How to Find Your Social Voice and Help Others Do the Same

Michele Wingate

SocialPros-header LATEST

Michele Wingate

Michele Wingate, American Family Insurance

Michele Wingate, Social Media Manager for American Family Insurance, joins the Social Pros Podcast this week todiscuss building lasting relationships on social media, complying with federal marketing regulations, and developing an internal community to support employees in social media.

Read on for some of the highlights and tweetable moments, or listen to the full podcast.

Please Support Our Sponsors

Huge thanks to our amazing sponsors JanrainExactTargetCision, and Expion for helping us make this happen. We couldn’t do it without them!

Listen Now 

Click the play button to listen here:


Download the audio file:

The RSS feed is:

Find us on iTunes:

Tweetable Moments

“Social media is about relationships & our business is all about building relationships.” -@michelewingate (tweet this)

“Your personal life is more interesting than business, unless you’re, like, a sword swallower.” -@jaybaer (tweet this)

“I’m not sure anybody’s truly themselves in social media in the aggregate.” -@jaybaer #holysocial (tweet this)

Streamlining Processes in the World of Finance

American Family Insurance uses social as a great resource for referrals but mostly creates content related to celebrating and protecting families. (e.g. “What are you doing for Mother’s Day?” or “There’s a storm coming, here are 5 times for winter driving safety.”)

AmFam Twitter

via @AmFam

For financial service institutions, including banking and insurance, all social media interactions must be archived. This includes the interactions of any of the 4,500 individual insurance agents who might be active with clients on social. These federal regulations aren’t specifically for social media; they’re marketing regulations that subsequently apply to social media. American Family Insurance works with Shoutlet, another Madison-based company, for their extensive archival needs.

AmFam also has a national intranet community to help their agents who want to get into social media as a business tool. Users can post questions to each other or get resources on how to run a Facebook page, how to post videos, etc. Michele says that agents run the gamut from just beginning to dip their toes into social media to wanting to full-blown develop their own advanced strategies, and this tool gives them resources to do everything in between. This is the way American Family Insurance has found to bolster social media presence without micromanaging every single agent.


This week in #HolySocial, Zena takes on the emerging news around posthumous social media services. Several services already offer post-mortem social media posting (_LivesOn and — the former analyzes your likes and dislikes, syntax, and posting habits while you’re alive, then seeking to mimic them after you have passed on; the latter allows you to create content before you die and releases it over time afterwards.

Tweeting After Death?

“This takes curated content to a whole new level that maybe we’re not ready for,” says Zena.

“The one piece that rings hollow is that I’m not sure anybody’s truly themselves in social media in the aggregate,” says Jay. “There’s so much to a human being. Social media is the channel for expression; it’s not who you are.”

DeadSocial is launching at SXSW this year – at, appropriately, the Museum of the Weird – and tickets are going fast!

Social Media Stat of the Week: iPhone Surpasses 50% of Smart Phone Market Share

In Q4 of 2012, Apple’s iPhone took 53% of the smart phone market share, with the iPhone 5 becoming the world’s best-selling smartphone. The next-most popular phone on the market? The iPhone 4S.

Apple “really does have two products in the market with the 4S and the 5,” says Jeff. He wonders if the trend will continue moving forward. This puts the heat on Samsung, and many are speculating that Apple’s lead competitor may release a more competitive version of the Galaxy in the months to come. Mobile affects social media interaction in a positive way, so this is a trend to keep an eye on.

Social Pros Shoutout

Michelle: Well, I’m going to start with @amfamjack. That’s actually our CEO, Jack Salzwedel, and he is one of the most active Fortune 500 CEOs on Twitter. We’re very excited about that. I’d encourage anyone who is working with company leadership to get them active in social media, check him out.

The next person I want to mention is actually our community manager, Tom Buchheim. Tom also on a personal level is very active and interested in sports and social media, so he has his own personal blog on that too.

And then you asked for it, I’m delivering Russell Wilson. He has about 250,000 Twitter followers. He is a fabulous individual. He’s very focused, very committed to helping children, and obviously very committed in what he’s done at Seattle, what he did for us here as a Wisconsin Badger. He’s just a great guy.

Jay: He’s got the magic.

Jeff and I will be headed Down Under for next week’s show. We will be at Content Marketing World Sydney, so we will have a special live Social Pros podcast taping in Australia. Who’s going to be on the show, Jeff?

Jeff: Todd Wheatland from Kelly is going to be down there as well, so all three of us will be doing whatever you have to do when you’re upside down and 18 hours ahead. We’re in the future.

See you next week!

Facebook Comments