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German Insurance Firms Agree Social Media Provides “Human” Touch Necessary for Growth

German economyAs the largest economy in the European Union and the fourth largest in the world, Germany is an important and robust hub for financial services, including leading multinational firms such as Allianz and Zurich Insurance Group. We’ve made lots of exciting progress establishing awareness of the Hearsay Social brand within the DACH region over the past 12 months, including announcing a dedicated Hearsay Social presence in Munich earlier this year.
We recently partnered with a prominent insurance industry group in Germany, AMC, on a survey to gauge the state of social media usage among German insurance companies, as well as to identify opportunities to help agents better leverage technology to grow business. Respondents included mid- to senior-level marketing executives at companies that are part of the AMC network.
Key findings include:
German insurance firms understand the value of having a presence on social media

  • 84% report using social media for business; of those, Facebook, XING and YouTube lead the charge
  • About half consider Facebook to have the highest potential for sales and marketing, as well as XING
  • Twitter is often used to learn about current events

Leveraging social media at the individual sales agent level is the next big opportunity

  • Most respondents agree that having sales agents provide a “human” touch for their customers is a good reason to use social media for business purposes
  • The majority say it’s important for them to provide localized, personalized content via their agents

The current technology solutions at German insurance firms seem to be lacking

  • Nearly all respondents say the identification of relevant events in a customer’s life is important, but many also reported that their current software solution does a poor job of providing these insights

German insurance firms want stronger, clearer regulations on what they can say or do on social media

  • More than 50 percent state that more regulations will encourage social media use for business

To learn more details about the survey results, read our press release issued in Germany.
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Survey: 66% of advisors report social media has helped them gain new clients

The number of financial advisors who are gaining new clients through social media is growing, according to a survey released by Putnam Investments today.
In the 2013 Putnam survey, 49% of advisors using social media for business indicated that social media had helped them gain new clients. This year that number is up, with 66% of advisors reporting that social has helped them gain new clients.
Putnam Investments 2014 Social Media Survey
The size of the new clients advisors are gaining through social media is growing too. This year, 39% of respondents who reported gaining new clients through social media gained new assets of more than $1 million, with an average gain of $5.5 million. The median booking was almost $2 million in new assets, close to triple the level reported by the 2013 respondents.
It’s also interesting to note that while the business value of social media is becoming more evident for advisors, the percentage of advisors using social has not grown year-over-year, remaining steady at 75% of respondents. LinkedIn remains the top network for advisors, with 64% of advisors reporting that they use the professional social network.
The survey also shares some interesting demographics: women and advisors under 30 are the most likely to use social networks for business. Wirehouse advisors are using social media more than independent advisors or RIAs and are the most likely segment of advisors to gain new clients.
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To learn more, check out the Putnam Investments 2014 Social Advisor Study.