Social Media: The Good, the Bad, and the Weird

According to Facebook, 347,000 people Like Progressive… but if you take a second to scan the comments visitors leave on the company’s Facebook posts, you might wonder if anyone likes it.

There are complaints about premiums. Complaints about misunderstandings. Complaints about the visuals in the Facebook posts. Complaints about what actors in the commercials are wearing. (Seriously!)

This just proves a few truisms:

You can’t please all of the people all of the time.

Numbers aren’t everything.

Here’s the deal: when you set up a social media account for your agency, you are opening the door for the World Wide Web to come trampling in. You’ll encounter some great people—and then you’ll encounter some other kinds of people. (Really, it’s not so different from opening your agency in the first place!)

The Good in Social Media

Let’s face it: insurance is not a hot topic for most people. They’re not excited to pay for it, and they’re definitely not excited when there’s an incident that requires them to use it. So when someone takes the time to say something good about your agency, give yourself a high five: you must be doing something really right!

Here’s a great example from one Southern California agent’s Facebook page, a comment on a post about motorcycle insurance: “It’s my first motorcycle, and I was nervous about getting the right insurance, and talking to you guys on the phone was so easy and you treated me like family. Thanks so much!”

The Bad in Social Media

Unfortunately, it seems that it’s a lot easier for many people to complain than it is for them to compliment. Examples are easy to come by.

A comment on an insurance company post: “Well I just lost another hour of my day dealing with your incompetent company!! Worst customer service I have ever experienced.”

Here’s another on a different company’s Facebook page: “This insurance is the worst.” (The comment goes on at some length, but we’ll spare you the gory details.)

And here’s another from yet another company’s Facebook page: “Your company stinks.”

A brand new social media account is like a blank page... but as soon as you start to write on it, people will start commenting! Photo by Luis Llerena.

A brand new social media account is like a blank page… but as soon as you start to write on it, people will start commenting! Photo by Luis Llerena.

Wow, right? These are pretty harsh. But there is an upside: at least if a customer voices a complaint, you have an opportunity to work with that person and try to make things right. And that could be very good for business. (One recent survey found that of complaining customers who received a response to their complaint, 18% went on to become loyal customers of the company. More than a third went on to post a positive review of the company, and a slightly higher number deleted the original negative review.)

The Weird in Social Media

If there’s one thing you can count on, it’s that you’re going to encounter plenty of weird in the world of social media. Here are a couple of actual comments we spotted on three different insurance company Facebook pages.

“Chicken parm you taste so good.”

“Donald Trump The force has awakened !!!!!!!!!!!!! GO TRUMP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

“Guns take 30,000 American lives each year—including 8 children per day. 70,000 are wounded each year including 50 children a day. Why don’t you speak out?”

Um… okay.

So if you get a compliment or complaint, be sure you respond to it in a timely, courteous, and professional manner. But if you get a weird comment? Take a moment to chuckle or roll your eyes… and then move on.

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