Social Media for Insurance Professionals – Part II

by Ashley Whitney, CIC - Vice President - Harbor/Brenn Agencies on May 21, 2010 · 18 comments

This is another installment from Ashley Whitney’s social medial presentation in January 2010.

Today we are going to look at an important resource for an insurance agency implementing or those not implementing a social medial plan.

It is important to identify and protect your brand across the web.  It doesn’t matter if you are going to be active in social media or not.  Others can register your name at any of these sites.  A very valuable tool is http://namechk.com.  Here is a search done on Enron which as we all know had a very public demise.

Enron namechk.jpg

It is not important to anyone to manage this brand thus we will find some colorful use of this name at some of these sites where Enron’s name is taken.  Check http://twitter.com/Enron as an example.  I used this example as I didn’t want to expose an operating company.  Many companies don’t think it is necessary to manage their brand name on social networking sites so, yes there are examples of highly visible companies where social media accounts exist in their name that they don’t manage.

Enron Twitter.jpg

Who knows who is running this twitter account.  There are some pretty obnoxious tweets here.  This could be happening to you.  I suggest that you run your name through the checker in a number of formats.  All run together as one word, in its regular format, in a shortened format.  Any place where your name is available, register.  Even if you will never use that particular site.  Registration at all of these site is free.  If someone else has your name registered, you need to figure out with that site, who it is and reclaim it.  Protect your firm from having its name used by others and in unfavorable ways.

What are your questions about using and protecting yourself on the web and social media sites?

Technorati Tags: amechk, twitter, enron

  • I was told by a very successful man very early in my career… Register your name on the internet so that someone else doesn't… If you do nothing with it. Absolutely nothing… it costs you $10 a year… That is howhttp://www.RyanHanley.com was born… I then got a addicted to the internet and its power to Market your business but the Lesson is Register you Name, NOW!

    Great Article Ashley,

    Ryan H.

    • You're absolutely right Ryan. Unfortunately I heard that advice too late. http://www.ashleywhitney.com is already taken….. (my middle name isn't Rose). It certainly looks like someone registered the site as a placeholder though.

      • Although as Pat pointed out, I could always do ashley-whitney.com 🙂

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  • Thanks Ashley, there's nothing more annoying to a company than brand squatters.http://www.knowem.com is a tool that serves much the same function as namechk.com. You can pay them to create all of your social media and directory profiles or do it yourself and they cross them off the list for you. Good for consistency, control and optimization.
    My recent post Follow the Four Ds to Maximize Email Productivity

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  • Ryan

    You make a couple of excellent points. Major carriers have very low conversation levels, typically just 1 in 10 is to a person (@replies). The primary goal for many has been to create a broadcast channel and not to engage in a dialogue (with the exception of a few direct auto carriers). This is partial driven by the fact that carriers really have little or no ongoing relationship with the customer and therefore not entirely sure how to proceed.

    Some more enlightened carriers are looking at the problem the other way around. Have agents recruit followers and fans and work with them as a channel to suppliment their own news and stories. This is more in line with how the business runs today. Facebook is more condusive to this approach and American Family is probably a good example. If each agent has 500-1000 friends and a carrier has 4000 agents, that is a huge reach but it must be done in co-operation with agents who must see the value. The agent then engages in the dialog possibly talking about information provided by the carrier.

  • Andy

    Name protection is very important for companies and individuals – great article; we also have a free search engine for username searches across social media platforms, you can find it at http://www.brandclaimer.com – thanks for the nice blog!

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