Image via Florida Blue

5 Steps Florida Blue Took to Overcome Challenges in the Insurance Industry

Florida Blue’s steps to becoming a social business

What’s the risk of not adopting social media across your organization? According to Gartner Predicts 2014, one-quarter of those businesses that choose not to adopt social media will lose market position. A McKinsey Report also suggests that those businesses will miss the opportunity for 20% revenue increase and 60% higher profit growth. In other words, the risk is huge.

When integrating social media across heavily regulated organizations, such as insurance businesses, several challenges must first be addressed:

  1. Results: How do we take our social activity and convert it into real business results?
  2. Security: How can we ensure that our social efforts are compliant and secure?
  3. Data: How do we take our social data and turn it into actionable business data?
  4. Education: How do we educate and empower teams or advocates across entire organizations?
  5. Buy-In: Who controls the budget and how do we address executive buy-in for social?

Sharon LaSure-Roy, who is the Senior Manager of Social Media at Florida Blue, Florida’s Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plan, joined our recent webinar Insurance in the Social Era to share how they’re driving business growth and building trusted relationships, despite these shared industry challenges.

The Major Opportunity Florida Blue Saw in Social Media

Florida Blue’s purpose is to inspire people and communities in their pursuit of healthy living. To do this, Florida Blue’s dedicated social media team humanize the brand by building awareness and trusted relationships as a thought leader in health care, all while driving business growth.

2010: Achieving Executive Buy-In to Audit Social

In 2010, after getting executive buy-in from their legal team, the social media did an internal and external audit to determine the risks and compliance issues of social media. This audit supported the organization’s need to be present on channels where customers were most active, but in a secure way. From this audit sprouted a dedicated social media team of five people who manage all social communications.

“This really opened up social media for our enterprise,” says LaSure-Roy. “Suddenly we had a way to connect in real time with customers, employers, providers, agents, and the community, while helping drive business.”

2011: Securing Social Media Efforts and Educating Employees

In 2011, Florida Blue needed a tool to help them secure their social media efforts. They selected Hootsuite Enterprise with its limited permissions, secure sharing options, and notifications system. Employees who had access to publishing across Florida Blue’s main social channels underwent social media education with Hootsuite University, so that they felt confident to securely speak on the business’ behalf.

2012: Humanize the Brand and Measure the Audience’s Reaction

With the necessary security and efficiency functionalities in place, in 2012, Florida Blue executives recognized the need to humanize the brand and speak the language that resonated most with their audience. Back then, Florida Blue was called Blue Cross, Blue Shield, Florida, or BCBSFL. Using Hootsuite to monitor customer sentiment and gather actionable data from social, the organization underwent a brand overhaul and successfully changed the name to Florida Blue—a change which customers felt positive about according to social data.

The State of Social at Florida Blue Today

Over the past two years, they’ve updated their strategy to incorporate campaigns and partnership opportunities that convert social media activity into business leads and drive results. With the support of CEO, Pat Geraghty, social media is seen as an integral communication tool and viable to the success of the organization. Every Florida Blue employee is empowered to help drive the brand message and speak on a personal level with their ever-growing online community. For example, HR is encouraged to promote work-life-culture and available job postings on social media, while customer service monitors conversations in real time for any inquiries and issues.

Campaign Partnerships to Drive Business and Awareness

LaSure-Roy manages a content marketing strategy to engage their community and adhere to regulatory restrictions. For example, by collaborating with other organizations like colleges and universities, Florida Blue can support community events, sweepstakes, and giveaways, while remaining compliant. They also partner with professional sports teams, such as the Jacksonville Jaguars, Orlando Magic or Tampa Bay Lightning, to sponsor events and use the corresponding social campaigns to humanize the insurance brand.

One 2014 campaign partnered with the Miami Heat, where Florida Blue offered personalized digital autographs, or digigraphs. Over the span of a few hours, fans recieved over 2,900 digigraphs, which were shareable via social media. Thousands of fans included @FLBlue in their tweets, thanking Florida Blue and the Miami Heat.  This partnership not only opened the insurance organization up on a more fun, personal level, but also exponentially grew their audience and potential customers. Over 1400 fans opted in to receive additional information from Florida Blue.

Hootsuite is important to the success of these events as it is used to listen, engage and gather results that drive business.

Is Your Organization Missing Out on Business Opportunities?

In the webinar, you will discover that a lot can happen in very little time. Out of 12 billion overall Tweets in any given month, 3.7 million of them are about insurance. Of those, 23,401 are Tweets with intent, or social leads. But only 1% of those social leads ever received a brand response. Florida Blue is one of those insurance providers with teams who connect and provide answers in real time with social leads.

For a deeper look into how social media can help you nurture genuine, long-lasting connections online, register for our interactive insurance-specific Hootsuite live demo. The demo will show you how to successfully transition to a social business—and help you avoid common pitfalls that insurance companies experience when using social media.

Registration is limited. Reserve your seat today.