Few organizations understand the value of integrity and stability more deeply than Penn Mutual, a leading life insurer in business for more than 170 years.
As more financial services organizations conduct business virtually, Penn Mutual also remains focused on personal relationships. Much of its business is driven by the tens of thousands of financial professionals who engage online and help spread awareness of the benefits of Penn Mutual products and services.
“We value personal relationships with the people we work with, especially our financial professionals,” says Diane Check, digital training and governance specialist at Penn Mutual. “Ultimately, people buy from people. Financial professionals are the face of our business.”
Looking to provide more options to career advisors and strengthen its ties with independent financial professionals, Penn Mutual turned to Hootsuite to refine the company’s social selling program.
Social is an increasingly important element of the financial services sales process. It boosts credibility, raises awareness, and provides a means of engaging with new audiences.
“We’ve had a social presence for years, and our current program makes it easy for financial professionals to promote their practices with a vibrant social media program,” says Check.
Social is now pivotal to Penn Mutual’s engagement with its community of financial professionals. With help from Hootsuite, Penn Mutual’s program enables financial professionals to share compliant content and extend their reach. Penn Mutual also offers coaching to share best practices and help financial professionals stay informed about tools and strategies.
Penn Mutual now has a content studio within its marketing department, focused solely on producing, testing, and refining a menu of social content. The team uses Hootsuite Amplify to enable financial professionals to find content and post on the social channels of their choice.
“Our creative team can take one piece of content and slice it six different ways to work for different audiences,” Check explains. “Financial professionals can then choose to personalize it.”
Financial professionals are invited to register for online training sessions where they can ask questions or request training. More than 30 sessions have been delivered within the last 12 months, and are subsequently recorded and made available to Penn Mutual’s financial professional community.
Rita Gibson is a California-based financial professional with more than 40 years’ experience. Her business used to rely on networking events and Rotary lunches—but the pandemic has changed everything.
“Networking has changed,” says Gibson. “Social is exposing me to a whole new demographic. My clients all used to be in their fifties; now I’m speaking to clients in their thirties. I’m getting noticed by more people.”
Her experience illustrates a growing trend in the industry, with Penn Mutual reporting that 54% of financial professionals have scheduled a meeting with someone they met on social media. Hootsuite works, notes Gibson, because the interface is simple and the content is preapproved to post on social networks.
“It’s so easy that I can post from my phone in the grocery store line,” she says.
“We continue to learn,” says Check. “We recognize what content works, or which images best suit a story. We also accept that not every piece of content needs to be posted by every financial professional.”
Today, 70% of Penn Mutual’s financial professionals are actively sharing content, with 80-100 shares each day. The goal, Check explains, is for financial professionals to be confident enough to select and post their own content from Penn Mutual’s pre-approved library.
We don’t want to throw content at our financial professionals. We’re here to help them build social strategies that align with their individual practices. Our target audiences are diverse, and the needs of our financial professionals are also diverse."
When it comes to social media, a Penn Mutual survey of its financial professionals revealed that their number one concern is lack of time. Number two? Fear of making a mistake.
JR Gurrieri, financial professional at BlackBelt Wealth Advisory, uses Hootsuite to quickly map out his social media calendar for the week.
“Every Friday I’m sent a list of content from Hootsuite via email,” explains Gurrieri. “I scan to check the most relevant, then schedule it to automatically populate my social media feeds across the week.”
“Time-blocking is essential,” he adds. “I know I can’t spend all day on social media, but I need to focus on it enough to let my personality come through. I don’t use social media to sell—I use it to let people know who I am and what I know. From there, conversations start.”
With its dedicated content studio and growing social media program, Penn Mutual plans to further refine its content and offerings, creating an even more engaging experience for users.
The company currently has 900 active users of Hootsuite Amplify and Check expects this number to continue growing.
“The more we use Hootsuite, the better we become,” she says. “Hootsuite is teaching us so we can teach others.”