Social Media Class – Listening and Participating

by Ashley Whitney, CIC - Vice President - Harbor/Brenn Agencies on May 28, 2010 · 18 comments

We have previously posted Social Media for Insurance Professionals – Part I and Part II based on a presentation in January, 2010, by Ashley Whitney, CIC, Vice President – Harbor/Brenn Agencies.  This is another installment based on that presentation.

There are two updates to the previous blog.  There is a new version of the Social Medial Revolution Video that was in the Part I post.  It has new numbers and new information.  It is Social Medial Revolution 2 (Refresh).  In my Part II post I talked about the importance of owning your name or brand.  I used as a resource for you to check this.  One of the commenters told us about  This site is much more comprehensive and breaks sites into categories such as blogging, bookmarking, business and so on.  I would highly recommend you check this site out.  Thanks to Nick Brown at Insurance Marketing HQ for the tip.

In this post I would like to discuss how to approach social media if you are still leery.  I suggest you first listen.  There is a conversation going on a many sites.  You should follow several people, see what is going on and then decide where and how you want to participate.

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Some suggested Facebook Fan Pages to follow are:

Agent & Broker Magazine

Albany Insurance Professional

Atlanta Insurance Live

Founders Insurance Group

Fremont Insurance Company

Harbor/Brenn Agencies

Insurance Institute of Michigan

Insurance Is Fun!

Insurance Journal

The Larkin Group

MI AMS User’s Group



National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research

Rick Morgan Consulting

Vaughn Insurance Agency Co

Verlinde Insurance Agency

Westfield Insurance

Some suggested social media information sites are: short posts on social media info. – LOTS of reference material for all things social media.  How to lists for facebook, twitter, linked in and many more. – stories on social media, tools, tips, tricks etc – Amber Naslund – community and social media person – Chris Brogan – community and social media person

Some YouTube ideas: Valley Insurance Insurance Live

Some insurance industry blogs to follow:

First – – subscribe to blogs through google reader so you can follow and read from multiple computers. – multiple people posting on insurance & technology related topics. – Insurance industry, tech and social media based. – consultant to the insurance industry, tech based – consultant to the insurance industry, tech based. – great insurance agency blog insurance agency blog insurance agent blog

Twitter people to follow: – good starting point, but branch off to the people I’m following and see who they follow.  Great way to find new people to follow.

Twitter Tips:

Go to and type in your town/city/community and see what’s being said about your area.

After you set up an account, click on Find People across the top to get suggestions for various different categories

Share your suggestions on sites to follow and ask questions on social media.

  • Ashley, nice post with lots of great resources – Also, thanks for the mention

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  • Ashley, Thanks for the shout out!

    I think this is great advice. There are so many great resources out there for new Social Media insurance professionals to tap into. I firmly recommend anyone hesitate or unsure to follow Ashley's advice and follow some colleagues and peers. Check out what their doing. Talk to them and then do what makes you comfortable.

    Good Luck,

    Ryan H.

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  • Thanks, I'm humbled by your props and happy exists, it streamlines a lot of work.

    The insurance industry can't have enough resource guides like this, it just increases the chances that new people getting involved will connect with the right individuals and the right networks. While we're dishing on resources, is essentially the white pages for Twitter, great for finding locals or industry specific users.

    My recent post Charity, eco-consciousness and history drive The Hartford’s social media

  • Mark Lowry

    I have done some social networking for our agency through Facebook and have a strong response. I ran a promotion to get people signed up, now I provide information and support to local causes with my Facebook page. I also occassionally mix in some insurance information, but the main focus of my intention is to provide a souce of information. I have also tried Facebook advertising with 0% positive results. This result combined with other articles I have read, and discussions have led me to the conclusion that social media is for those agencies that want to share information and develop relationships. NOT ADVERTISING. People will engage with you if you are sharing relevant information with them. I will continue to focus my energy and effort in community support, and information to my friends, never to advertise to them again. Thanks, Mark Lowry, Your Insurance Corner, Stockton, KS

    • Mark, You are so on target with your comments about Facebook. I find that this applies to social media in general. I am working with an agency that wants to get it right with their social media and I just love that. Thanks for sharing with us.

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  • Thanks for the plugs!!!

  • Thanks for the shouts Nick….our social media marketing endeavors continue to pay off. This stuff really works! I agree with the comment above: community support definitely helps.

    Paradiso Insurance, CT

  • Ashley, OUR BAD! Great post- keep up the good work. We're flattered that you used our agency as a resource.

    Happy Memorial Day!

  • I'm learning from all of you on a daily basis. It's only fair to point others in your direction as well! 🙂 I'm glad you enjoyed the post – and as always, the list is far from conclusive. What are your favorite social media sites (either insurance related or not)?

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