In only its second year, the LIMRA LOMA Silver Bowl Awards seeks to recognize excellence in social media by financial services companies.
Because of the compliance constraints unique to financial services, social media programs are developed more cautiously compared to other industries. These awards showcase successful social media programs, providing other companies a blueprint for how to effectively use social media in their businesses.
While new platforms constantly emerge, the Silver Bowl Awards currently focus on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Entries are judged on criteria such as innovation, effective use of the platform and engagement with followers. The deadline for this year's entries is Friday, June 20.
In 2013, 52 companies entered more than 100 submissions for Silver Bowl consideration. The winning programs were impressive and diverse:
- "Best of the Best" winner Morgan Stanley Wealth Management (MSWM) used LinkedIn to launch a "compliant yet engaging platform for its Financial Advisors." As of May 2014, more than 6,000 financial advisors had registered a LinkedIn account-and they continue to sign up.
- For Prudential Retirement, LinkedIn made the most sense to increase influence and win new business primarily through intermediary partner channels. Results: 190 percent increase in LinkedIn connections to intermediary partners, Prudential Retirement's key sales channel.
- Transamerica developed the "It's real now" campaign as a customer engagement strategy. They used the platform to highlight life events such as the birth of a baby, retirement, etc. to make a personal connection to customers. While the campaign used several social media platforms it proved a huge success on Facebook, increasing their community 2000 percent.
- The John Hancock Twitter strategy for the @jhBoston26 handle supports their Boston Marathon principal sponsorship. In 2013, their Twitter followers increased by 137 percent in April alone.
- Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom premiered on television in 1963 and took viewers to the far corners of the world to study wild animals in their natural habitats. Now a webisode series on YouTube, Mutual of Omaha is introducing a new generation to the show. Elements included a nationwide search for a new host in which candidates submitted a video on why they should be selected.
With these inaugural winners, a high standard has been set for 2014.