So You Think Your Staff Doesn’t Use Social Media

I beg to differ with you.  People have actually been using social media since before phones were installed in insurance agencies.  I would actually suggest that the written letter (by hand, typewriter, word processor or computer) could also be considered social media.  In these “old fashioned” communications, while business was being conducted, relationships were also being built.  Many of those letters and phone calls included some personal interaction along with the business communication.  The next step up from the phone and letters were teletype communications, then along came faxes and emails.

Candlestick phone

I worked for a general agency in the late 1960’s & early 1970’s that relied heavily on a telex machine to communicate with London.  This was one of my duties.  We placed a lot of business with our London markets and there were daily communications.  I got to know my underwriters quite well and them me through these communications.  It is the nature of doing business to learn about your clients, insurance carriers, vendors, etc.

I was curious about what all is considered media and what is the definition of social media.  So here are my research results from Wikipedia.

  • Media (communication), tools used to store and deliver information or data
    • Advertising media, various media, content, buying and placement for advertising
    • Broadcast media, communications delivered over mass electronic communication networks
    • Digital media, electronic media used to store, transmit, and receive digitized information
    • Electronic media, communications delivered via electronic or electromechanical energy
    • Hypermedia, media with hyperlinks
    • Mass media, all means of mass communications
    • Multimedia, communications that incorporate multiple forms of information content and processing
    • New media, a broad term encompassing the amalgamation of traditional media with the interactive power of computer and communications technology
    • News media, mass media focused on communicating news
    • News media (United States), the news media of the United States of America
    • Print media, communications delivered via paper or canvas
    • Published media, any media made available to the public
    • Recording media, devices used to store information
    • Social media, media disseminated through social interaction

    Social media are media for social interaction, using highly accessible and scalable communication techniques. Social media is the use of web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into interactive dialogue. Andreas Kaplan and Michael Haenlein also define social media as “a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, which allows the creation and exchange of user-generated content.”[1]Businesses also refer to social media asconsumer-generated media (CGM). A common thread running through all definitions of social media is a blending of technology and social interaction for the co-creation of value.

    Do you have expectations that your staff will have appropriate conversations in their daily contact with your clients, insurance carriers and vendors?  Do you sometimes have conversations about appropriate conversations in the business world?  So, if you are comfortable with your staff communicating via phone, letter, fax, email, etc. then why are you so afraid of having them communicate in the bigger social media world today?

    I would like to hear some your questions and concerns.  Then we will have a social discussion on ideas and solutions.