Last week we had the pleasure of hosting a Social Tech Boot Camp for insurance executives with Mike Wise in the Boston office. Falling right before Hubspot’s Inbound, the Bootcamp was a day-long workshop that explored social technology and its role in the insurance industry. The ten attendees, including myself, had varying levels of experience with social tech, different positions within companies of differing industries and reach sizes. The bootcamp was engaging by design, and with such a vast array of experience and questions in the room, everyone became quickly involved in the conversation.
Mike was very hands-on with social technology taking us through everything step by step, from a live blog post to a Twitter post through Hootsuite, even to LinkedIn to show us the true power of well-run company page. He took us to websites and Facebook pages to show us real life examples of people in and out of our industries doing a great job utilizing social technologies as a part of their marketing strategies. This got everyone involved in the process and opened up conversation between us. What I loved about the diverse array of experience in the room was the perspectives on all of these strategies and media everyone had to share. Relating these newer marketing techniques to the “tried and true” and constructing parallels to traditional marketing practices were helpful in understanding the true potential of social tech.
I left Social Tech Bootcamp with three primary takeaways:
1. If social technology is “now,” what’s next? We must be able to master what is today to be well positioned for what is coming next. Mike reiterated this point several times throughout the day, and justly so. I personally had never thought of marketing in these terms, but it is paramount. As even Google search becomes more social, mastering these technologies becomes important in new and different ways. In a regulated industry like insurance, it is difficult to keep up and branch out into these seemingly pervasive media and technologies. After a day with Mike, learning from him and coming to understand his passion for social, it is reaffirmed that I must constantly be a student of my industry and always experimenting.
2. Crowdsourcing is an incredible resource. In an area like social tech where new content is needed practically every minute, enter crowdsourcing. For many insurance companies, or really any industry, building a social tech presence from the ground up can seem like an overwhelming task that involves many new hires. Not so with crowdsourcing. Mike walked us through the benefits of this method of working, and showed us some awesome resources like Zerys, 99designs and PopTent. With these sites, Mike explained how it is easy to find someone to work on a project within your budget or timeline.
3. Navigating what Mike calls “The River of Information.” As someone well ingrained in social tech, this was an area to I could really relate. How do we filter all of the information coming through all of the different channels we’re exposed to each day? By aggregating and then filtering information, Mike is able to make sense of it all. Through different tools like Google Alerts and adding streams on Hootsuite, Mike showed us his strategies for teasing out only the best information from what comes through social tech each day.
A huge thank you to Mike for leading a great event, and to Mary for helping it all run smoothly!