The internet started as a revolutionary platform for information and communication, and guess what? It’s still revolutionizing the way we inherit and consume information, albeit much differently than how it was ten years ago.
Ten years ago there was no Facebook or Twitter and communication between friends was based on instant messaging and phone calls; even texting hadn’t become as widespread as it is today.
Facebook seems like it has become the norm for communication among younger generations. Email has been replaced by Facebook messaging, while phone calls have been replaced by texts and wall posts. Instead of calling friends to see what everyone’s plan is for the night, it’s now acceptable to post a status update reading, “what’s the plan tonight?” with links to various profiles of friends.
Facebook and Twitter have undergone significant changes since their debuts in 2004 and 2006, respectively. Remember the old Facebook layout? If you don’t, then we’re not surprised, because that was the layout all the way back in 2005. In order to keep up with the changing uses for the internet, social media accounts have to change, too.
So what changes have social media platforms made, and how does your insurance agency adjust and adapt?
Social media platforms change based on what they think people are currently using the internet for. For instance, Facebook was one of the first websites to really understand that users wanted to share photos as much as possible. On their initial run, photo space was limited, and now? Unlimited. Foursquare started up because the developers realized that people wanted to know where their friends were and what they were doing. And now recently, they have altered their website to allow users to not only check into places, but check into events as well. Although social media platforms all have different services and philosophies, they do have one thing in common: acceptance to change.
Social media platforms are always changing, so it’s necessary for us to change with them. If we don’t, then we’ll fall behind and we won’t be able to successfully implement them back into our lives and business strategies. It’s always funny when a website like Facebook drastically changes their layout: there is always a public backlash, but users will begrudgingly continue to log in because they can never get enough of Facebook.
So how should your insurance agency be adapting to changes in social media? Simple: as much as you can. As social media platforms change, your agency must change with it in order to better acclimate itself for future success. The old saying is, “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em,” which directly applies to this situation. If Facebook or Twitter makes an adjustment, you should make sure you and your social media team are aware of the changes.
Perhaps the biggest change within the last year is social media’s adaption to mobile phones. Mobile is primed to become a large part of social media in the near future, with LinkedIn announcing that they are revamping their mobile application in an effort to streamline the way users interact on the actual website and the application. Also, the new Apple mobile operating system, iOS5, is going to have innovative Twitter integration. It also does not hurt to mention that Facebook is the most downloaded free mobile application ever.
As an agency, it’s crucial to step up your game when it comes to the internet. The internet is where many current and potential customers spend a lot of their time whether it’s for work or for personal use. Keeping your agency up to date on the internet—especially social media—will allow your company to remain competitive in the online field and add traction to your insurance agency website.
Don’t be afraid of change!