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Roger Edwards: Making social media work for you

Social media is no longer a growing trend, it is now an integral part of the way businesses and individuals communicate.

Just over 10 years ago, Apple CEO Steve Jobs had a vision of creating an online store where people could buy music. In April 2003 that vision became a reality and iTunes was launched to the world. A month earlier, in Edinburgh, another launch took place as Bright Grey entered the UK protection market.

Ten years on technology has progressed at such a rate it’s hard to keep up with all the new advancements.

Social media has really taken off and while the financial sector was a little slower in embracing this new way of communicating, many businesses soon realised the benefits and necessity of adopting social media as part of their marketing strategy.

But there are still many who are yet to dip their toe in the water and recognise the value of having an online interactive presence.

For advisers looking to take their first steps into the world of social media, a good area to start with is the company website. But rather than just having a website with contact details and a bit about the company, include blogs and articles on your area of expertise whether that’s protection, investments or pensions.

Writing a regular blog means that content on a website is always updated and this is a great way to drive traffic to your site.

Blogs are not just about producing search engine traffic, though. They teach, build trust and that could ultimately increase sales.

If you think you do not have enough content for a blog, think about the top 50 questions clients are likely to ask. Those 50 questions will give you 50 topics for articles or blogs.

Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook all offer platforms to share ideas and opinions with other businesses and to connect with existing and potential clients.

The great thing is people are not just seeing a faceless corporate image, using social media allows individuals and companies to reveal a little about their personality and that could encourage potential clients to find out more.

Adopting social media does involve a certain amount of commitment but if seen as part of a company’s overall marketing strategy, the time dedicated to it will soon become part of normal day to day activities.

It’s no longer right to say social media is changing the way people communicate. It has changed the way we communicate, with each other, with friends, with colleagues and with companies we want to do business with. In the past ten years that change has been phenomenal.

So as Bright Grey celebrates its 10thAnniversary in this post RDR world and as Apple executives contemplate their next revolutionary product, what technological advancements can we expect in 2023?

Roger Edwards is managing director of Bright Grey & Scottish Provident

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Comments

There are 16 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Interesting article from the MD of Scottish Provident. It would appear Roger you realise just how important social media is in business yet perhaps this hasn’t been filtered down to your staff and your social media staff in particular.
    You might like to read the post on Ingenious Britain 1 Quick Way to Dig an Ever Increasing Hole on Social Media When Someone Complains as this relates to Scottish provident in particular and the power of the consumer and social media.
    bit.ly/11Jalla

  2. Chris Hargreaves 16th April 2013 at 11:09 am

    I am amazed at this article as for the past few years we have ran a campaign against Scottish Provident (@scotprovsaysno 12,400 followers) using social media, national press and on BBC TV following a 2.5 year fight to get paid out yet not once have SP interacted with us.

    We are not all about being negative in fact we promote what is good within the protection industry ie own occupation, friendly insurers etc. We have been contacted by policyholders who have been letdown and their stories are horrific including SP customers. When people are ill or dying companies should show more compasion and from our own research this is why people don’t take out protection insurance because rightly or wrongly they believe these policies won’t payout in their hour of need.

    I don’t expect or hold out hope Mr Edwards will contact us but one recent policyholder who has already lost one home due to SP refusing a genuine own occupation claim just goes to show more effort in claim handling needs to be a priority. Yes the media are slow to publish positive insurance stories but we also know not many bad stories don’t end up going public.

    Igoring an issue is not the solution.

  3. I had to laugh out loud when I read this article, I have been asking the Bright Grey IT Team for almost 2 years to explain why emails keep bouncing back when I try to send to anyone at Bright Grey. Social Media Eh? How about fixing the bog standard email problem I have had for 2 years first.

  4. Oh what wise words from the MD of Scottish Provident. The irony of a company that doesn’t even have a social media presence. Why this post was even published I don’t know, as the … ‘Using social media’ insights look like they have been just cut and pasted here, by a company that has no idea what social media really is capable of.
    Go and look at Scottish Provident’s blogs and social media pages folks… You won’t find them!
    The only thing you will find on social media about Scottish Provident is a large amount of negativity about their customer care.
    Perhaps if they did actually use social media then they would be able to listen and perhaps deal with issues rather than ignoring them..

  5. Bright Grey Help 16th April 2013 at 5:50 pm

    Bobby @11.52 Sorry to hear that you’ve had difficulties emailing us. We’re not sure exactly what the issue is, but if you give our helpdesk a call on 0845 6094511 we can look into it for you and get it fixed.

  6. I think that social media hasn’t been fully embraced by Wall Street and some marketing directors is because it can be so difficult to measure ROI. Some marketing strategies, like blogs, are not likely to produce tangible monetary results. However, there are social media tools being utilized that can be a major source of revenue. I work forIt’s great to hear about small businesses like Weinhagen Tire Co. utilizing social media. Certainly the landscape of social media marketing is constantly changing; it’s very important to be able to measure the success of these programs. As the article points out, many social media tools are free, such as a company Facebook page. However, as businesses grow, there are more engaging tools that can really drive ROI as businesses grow. I work for a company that provides social software tools for the ecommerce space, and we published an interesting infographic about Social Media ROI, I would love your feedback: http://bit.ly/10plrt5

    Thanks!
    Jay

  7. A lot of marketing of this nature assumes your are looking to gain lots more clients, when in fact a lot of IFAs probably only want a few more affluent clients, not loads more kfmass market, As such getting a message across to an internet wide consumer base when most work is best delivered face to face may not be that effective. As to Scot Prov and IT, from 98 to about 2004 they were ahead if the game. Now…….?

  8. In my opinion the brazen arrogance and sheer stupidity of this article highlights exactly why companies like yours have little or no future, you bleed people for as much cash as you possibly can and then boast about how little you pay out during shareholder meetings.

    The PDF documents available to anyone with a little Internet savvy prove that you rig and jig statistics in order to make as much cash with as little payout as possible. To then pontificate about how you can expand your succubus style activities using social media is quite frankly laughable. Your vile plans to use social media to reduce your advertising expenditure are as likely to succeed, as your policies are to pay out, to people in need in my opinion.

    Then as real people die of illness in enforced financial paralysis, companies like yours wriggle and squirm behind complex documents, written in illegible legalese to maximise profits for shareholders. This leaves little or no opportunity for them to fight against fat cat ambulance chasing lawyers and if they die during a claim its all profit for your shareholders.

    You must know its true deep down yet you press forward with lack of compassion and with impunity treating real people like figures on a spreadsheet. I could not sleep if it were me and in my opinion the swifter companies like yours are left by the wayside the better for humanity.

  9. SICK N TIRED.CO 17th April 2013 at 1:06 pm

    Oh dear Roger, this article really hasn’t done you any favours at all has it? That’s if you wrote it yourself; which we doubt very much? Have you read ‘1 Quick Way to Dig an Ever Increasing Hole on Social Media’? (Keep digging). If you did, then we very much doubt you would be professing to have such an understanding of the importance of social media, as from the feedback here. the campaigns that have been started on Twitter etc and your many many dissatisfied customers, it’s quite clear that you don’t.

  10. Interesting comments. Adrian is quite right, one can only find negativity about Scottish Provident’s customer care on the Internet. Here’s just a sample:

    bit.ly/11Jalla 1 Quick Way to Dig an Ever Increasing Hole on Social Media When Someone Complains (Ingenious Britain)

    http://ow.ly/k8Zfh The Great Insurance Hoax (The Complaining Cow)

    http://ow.ly/k8ZmQ My Twitter war to make insurers deliver on their illness promises (This is Money)

    http://ow.ly/k8ZuD Scot Prov in FOS C Fight Over Critical Illness Cover (FT Advisor)

    http://ow.ly/k8ZMp Chauffeur Warns of Income Protection Flaws (Chauffeur)

    http://ow.ly/k8ZW9 The Times’ cite case of professional with ME in story on income protection insurance (ME Association)

    http://ow.ly/k907D Danger of Income Protection Policies (Money AOL)

    http://ow.ly/k90hP Defaqto review of the income Protection Market

    http://ow.ly/k912j How Ill do you have to be to claim? (Lean On Us)

    I’m quite sure there are more. There’s even a great picture on Google images when you put in Scottish Provident into Google images!
    So I find it amazing that the MD of a company should be advising others on the use of social media when social media is the very vehicle being used to advise others on not using Scottish Provident! All have been ignored by Scottish Provident as far as I can see! The only time they ever responded resulted in the first link! Roger Edwards is NOT someone I would take advice from on financial matters or social media!

  11. Roger Edwards waffling on about social media as though he is a guru…. Scottish Provident on twitter has been going for 2 years has made two tweets and follows three people. HaHAHAHA feel a bit stupid now Roger ?

  12. SICK N TIRED.CO 18th April 2013 at 11:09 am

    UPDATE: The Scottish Provident Twitter Account has now been closed. Doesn’t it just get better? Allegedly big companies such as Insurance companies, who are no longer able to speculate on the stock markets to increase their profits using OUR money, are passing on those losses to us the customer. It just stinks, especially when times are as tough as they are. And then to kick people when they’re really down, by not paying out on their policies takes it to another level. Unscrupulous and unfair business practices will one day be a thing of the past; as the People are starting to fight back and saying ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

  13. where are these blogs Rog my old mate? cant see any activity from you on Twitter either.

    young whippersnapper – comes onto MM and teaches us how to suck eggs.

    Social media has a very defensive way of biting your legs if you come out waving your arms – best to keep quiet laddy, methinks.

  14. Excellent blog – when does Roger Edwards plan to dip his toe into the waters of social media for the first time? LOL

  15. “Adopting social media does involve a certain amount of commitment”…Take your own advice here then.
    “what technological advancements can we expect in 2023?”…maybe by then you may have learned how to use social media?!
    It seems you have done nothing other than contradict yourself in this article.

  16. Roger
    Good article. To get blogging a writing coach might help – contact me if you want details of my coach.
    Don’t forget to put links in your articles too, especially when quoting statistics.
    When writing, remember that what people like to read is stories, how YOU solved a particular problem, for example. A brochure article, we do this, we do that etc is not usually very interesting.
    HTH
    George

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