Why Facebook? With Embrace Pet Insurance

02/04/2008

From blogs to podcasts to vlogs to micro blogs to social media networking communities brands continue to explore marketing opportunities.  Laura Bennett from Embrace Pet Insurance shares her challenges and lessons learned about Why Facebook?

Embrace_pet_insurance About Embrace Pet Insurance
Embrace Pet Insurance is a pet health insurance for cats and dogs.  Every Embrace Pet Insurance policy is 100% underwritten by Lloyd's of London. Now that's some classy insurance!

Toby/Diva Marketing: Why use a social networking site, like Facebook, to promote the brand?

Laura Bennett: I’m fascinated by the development of online social networks and participate in a number of them myself. I thought that if I enjoyed interacting with other like-minded (or not) people online, maybe our Embraced pet parents (as we like to call our policyholders) and other friends of Embrace might be too. Embrace on Facebook.

At the core of it though, the open nature of Facebook dovetails very much with the Embrace philosophy - an upfront and honest interaction with just about anyone who wants anything to do with Embrace. Insurance is all about trust and pet insurance hasn’t had the best reputation in the past. Our mission is to change the flighty image of pet insurance one person at a time. Facebook puts Embrace out there in a real way and lets our audience decide if we mean it or not.

Toby/Diva Marketing: Why in particular Facebook?

Laura Bennett: I like the flexible, clean look, the growing number of real people on the site, and the demographics of where Facebook is going (older, more affluent) – I think it matches our customers more closely than say MySpace. Having said that, we also have a presence on MySpace but I don’t personally run that.

Toby/Diva Marketing: What is success for Embrace's Facebook strategy?

Laura Bennett: The ultimate success would be for the Embrace group (I’ve Been Embrace By Embrace Pet Insurance) to take on a life of its own and to be run by Embrace evangelists. Just think how incredibly powerful that would be.

Toby/Diva Marketing: Is your Facebook strategy supported by other tactics?

Laura Bennett: I’ve been writing a blog on pet insurance for 2.5 years now with the same upfront and honest feel so the two go together but apart from that, we’re not doing very much right now. Since we’re an early stage company, our resources are very focused and my attention is on fundraising at the moment. Once that painful process is finished for a while, we’ve definitely got a few ideas we’d like to implement. Can’t spill the beans right now though. Would love to hear any brilliant ideas on what we could do though – what do your readers think?

Sidebar: Check out my guest post about how I found Max.

Toby/Diva Marketing: Are you/will you also use ads on facebook to complement the initiative?

Laura Bennett: We’ve used some ads on Facebook with little success as they weren’t very targeted; however, it wasn’t a coordinated approach. Perhaps that’s another thing to add to the to-do list!

Toby/Diva Marketing: What were a few of the challenges you face/faced?

Laura Bennett: Well the nice thing about Facebook are that there are few technical challenges. There’s really nothing much to do on that front. And there is just “getting” Facebook. I have to admit that when I started, I couldn’t see the attraction or how it worked. I’m not sure I’m totally there either. And we certainly need to work on augmenting the Group, increasing the appeal to interact with it. And then the challenge is to get a critical mass of Embraced pet parents to get the group going. You need thousands of interested members before it takes on some momentum of its own and we have a long way to go before we reach that. That means I have to find time and inspiration to get the current members involved. That’s always a challenge.

Toby/Diva Marketing: What are a few lessons learned you can pass along to other brands who want to leverage Facebook as a marketing tactic?

Laura Bennett: If you want a presence on Facebook, go for sincerity and real people, not corporate speak and faceless minions. It’s harder than you think. If your evangelists have created something about you, ask them how you can interact without getting in the way. 

And always remember, it’s not about you, it’s about the people interacting with your brand.

Sidebar: If your brand's strategy includes a social media networking component like Facebook and want to be a Diva (or Divo) rock star interviewee drop me a comment.

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» Welcome Diva Marketing Readers! from Embrace Pet Insurance Blog
If you've come to my blog because of Toby Bloomberg's interview on Why Facebook?, welcome to Embrace! For a quick overview of who I am and what this blog is about, there's always the About Me page. To learn about [Read More]

Tracked on Feb 5, 2008 8:55:30 AM

Comments

"If you want a presence on Facebook, go for sincerity and real people, not corporate speak and faceless minions. It’s harder than you think." Laura's got that right. Like any customer effort, Facebook/social media requires great strategic thinking, innovation, time and effort, and an honest approach to relationship building, not selling. It's hard work.

Posted by: Lewis Green on Feb 4, 2008 2:46:37 PM

@Lewis - Spot on. It's not about build it they will come. Thanks for sharing a few of your own lessons learned. Exactly what I found to be true with a My Space strategy I managed for a client.

By the way, Lewis has a Facebook group to support his new book - Lead With Your Heart. Ccheck it out. http://tinyurl.com/2eckky

Posted by: Toby on Feb 4, 2008 6:48:53 PM

Great interview. I'll be interested to see how this turns out. It'd be nice if they published some measurement and ROI results!

Posted by: Geoff Livingston on Feb 4, 2008 9:40:08 PM

Thanks Laura and Toby ... interesting to hear the inside scoop. I particularly like "it's not about you". Reminds me of Toad's "This brand is not your fried".

Posted by: Gavin Heaton on Feb 4, 2008 10:08:28 PM

@Geoff - wonderful idea. Laura are you up for a part II in a few months?

@Gavin - Yes, sir. Social media reminds us and reinforces it's always all about the customer.

Posted by: Toby on Feb 5, 2008 10:04:29 AM

I'd be happy to update in a few months. Now I have to get off my butt and get in gear :)

Posted by: Laura on Feb 5, 2008 11:48:43 AM

Toby,
Great interview.
Even better:
It is a Cleveland company, and Laura is awesome!
Joel Libava
The Franchise King

Posted by: Joel Libava on Feb 10, 2009 10:51:21 PM

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