August 2014: Social Media Review

This Annuity Monitor Report reviews the social media campaigns and strategies employed by the firms in our coverage group. The firm takes a look at three social media sites – Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn – and assesses the respective content, corporate voice and public website promotions. This report serves as a catalogue of how firms are positioning themselves on social media, and focuses specifically on the following criteria:

  • How social media sites are accessible from the firms’ public websites.
  • The content that is posted, the frequency of posts, and the interactions between firms and followers.

Based on our examination, 18 firms in this report manage Facebook and Twitter accounts. Of these firms, 95% provide direct access to both social media accounts from their public websites. LinkedIn, which has been adopted by all firms in our coverage set, is less accessible; 84% of firms promote it on their public websites. Firms that stand out in this report offer ubiquitous access to their social media accounts from more than one area of the public site, including through a dedicated public site social media page.

When it comes to Facebook, we noticed it is most commonly used for self-promotion, with firms highlighting their sponsorships, corporate citizenship initiatives, campaigns, contests and sweepstakes. Currently, 83% of firms also use this platform to engage with their fan base by responding to user complaints or concerns, and directing them to appropriate customer service resources. Some firms offer personalized responses, while others offer more generic replies.

While most Twitter accounts provide very similar content as the firms’ respective Facebook accounts, the presentation is different and the frequency of new content is higher. Four firms managing a corporate Twitter handle have tweeted annuity-specific content within the past year. Six firms in the report also maintain separate Twitter accounts for customer service, career opportunities, company news and/or campaign-specific purposes

Lastly, firms in the LinkedIn space discuss a range of topics; most noteworthy feeds include highly educational and thought-provoking materials that help boost followers’ personal and organizational productivity, a different strategy than used with Facebook and Twitter. Currently, the firm with the largest LinkedIn audience boasts an impressive 170,000 followers.

Additional key findings include:

  • One firm provides access to its two annuity-related calculators from its Facebook subpage.
  • Two firms offer LinkedIn accounts that only contain job postings.
  • Half of the firms promote social media accounts on their public site footers.