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Nadira Kharmai-Freed from Foremost on marketing for insurance firms

Tim Gibbon (Social Media Portal (SMP)) - 14 September 2016

Marketing for insurance businesses and guest speaking at the I2C: Insurance2Cusomter USA Summit 2016 with Nadira Kharmai-Freed

Foremost Insurance logo 150x150Social Media Portal (SMP): What is your name and what do you do there for Foremost Insurance?

Nadira Kharmai-Freed (NKF): I’m Nadira Kharmai-Freed, marketing communications specialist. I develop, strategize and execute multimedia marketing efforts to our independent agents.

SMP: What does Foremost Insurance do?

NKF: Foremost® provides Personal Lines, Personal Specialty Lines and Commercial Lines insurance coverage. Our company markets through independent agents.

SMP: You’re guest speaking at I2C: Insurance2Cusomter USA Summit 2016 in September, what is your session entitled and what will you cover?

NKF: The session is entitled Digital Connection: Building Relationships with Independent Agents.  I’ll be talking about how Foremost uses digital marketing to foster relationships with independent agents, which ultimately helps grow our business.

Photograph of Nadira Kharmai-FreedSMP: What are you most looking forward to at the summit?  

NKF: I’m looking forward to hearing how other industry professionals leverage social media and digital marketing to connect with their audiences. I’m a big advocate for networking and learning from others!

SMP: Tell us about the Social Media Suitcase - what is and when was it created?

The Social Media Suitcase® is a website that teaches independent agents how to use social media and digital marketing to reach their customers in this on-the-go, web-based era. The site offers guides and tips on building agency profiles on platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The SMS also provides insight for intermediate and advanced users on blogging, SEO and content marketing. One of the most beneficial deliverables on the Suitcase is our content library. We have hundreds of pre-made posts and Tweets on topics that relate to all of our products! Agents are able to copy and paste the content to fill up their weekly social media feeds within minutes. We take the guesswork and time-consuming aspect of content creation out of social media publishing!

The SMS was created five years ago and was revamped in 2015.

SMP: Why is it called the Social Media Suitcase and what type of resource is required to maintain it?

NKF: That’s a great question! Originally, it was called the Social Media Toolkit. Somewhere between development and execution, the site got renamed…likely to play on the analogy that social media marketing is a journey, and without a properly packed suitcase, the ride may be bumpy.

SMP: Who are the audience for the Social Media Suitcase and what are its objectives?

NKF: Our SMS audience is anyone who runs the agency’s digital marketing! This site is packed with so much original and curated content that a so-called “guru” or “beginner” will benefit from it. Our main objective is to help our agencies grow their brand awareness and presence online so they stay connected with new and current customers. Foremost’s business relies on their business.

SMP: How do you promote it and what are the plans for it in the future?

NKF: We promote through social media, email, digital video, and throughout trade shows, but with the release of our new book The Straight-to-the-Point Guide to Social Media Marketing, we’ll be ramping up promotions throughout the Fall and Spring with more Facebook Live videos and “chats” with agency professionals on LinkedIn.

Watch an example of content created for independent agents to share with their customers.

SMP: What do you see as the biggest challenges and opportunities for insurance companies are in the social media space and the competition they may have?

NKF: Companies of all kinds, especially in the insurance category, continue to be challenged on how to effectively provide outstanding customer service via social media. It’s a big undertaking with a host of potential pitfalls to have CSRs answer consumer complaints on Twitter and Facebook in an authentic manner (i.e. not just commenting with a standard/scripted reply), but there are opportunities to shine and show the customer that at the end of the day, we care. It’s an opportunity to boost customer experience, public relations, and retention.

SMP: What is the most challenging part for insurance brands building social media presence in digital environments and why?

NKF: Bottom line: Being relevant. Insurance may not always be on people’s minds, day in and day out. But when disaster does strike, or when a couple has an addition to their family, then insurance becomes very relevant. Typically that’s when a buyer hops online or asks friends and family for recommendations for who to go to…But how can we as insurers be engaging in between those infrequent times? That’s where relevancy and digital presence comes into play. If your insurance brand can consistently provide something useful even when there’s no tornado or fire or loss, it’ll help build that presence and enhance customer experience.

Foremost Insurance homepage image

SMP: What do you think is going to be the most interesting aspect regarding social media, social networks and/or technology for the next 12 to 18-months and why?

NKF: In the technology space, I foresee higher use in drones and 360 cameras in relation to Claims. I believe those two things can provide an extra set of eyes on assessing damage, which in turn helps the customer and the company.

SMP: Best way to contact you and Foremost Insurance?

NKF replies with:

Foremost Insurance on Facebook, Foremost Insurance Guy on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter @foremost, Instagram @ForemostInsurance and Nadira Kharmai-Freed on LinkedIn.

Watch an example of content for independent agents

Now some questions for fun

SMP: What did you have for breakfast / lunch?

NKF: A protein shake. Boring, but quick and efficient!

SMP: What’s the last good thing that you did for someone?

NKF: Waited in line and saved concert seats for me and my wife in 90° weather…for two hours!

SMP: If you weren’t working at Foremost Insurance what would you be doing?

NKF: Likely being a digital storyteller elsewhere…I have an affinity for footwear, so possibly working in that industry.

SMP: When / where did you go on your last holiday and why?

NKF: This is a fun question! My wife surprised me with a trip to New Orleans for my birthday in February…it was a phenomenal trip filled with tours of the city, historic cemeteries, nearby plantations and creole food. NOLA is rich with culture and the people there are so friendly!

SMP: What’s the first thing you do when you get into the office of a morning?

NKF: Check and assess Foremost’s social feeds for engagement and interaction.

SMP: If you had a superpower what would it be and why?

NKF: I’m gonna borrow from Peter Pan and say the ability to fly. I love to travel and one of my favorite shots to take as a videographer is an aerial view, so I think that’s suits me quite well. Plus, human flight is sustainable for the environment and quicker than a car!

Learn more about the I2C: Insurance2Cusomter USA Summit 2016 at SMP events and an interview with the Insurance Nexus head of strategy Emma Sheard and Terry Golesworthy from The Customer Respect Group on insurance marketing.

Use Discount code SMP150 for $150 off the rate of the day for conference registration.

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