We wrote this blog at the beginning of 2015 to guide insurers who had not yet implemented social media into their marketing efforts, offering some ideas on how to do so at the eleventh hour. We’ve updated it for this year’s Open Enrollment, with new insights on reaching your key audience through social media.
The way we consume information has changed drastically in the last 6 years. People prefer visuals and short-form content (like 140-character tweets). In addition, research has shown that social marketing is much more effective than traditional marketing — people trust brands more when they are endorsed by their social networks. Health insurance is no different, and with more plans and new entrants into the Federal Healthcare Exchange this year, consumers have more options and more choices to make than ever. Are you taking advantage of all that social media has to offer?
If your Open Enrollment communications have consisted mainly of text-heavy web pages, there is probably an opportunity for you to capture a wider audience and educate them on the best options for them. Start open enrollment off right with these ideas for making sure your organization stays relevant and maximizes outreach on social media during Open Enrollment:
Reach the customers where they are.
If you don’t already have Twitter and Facebook profiles, it’s time to create these social accounts and use them to provide your audience with timely, relevant information. This is especially important now, as plans become more complex, with narrow networks. Consumers have a lot of questions like, “‘Can I still use my current provider?’, ‘When will it be effective?'”, etc.
Integrate social into your main website content.
Your website and social media profiles should not live as separate entities—they should be integrated and complement your overall content strategy. Social networks should be used to drive traffic to your public site. Likewise, your website needs to present links to your Facebook and Twitter accounts so that consumers can elect to follow you and get the latest news and information without having to directly come to your website.
Make your content shareable.
A core tenet of social media is creating content that is easy to share across social networks. The more engaging the material, the more likely it is to be shared. The more your content and brand are shared, the more people within those networks will become familiar with what you offer – and when consumers see a brand shared by someone they trust, it leads to a more favorable impression of the company. For an example, check out these 10 branded graphics from Enrollment America. Easily digestible and visually appealing, these are a great example of shareable content.
Make sure your content is searchable by the major search engines.
With so many people asking the question, “can I still get insurance?” make sure that yours is the answer they find. By providing this information and making it available to search engines, you open up your social network to those who may be searching on Google and discover your content in the search results.
Optimize your content for mobile.
Today, more users access the internet on mobile phones than on any other device, and they’re using their phones to access content and information more than any other activity. Social and mobile go hand-in-hand, so it’s a no brainer that your content needs to be mobile friendly. This goes beyond just making your site responsive (although that is important too). Individuals coming to your site during open enrollment are looking for specific information. Make sure that information is visible and highlighted, and doesn’t get lost on a smaller screen (think enrollment process).
Open Enrollment offers a great opportunity to make connections with new and existing consumers. Not only that, you can capitalize on that momentum and continue to build your social presence throughout the year. When you gain a follower on social media, that person is more likely to continue to follow you throughout the year. If they purchase a plan from you, you can leverage social platforms to build loyalty throughout the year and into the next Open Enrollment period. Even if a prospect did not ultimately choose to enroll this year, you have an opportunity to build trust by providing them with meaningful, relevant health insurance information. Each scenario is a win-win for both you and the consumer – which is why social needs to be part of any content or acquisition strategy for enrollment.