Farmers Insurance Does Facebook Marketing With a Local Touch

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David Carr
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Re: Interesting...
David Carr   3/29/2011 8:38:33 AM
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Hearsay founder Clara Shih's book The Facebook Era is also worth a read. Shows some of the thinking that went into the product

alvanbenschoten
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Re: Interesting...
alvanbenschoten   3/29/2011 6:48:11 AM
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Mitch - "As little as possible. *rimshot*"

<groan>

Seriously...I think what Farmer's is trying to do makes a lot of sense and is what I really thought social media should be about - a way to put a local spin on national/global companies and/or issues. For example, we all watch the news, but more often than not, we all wonder how it affects our local area or community. By this national company giving local agents a way to communicate with customers (and potential customers) on a broad scale, I think it the long run it will definitely work in their favor.

I also hadn't heard of Hearsay before, but I will definitely check it out!

magneticnorth
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Good for retail
magneticnorth   3/29/2011 4:51:26 AM
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This is great news for digital marketers in the retail industry. Personal relationships with customers are in the store personnel's turf, but it's just too risky to have them represent your brand entirely. Hearsay will allow those personal relationships thrive online while minimizing risks on the brand as a whole.

Mitch Wagner
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Re: Interesting...
Mitch Wagner   3/28/2011 1:15:09 PM
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Ken Lonyai - I guess you guys don't hang out in NJ. 

As little as possible. *rimshot*

 

Mitch Wagner
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Re: Interesting...
Mitch Wagner   3/28/2011 1:14:15 PM
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Reguation is a huge problem for marketers in the financial industry, medical, and pharma looking to get active on social media. The wrong word can bring down big fines. 

Ken Lonyai
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Re: Interesting...
Ken Lonyai   3/28/2011 9:13:01 AM
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I guess you guys don't hang out in NJ. Every 3rd person is a financial adviser. My friend Howard has tried to get us involved in his company's communications but it's so regulated that it will never happen. They opted to go for the canned web site and message from the major player they represent. If ever they do SM (unlikely) it will be so stale and sterile considering the 7 lawyers it will have to pass through first. Seriously.

kdawson
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Re: Interesting...
kdawson   3/28/2011 8:53:36 AM
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I was talking with a financial advisor the other day who said the corporate answer he gets on social media is basically "no."

You can sort of see their point. In the financial industry, the vast majority of their products will be subject to regulation. A rogue post, or simply a loose post, could do a lot more damage than in an industry that doesn't have federal agents scrutinizing every jot & tittle. Again there's a balance to be struck, but for this industry it would fall way over toward the centrally controlled end.

David Carr
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Re: Interesting...
David Carr   3/28/2011 8:37:33 AM
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Part of what State Farm is trying to do is strike a balance.

I believe the Hearsay tool would allow them to require pre-approval on every post, but they are recognizing that to do so would stifle spontaneity and conversation.

At the same time, they do offer some regulated products for which putting out the wrong kind of messages could cause legal problems. And at a more basic level, they want to maintain some corporate control of the message and the image they project. So they do monitor for compliance with corporate policy so they can delete messages or reprimand employees if necessary. Also, by providing some pre-approved content from the corporate office, they show by example what kind of message they want to put out there -- even as they encourage the local agents to personalize those messages.

Seems like it is working for them.

I was talking with a financial advisor the other day who said the corporate answer he gets on social media is basically "no." Failing to engage with it at all strikes me as definitely the wrong answer.

Ken Lonyai
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Interesting...
Ken Lonyai   3/28/2011 7:58:32 AM
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I hadn't heard of Hearsay - a product that does seem to address a need. There are so many agencies handling social for clients that you have to worry about authenticity (the word of the moment), effectiveness, and cost. Plus there is the issue of the rogue post. Then there's the risk of independent well meaning employees inadvertently causing problems because they don't know what they're doing and are being told that they must use SM. It looks like the real estate world really needs an approach like State Farm took with many many bad agent pages smothering the few great ones.

My question is: how much can be addressed by corporate policy and approach and how much has to be turned over to a 3rd party tool?



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