In the latest episode of Marketing Tech Talks’, Matthew Gonnering, Widen CEO sits down with Josh Feyen, social media specialist with American Family Insurance, a private mutual company that focuses on property, casualty and auto insurance. He works closely with over 2500 of AmFam’s field representatives that have opted in and want to use some form of social media to advance their business.

At 3:25, Josh talks about how he loves training, and that as early as 2009, AmFam realized the future importance of social media for their field reps, and hired him to focus on that transition.

At 4:55, Josh explains that his customers are the field reps, and his deliverable to those reps is training on how to use social media, and content that is repurposable. He gives us a glimpse into his daily troubleshooting, and the different buckets of content types that he creates. Fac

At 8:43, he talks about the challenges in creating content for different channels like Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook. Most of his agents are using Facebook, and he promotes posts about their personal lives. It helps them to connect with their customers on an emotional level. Conversely, Linkedin is not the place to post pictures of cats.

At 12:18, Matthew asks Josh how they manage creating and distributing their content. Josh explains how they use a platform called Hearsay Social. He spends 50% of his day in the platform creating and monitoring content, so it is the most critical piece of technology he uses. Every week, he has a standing call with a rep from Hearsay Social to talk about Josh’s user adoption, and any UI changes that Josh suggests.

At 18:18, Josh talks about his team that manages all of this. His immediate team is two people. Himself and another technical person, but he has relationships with other areas of the organization which help him develop new content and repurpose content originally created for other areas for use on social channels.

At 21:20, Josh talks about how the corporate advertising calendar (the stuff we see on tv for example) drives themes for content he creates and pushes for social. Social can help amplify the overall message of the brand. He wants to be able to offer two to three options for his customers. Anything more, and it’s overwhelming, like going down the breakfast cereal isle.

At 33:32, Josh answers a question about how he manages dealing with agents that don’t want to use the content that he creates. He suggests that a third of the content they post to be something that AmFam provides, a third to be content about something that is very local, like letting people know you’re at a local festival or event, and the last third should be content about themselves like where they volunteer. The third that AmFam provides is customizable.

At 36:20, Josh talks about Google+. Josh tells his agents, “Google cares, so we care.”

At 39:45, Josh talks about how the importance of engagement, and how it is changing quickly. He jokes about how he has professional photographers and writers….but a simple pic from the agent’s phone that is about them personally will always get better engagement.

At 42:34, Josh explains how he uses metrics and how he shares that with his agents. He sends out an email monthly with a scorecard he created which rates the agents by walk, run and fly.

at 46:00, Matthew asks Josh of how he is special in the world of Facebook. Since he has admin rights to all of his agents pages, he officially has admin rights to more pages than anyone in the world. Facebook reminds him of that when he breaks it.

At 48:06, Matthew asks Josh how he stays sharp on the topic of social media. Josh says he belongs to an organization called socialmedia.org, and there is a lot of great articles on their site. He subscribes to Social Media Examner, and he also attends Social Media Breakfast, a local group that focuses on trends in social media. He also follows influencers such as Jay Baer, and Andrew Foxwell.

At 53:00, Josh answers a question about how they utilize video as a media file type. Agents are not able to have Youtube channels. They can post videos to Facebook natively because those are archived by the Hearsay tool which is a legal requirement for the insurance industry. They also require that video are not about insurance at all because it creates a compliance nightmare. But non-insurance related video works great for the the personal and local third portions of Josh’s suggested content mix.

At 57:51, Josh shares his opinion on the future of social media, including an assurance that millennials are not abandoning social or facebook, and that google+ still has value. He also sees big advancements in control of privacy.

Leave a Reply