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Tag: "Car Insurance Advice"

More Drivers Seek Car Insurance Advice on Social Media

Social media networks are quickly becoming a primary source for car insurance advice and shopping tips.

A survey from the Gartner research firm suggests that more consumers trust online commentary and reviews from other users. “The majority of consumers rely to some extent on social networks to guide them in their purchase decisions,” said the research firm.

The reason for the shift? Only 14 percent of shoppers put faith in traditional advertisements while an overwhelming 78 percent rely on user-generated commentary and product reviews.

Three out of four Americans now use social technology, with thousands joining Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other networks daily. And while word-of-mouth has always been the most popular form of marketing, social media is word-of-mouth on steroids.

Take this example: Jody Walsh, a receptionist in Oregon, uses social media on a daily basis. After a fender-bender left her rear bumper smashed last month, she filed a claim. “They sent me to a cut-rate body shop to get it replaced. It took almost a week and, when I finally got my car back, the bumper was painted a slightly different color.”

After complaining to her agent, she was told to take it up with the body shop. “He totally washed his hands of the situation,” she said. “It was very frustrating.” So, she decided to vent her frustration online. “I posted about it on Facebook and got dozens of suggestions from friends. After I finally got my bumper repainted, I cancelled my policy and switched insurers.”

In the era of social media, a scathing review like this can send shockwaves through a company. The average Facebook user has 130 friends; Jody’s post went out to over 500.

Insurers are beginning to understand the power of social media in today’s market. That’s why sites like Facebook, which has 149 million users in the U.S. alone, have become promotional battlegrounds for local and national insurers. Farmers Insurance currently leads with over 131,000 “likes” from Facebook users; State Farm trails with 96,000.

But people are not only researching car insurance online, they’re buying online, too. A recent J.D. Power survey found that 54 percent of car insurance purchases are initiated online.