Social media allows small brokers to compete with rival giants

Published: October 20, 2018



A major concern for small independent brokers is how to compete against major organizations with vast resources for marketing. However, as the insurance industry continues to transition to online operations, small brokerages can even the playing field. Social media allows small brokers to gain a marketing foothold and compete with large companies says Tim Rooney, managing partner at Rooney, Earl & Partners.

Online tools like social media has reduced the David versus Goliath battle many small brokerages have to fight. While large providers can still outwit small independent brokers with bigger gross written premiums and their reach, marketing is becoming more even.

Rooney says small independents can standout from the crowd by being different and communicating their value. Social media is increasingly becoming important to small brokers and is a vital direct communication solution for connecting with customers. Rooney told Insurance Business small firms must still put in hard work but can now achieve new leads and customers.

“There was a time not so long ago when a brokerage could share some good content on social media, such as ‘10 tips for saving on your insurance,’ and that would push them ahead of the pack. However, as more and more firms got involved and started publishing blogs and whitepapers, it became much more difficult for smaller firms to differentiate themselves online.

“Secondly, the social media party is now over from a cost perspective. Whereas social media used to be free, now firms have to spend money to promote posts on Facebook or extend their reach on LinkedIn. If they don’t spend money, they will struggle to gain traction on social media.”

Brand Awareness

While social media can even the advertising playing field, small independent brokers still face challenges by the massive budgets and brand recognition of big rivals. For example, a major company like Aviva Canada will be recognizable to any consumer, even those with no interest in the insurance industry. Conversely, a small rural brokerage will not be recognized.

Social media becomes a powerful tool because it allows small brokers to target their specific customer base and build brand awareness.

“Social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn can be very useful tools for starting conversations as part of your brand strategy,” Rooney says. “But managing your social media effectively takes time and effort. Are you able to generate leads via social media? It all depends on your network, your strategy and how you differentiate yourself.”