A new study on social networking has just been released that shows the insurance industry leads in the use of Twitter.
The study, which covers the Fortune 500 companies, was compiled and published by Nora Ganim Barnes at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and Eric Mattson of Financial Insite. Overall, the results show that large organizations lag in blogging but are effectively leveraging Twitter as a communications strategy.
As mentioned above, insurance is the most Twitter-savvy group of all. The average large insurance company has 13 Twitter accounts, Barnes and Mattson found. The closest runners-up were food production with 11 accounts on average and computers with 10. Companies in this category include Allstate, TIAA-CREF, Liberty Mutual Insurance Group, Northwestern Mutual and Hartford Financial, they report. Interestingly, of the insurance companies in the Fortune 500, only five have full-length corporate blogs.
Why is insurance—often regarded as highly conservative when it comes to new technologies—ahead of the pack in micro-blogging Twitter? Insurance companies need to engage customers at multiple stages, and therefore are likely to require more communications touch points. Different parts of insurance companies have different pieces of the business they need to address—underwriting, policy administration and claims are three different areas a customer is likely to come into contact with. Twitter fits the bill for this kind of interaction.
Joe McKendrick is an author, consultant, blogger and frequent INN contributor specializing in information technology.
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