Many agents are beginning to understand the importance of insurance social media for creating and nurturing relationships, as well as for creating a long-term defensive strategy against the disintermediation threat posed by insurers, which I discussed in my post last week.
Having an insurance social media presence is one thing; researching and writing about things to post on Facebook, for instance, is the hard part, as one person commented to my post last week. In my November 7, 2011 post, “Seven Topic Ideas for Posting to Your Insurance Agency Facebook Page,” I listed several general topic ideas for insurance social media writers, such as providing insurance tips, supporting local client businesses, demonstrating community involvement and so on. This time, though, I’m going to list several sources for story ideas.
- Take advantage of the resources provided by non-profit organizations that educate the public as part of their mission.
- The insurance press is a good source of information and sometimes entertaining stories, such as these recent articles: “10 Most Outrageous Excuses for Arriving Late for Work,” produced by an insurance company media department, or “Top 10 States for Dog Bite Claims,” released by State Farm. You’ll find content like this in electronic editions of publications such as Insurance Journal, for example, which you can subscribe to for free.
- The advantage of using industry resources is the detail and accuracy provided — and it’s economical. The disadvantage is that the information is often presented in language and format that may not be reader-friendly or sound like your voice. If you’re looking for interesting insurance content, check out SmartsPro Marketing’s Content Warehouse. It has 100s of articles, often including images you can use, that combine accuracy, detail and reader-friendly qualities at low per-article rates.
- Find relevant regional and local stories with Google. Enter these terms in Google search: “Your state or region” + Insurance; for example, enter “Florida insurance.” Use Google Alerts to monitor your keywords on a daily basis. You’ll begin to recognize certain news sources, like insurance companies or research organizations, that you can depend on for quality content. Google can be the single most important tool for finding good insurance content for your social media pages.
- An excellent source of local information is your local newspaper. Ask your paper for permission to link to articles from time to time. They’ll probably support the idea, since it’s a form of free advertising for them, especially when people click on the story and go to their website. Besides reporting on local fires and similar news, depending on what kinds of features your local paper covers, you could regularly link to stories about new businesses and so on.
- The is not a news source but rather a methodology. Create a series based on a topic, and provide stories weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. Here are some examples:
- [Added November 14, 2014] My final resource suggestion is to link to articles published on The Insurance 411. Though these are copyrighted articles that can’t be republished without a subscription from SmartsPro Marketing, you can link to them. For example, link to an article about insuring a college bound student’s insurance needs away from home and introduce with link with a comment like “Is you son or daughter off to college this Fall? Will your insurance still apply when they’re away? Read this short article.”
I’ve written about the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud as a great insurance social media resource for bizarre, comical and sometimes tragic tales of insurance fraudsters getting their comeuppance. You might call this insurance tabloid journalism except they’re true stories. In any case, people enjoy reading them.
For straightforward information on avoiding and preparing for adversity, FEMA is an excellent insurance social media resource. Their website is packed with information about every kind of natural disaster, including earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, landslides, tsunamis, wildfires and even home fires. They also provide articles about technological hazards such as blackouts, hazardous material and household chemical emergencies. You will also find articles on terrorist threats, including explosions and biological, chemical and radiological dispersion devices.
The Insurance Information Institute has a wealth of information on insurance topics. Name a type of insurance coverage and they are likely to have an article, video and/or white paper on the subject.
Other useful non-profit resources: American Red Cross and OSHA
Insurance Industry newsfeeds can be helpful, though you’ve got to turn over a lot of rocks to find that gem of a story. The subscriptions are free though: Try Insurance Broadcasting and The Industry Radar. You can also sign up for RSS feeds directly from the major news release distribution services. These services each have an insurance RSS feed: PR Newswire,, BusinessWire, PRWeb and Marketwire.
The resources I’ve listed here are not going to write your insurance social media content for you, but at least they will get you started.