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Deepening relationships through social business: Recap of our session with Farmers Insurance at SXSWi

1780680_10202697926883121_876302824_nThank you to everyone who attended our session at SXSW earlier this week! We had a full room of around 70 people participating in our “Core Conversation,” dissecting the ins and outs of successful social business.

The session was led by two experts when it comes to using social media to grow business: Jason Suen (Director of Global Customer Success, Hearsay Social, @JasonSuen) and Patrizio Spagnoletto (Head of Digital, Farmers Insurance, @patospago)

Here were some key takeaways:

1. Social media’s greatest impact is relationship building and retention. By allowing company representatives (like advisors and agents in financial services) to keep in touch with many more current and prospective clients at a time, social media enables more efficient relationship building than ever before.

2. Social media needs to be considered as part of an omnichannel strategy. Customers can and will use whatever channel works best to reach a business to buy a product or to reach customer support, so you need to embrace that.

3. Social media allows you to be top of mind with people that you otherwise wouldn’t get exposure to regularly. By having a regular presence on social networks and sharing great, relevant content, you establish yourself as a trusted source for your product or service. In this way, you stay top of mind with people who normally might not have engaged with you regularly.

Because the session was a Core Conversation, Jason and Pato encouraged questions and comments from the diverse audience, which included salespeople and marketers in financial services and other verticals. A few attended simply to learn more about the power of social business.

Photo courtesy of Search Engine Journal.
Photo courtesy of Search Engine Journal.

Wrapping up the session, Jason walked through the four steps to social business success, which was well-received by the audience:

1. Get found: Clients want to communicate with you via social media. Be there to provide the level of service they’re seeking.

2. Grow your network: Tell your clients you’re on social media. Start sharing content relevant to your business and build up your connections.

3. Research and act on social signals: Listen for important life events, like buying a new home or having a baby, that contacts in your network share on social media. This is information you can use at your next meeting to offer that person the right services or products.

4. Build credibility: Don’t fall silent on social media. Regularly update your networks with the best, most relevant articles and trends that your audience will find helpful, and establish yourself as a leader in your business and on social media.

Thank you for helping to make our 2014 session a success! Read more about social business and SXSW:

#SXSWi 2014 Recap: Sales in Social: You Can Sell, But You Can’t Hide

SXSW in 60 seconds: Hearsay Social CEO Clara Shih on the most exciting innovation of 2013
“The Death of Marketing” at SXSW 2013
Brian Solis and Clara Shih discuss social content marketing at LinkedIn’s #SXSW Influencers Reception

Ronny Kerr

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