"So We Hired A Social Media Intern!"

Carly Holboke, Social Media Intern

Craford Benefit Consultants

Marketing has changed a lot in the past decade. The world has moved from the age of print into the age of digital, which includes the ever-changing universe of social media. Being a millennial myself, I have grown up surrounded by the virtual world and the incredible technological advancements of the past twenty years. I was the first generation in history that was tasked with teaching the generations above me the ways of digital. Never before had humanity experienced a backwards revolution and however wonderful experiencing these changes first hand has been, I’ll still always remember my younger years of dial-up internet, floppy disks, brick cell phones, and overhead projectors.

You may be asking yourself at this point how I, a digital fiend, ended up interning at a benefit consulting company. How does insurance fit in with social media? The answer to that very valid (and very good) question is one that I already answered: the world of marketing is changing and it’s changing fast. I was offered the opportunity to work from the ground up and develop a whole new social media strategy for Craford Benefits, and it was one I couldn’t pass up. Marketing and advertising is not what it was in the 1990s. According to Hootsuite, one of the top social media aggregate sites currently available, social media ad spending is likely to exceed $35 billion by 2017. That represents an increase of about $13 billion in TWO YEARS. Billboards, magazines, and newspapers are becoming obsolete. I came home from college this summer to find that my parents cancelled their subscription to our local newspaper because “they can just check Facebook or pull the online version of the paper up on their phone.”

What’s even more staggering than the transition from print to social media advertising are the reasons why. In a study published by Informate Mobile Intelligence, people in the US check their social media accounts up to 17 times a day-meaning at least once every waking hour. However, this is nothing compared to smartphone users in Thailand, Argentina, Malaysia, Qatar, Mexico, and South Africa who check their social apps at least 40 times per day! While some people are more obsessive at checking their phone than other people, I think we can all admit that we’re engrossed with a digital screen a little more than we’d like to be.

Because of this technological boom, marketers and advertisers have adjusted accordingly. If on average someone is going to be on their phone 17 times per day, then why not show them an advertisement as they scroll through their timeline? So that’s where I stepped in. You probably don’t immediately connect a benefits insurance company to social media, but that’s exactly what I’m trying to change. In my first month here, I have not found another benefits company utilizing social media like we are. Craford emphasizes the importance of relationships and building a mutual trust with our clients. Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn provides us with the opportunity to connect with carriers, clients, potential clients, and each other. It keeps our relationship professional, but a little more personable. We are able to share our client’s testimonials, blog posts (just like this one) from employees about insights and advice on benefits information, and even pictures of Craford’s amazing team out visiting clients and interacting in the community.

Social media is giving our consultants a chance to share their interests and expertise and become more than just your benefits consultant. We are here to help you in any way that we can and social media is helping us do that. So go ahead, follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook @CrafordBenefits. Share your experience with us and we’ll share it with the world (plus it’s free publicity for you!), because Craford Benefit Consultants is becoming the steam engine of social media in the insurance world.