Of the 14 life insurance firms monitored by Corporate Insight, Liberty Mutual and USAA were cited as having the strongest social media performances and were awarded top grades.

Liberty Mutual was noted for providing access to its social media sites on its public website via a static menu, providing users a variety of options and platforms on which to share content. While both companies were noted for the variety of content they posted to YouTube, USAA was acknowledged for posting on a more consistent basis than any of the other firms. USAA was also praised for catering to its military clientele and offering several community sharing sites and blogs, accessible via its public website.

Corporate Insight ranked Northwestern Mutual’s overall performance third, just below Liberty Mutual and USAA.

The report, “Social Media: Engaging Users on Social Networks,” gleaned four best practices from its examinations: communicate in a manner appropriate to social channel and industry; consider campaigns aimed at different client/support segments; offer guidance to users who express issues; and strive to provide the information users want, not information the firm wants to deliver.

While the report acknowledges that insurers were a bit late to the game, social media presences are becoming very well established. The report states that 13 firms had actively updated Facebook pages, all but two boast a presence on Twitter and 93 percent host a YouTube channel.

Heading into examinations, Corporate Insight focused on accessibility, the various types of social media and the frequency and quality of the content being shared.

Standing out in terms of content on Facebook were MassMutual, USAA and John Hancock, which were cited with doing a “great job engaging clients on social media accounts, particularly on Facebook, by posting polls, quizzes and discussions that solicit feedback from users.” MassMutual’s Easter Seals disability services promotion was cited as a particularly strong example of this; the firm is donating $5 for every user who “likes” the promotional page on Facebook.

The report pointed to the Twitter use of Liberty Mutual, MetLife and USAA as the strongest. Despite the fact that it is against regulation to directly address questions and concerns over a public venue, the three firms excelled at receiving customer feedback and promptly provide information or an appropriate contact point—particularly Liberty Mutual.

Finally, the report also praised tools and calculators offered within Facebook pages, citing AXA Equitable for offering a number of them—a financial professional locator tool and two virtual consultation calculators, one of which is life insurance-focused—as well as separate company Twitter handles or Facebook subpages dedicated to posting job opportunities.

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