our social strategy to provide another avenue for serving our policyholders.
What specific tactics do you use?
The biggest tactics are engaging our policyholders and creating a community for conversation. At one time, the main goal of social media was to get as many followers as possible. With changes to algorithms that determine who sees your content, it has become increasingly clear that high engagement among a smaller follower base is much more valuable to your business than low engagement among a larger follower base.
Facebook’s algorithm, for example, dictates that your content is organically served to those who interact with your page on a regular basis. Because of this, many businesses have resorted to boosting posts in order to reach a larger portion of their audience. While some businesses might see value in a larger but less engaged audience, NJM’s focus is on developing connections with our policyholders.
How do you engage with your social followers?
It is important to us to greet customers genuinely in all circumstances. This ensures that our responses don’t sound canned or robotic. It allows us to demonstrate that we truly care about our customers’ needs and not just their patronage. To that end, we are sensitive to the fact that our policyholders typically reach out to us in times of difficulty and loss. Our empathy in these situations goes a long way to creating both online and offline loyalty for our brand.
How important is the kind of content you post?
Before we post, we ask ourselves, “Is this going to be interesting to our audience?”
If our followers haven’t been regularly engaging with our content, we take that as an opportunity for our team to brainstorm and experiment with new ideas. You can also target your posts to specific audiences through Facebook’s Preferred Audience tool to make sure your content is reaching those who would be most interested in it. For instance, a manufacturer promoting a new product can target posts to only reach Facebook users who listed interests in their profile related to that product. Advertising on Facebook is an easy and cost-effective way to reach your target audiences.
How do you generate social media content?
We know we need compelling content to keep our followers engaged. To do that, we develop an editorial calendar in advance so we are not scrambling to find material on a daily basis. This also gives us time to create more relevant and visually appealing posts. Contests and giveaways are excellent ways to get followers involved. However, they don’t encompass the majority of our content.
We also tailor our content to holidays, both nationally recognized and those pertaining to our business. For instance, NJM focuses a large portion of April content on distracted driving in recognition of the awareness month. Inspiration can come from anywhere, even from your personal social networks. We’ve found that collaboration with colleagues generates a lot of great ideas too, with the added bonus of learning about departmental initiatives that can be repurposed for social media.
Is there a guiding principle in your social media approach?
Responding to customers in real time has been instrumental to our social media strategy. Our policyholders expect us to reply to them as soon as possible, not the next business day or—even worse—the Monday after a Friday night inquiry.
But before we deploy our strategy, we develop a guide of responses that would help us address the most common—and even some uncommon—questions and feedback our company receives. This way, our team can promptly respond to customers on our social platforms, including after business hours. As we all know, social never sleeps!
We hold ourselves to aggressive protocols when it comes to social media. We want to always be prepared for all types of scenarios so we can assist our policyholders as quickly as possible.
For NJM, establishing a social media strategy has not only amplified our reach to our target audiences but has also kept us ahead of the curve in today’s fast-paced world of online customer service.