Social Media has brought a wide range of opportunities to the Insurance industry for reaching out to consumers with a view to improve performance in the areas of Marketing, Sales, Knowledge Dissemination, and Recruitment. The traditional ways of conducting business in these areas are now going to be redefined in the era of social media. However, leveraging social media in the business operations requires careful planning and execution as there are quite a few constraints to be overcome.
In this blog and in the next set of blogs, I am going to discuss the challenges and constraints faced by the healthcare payors and the various ways of overcoming those in order to stay competitive in the market.
Social media is gaining the attention of the healthcare payors, insurance agents, brokers, healthcare providers due to its wider accessibility to the healthcare consumers across the world. The social media is one of the fastest means to reach out to consumers and create brand image. This is also one of surest ways to engage the existing members/policyholders and retain them. However, the insurance industry especially the healthcare industry has been a highly regulated industry. Even though more and more payors are adopting social media, still majority of them have been very cautious in their adoption.
I think it is a good way to start the discussion by focusing on the key areas where there is an increasing demand for social media in the health insurance industry.
• Communication and stakeholder engagement : Payor organizations leverage social media to achieve effective communication to its members, collection of feedback from members , and better collaboration between payors and the members.
• Creating public awareness on the social initiatives of the Organization : To disseminate industry related information to its members and educate them on various government regulations
o New laws enacted by the Government (such as Health care reform laws in the U.S.)
o Government regulations (e.g HIPAA, CMS regulations)
o Fundraising event organised by the organization for a social cause
o Organizational news (such as such as new program launches and enhancements)
• Brand and Image building
• Creating various social forums where public can participate and give feedback
• Social Media Campaign - In the last few years, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the U.S. has developed a number of integrated social media campaigns, including campaigns for the novel H1N1 flu event, the Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak associated with peanut butter and peanut-containing products , as well as seasonal influenza vaccination campaigns. Each campaign integrates innovative social media products with research-driven strategies to ensure that CDC protects and promotes the health of diverse audiences.