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Agent to Agent: Social Media and Its Evolving Impact on Both Employers and Employees

By Christopher Paradiso, President
Paradiso Insurance

Back in the day, an employer would have to take the time and pay for an outside agency to conduct a background check on a prospective employee. Now, with the click of a button, all of an individual’s dirty laundry can be aired online through social media. Even with Facebook’s numerous security settings, it’s still possible for those spring break pictures to pop up in a search or for one’s status updates regarding their wild and eventful weekend to be broadcasted across the web.

As we know, social media use is also a growing trend among insurance agencies aiming to modernize the way in which they market their business. What some people don’t know is that insurance agencies are just like any other major corporation using the social platform to research, and at times may even decide to conduct investigations to ensure that claimants are being accurate in regards to their injuries or property damage. Companies that employ individuals who perform physical labor are often subject to workers compensation claims. Although business owners who have covered all of their bases by obtaining CT workers compensation insurance don’t have to worry about draining their finances in order to pay disabled employees, many would like to know whether their workers are being honest about their claims. Therefore, as part of an investigation, insurance agents may turn to filtering through social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter in order to make sure that claimants who are receiving workers compensation benefits aren’t taking part in local road races, or other high-level physical activities, during their free time.

However it’s important to remember that social media is not just a tool used for employers to monitor their workers. Although the research aspect of social sites may seem to be a relatively new development for insurance agencies, many have already capitalized on the platforms to help boost their customer base and revenue – and many have been successful in doing so. Facebook and Twitter have become proven assets for large and small companies alike that want to become active in their communities. Having a presence on social media sites can help businesses find potential clients in their area and stay up-to-date on local happenings.

While other mediums for advertising such as newspaper ads and TV commercials (thanks, DVR) are becoming less effective by the minute, Internet Marketing via social media sites seems to be a silver lining for companies that want to continue to grow in this tough economy. In just a few years, social media has grown from something that was nearly unknown in the corporate world to a must-have tool for both employers and employees.

September 9, 2011