Opinion: Insurance Has a Free Speech Problem

By Guest Contributor: Carey Anne Nadeau, CEO & Founder of ODN

Most employees at major insurance companies rarely share stories on their LinkedIn feed and almost never post original content. Maybe, on occasion they re-share  celebrations of retirements and ‘like’ endorsements for leadership awards, but typically feeds lay fallow. 

This is a massive, missed opportunity. 

What insurance carriers have failed to see is that LinkedIn posts from employees are effective, targeted, and free marketing to advertise to would-be customers. Not allowing or dissuading employees from posting only entrenches a culture that is a-synchronistic with the next generation of brasher, self-righteous, millennial job seekers.

I would know. I am a successful millennial insurtech startup founder, guest writer, and host of the insurance podcast, Profiles in Risk. I try to post to LinkedIn twice daily. In 2019, I’d estimate that new revenue generation for my company, ODN, that originates or is facilitated through introductions on LinkedIn will be over 80%.

My suggestion is to let employees post to LinkedIn, without supervision, review censorship, or repercussions. So what if a post is off message? A brand-positive post written in an author’s true voice will reach more people in an authentic way. 

Take Rob Galbraith for example, he recently left USAA to do a press tour with his book, ‘The End of Insurance As We Know It.’ Rob has 7,500 followers, but when he posted his notice of leaving USAA, over 100,000 people viewed the post, 235 commented and 835 people liked his post. Meaning, he moved 100,000 people multiple steps down a qualified sales funnel with one post that took no more than 5 minutes to write. Amazing. 

And for those concerned about the potential for staff uprisings? LinkedIn is a professional channel and few, if any, would be eager to put a black stain on their own resume by posting something negative.

I’d suggest that carriers elevate their employees’ posts by reposting, as a sponsored post. When AXA XL construction lines started sharing employee blogs on the corporate LinkedIn account, President Gary Kaplan and Director of Strategic Opportunities Justin Gress say that this elevated the status of their employees as thought leaders while making the authors feel empowered and appreciated at their jobs.

Employees posting on LinkedIn are a blessing, not a curse. A modern content strategy that promotes and celebrates employee free speech is what insurance carriers need to win new customers and hire the next generation workforce.