Social media has so much hype today that we were curious to see if insurers in Malaysia and in this region have jumped on this bandwagon. We attempted a simple dipstick survey of 18 companies in and outside of Malaysia to get a “feel” of things.
Is the Malaysian Insurance Industry Using Social Media Yet? A dip-stick survey was carried out posing a short series of questions to insurers within and out of Malaysia to gauge the use of social media as part of an organisation’s business strategy. This article also highlights the concerns by insurers using social media and provides recommendation on to manage these concerns.
Insurance, reinsurance and takaful companies in and outside of Malaysia were asked these questions: In what areas of the business are you using social media, and which types of social media are being used? What are the expectations of using social media in terms of market access, branding and cost impacts?
What have the results been like? What types of new risks have the use of social media brought, and how are they being managed in the business? What new developments do you see in social media itself and its use by Malaysian insurance and takaful companies? A hand full of firms responded, saying that they do not currently use social media. One in particular said the company does not intend to use social media for business in the near future. Admittedly, results are nowhere near conclusive with a hand full of responses. Most insurers do have official websites. While not all insurers are on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or YouTube, to name a popular few, they do have some form of presence in different forms of social media on the Internet.
Social Media Advantage
However, one respondent, Etiqa Insurance and Takaful, believes that it is able to access a wider range of demographics with the use of social media. The company is able to take into consideration what it can provide for each of the segments of the demographics that it mines from the social media population on the Internet. Currently, the company uses the social media avenues of Facebook and YouTube with the aim to increase the public’s awareness of its brand and its agents’ engagement with the public. According to Etiqa, the results of using social media have been very rewarding for the company. It reported seeing exponential increase of fan likes from 3,300 in January 2012 to almost 37,000 to date. The company’s YouTube video views also grew from slightly more than 4,000 to in excess of 50,000 cumulative views per annum. In using social media, the company expects to directly engage with its customers, providing immediate responses to customer queries and thereby, improving the customer’s service experience. Not only does the company expect higher brand awareness and likability, it also believes that it has a chance to further improve for its customers in terms of products and services.