Augie Ray, head of Social Media at USAA, says “Social media is not a strategy, it is a channel. If your company does not have a telephone strategy or a postal mail strategy, it doesn’t need a social media strategy. And never build a strategy around a social network. Instead, build it around people and their needs, then see what social networks fit. You do not need a YouTube strategy or a Facebook strategy; you need customer service, product, marketing and content strategies that include YouTube and Facebook.”

This is great advice and insurers would do well to refer to it regularly. Often I am asked “Which insurer is doing best with social media?” This brings to mind an equally hard question: “How long is a piece of string?” There is no simple answer to either question but in the case of the former, it depends entirely on the business objective. The only true thing is that putting up a Facebook page because everyone else has one is wrong.

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