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Muhammad Yasin began heading up social media marketing at Indianapolis-based HCC Medical Insurance Services LLC in early 2011. The company, which sells travel insurance and short-term medical insurance online, credits his work with tripling overall revenue in 2011 to more than $60 million and growing even more this year. Yasin, along with a steady stream of interns, manages nearly 50 different social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube, and has about 400,000 total followers. Collectively, HCC’s social media team produces 2,000 pieces of “content” every month—even though it operates in a highly regulated industry.

IBJ: How do you do social media in a regulated environment?

A: We’re in a more regulated industry. So when we create a piece of content, it may get reviewed by four or five people before it gets sent out. We can’t just make it up as we go along. I work very closely alongside our compliance team, our product teams, making sure what they want to see, what they do not want to see. We use a social media content management system. You have the ability to set up workflows for your content. If we put up a tweet, it will go on its own to all those different people that need to approve it. They will review it and approve it, and then it will go on to the next person. Different things require different levels of approval. We spent quite a few years developing those different approval paths. Working really close with our compliance team was really critical to that.

IBJ: How do you measure social media success?

A: One is just your general brand awareness. Are they the right people? And how many people are you in front of? And the second is, how are your social media efforts actually impacting your bottom line? We have about 400,000 people that are following us online, and in early 2011 we had about 3,000 to 4,000 followers. It was super, super, super hard. One of the key things was that we really created super, super great content that people wanted to read. The tipping point came last summer. We hit 25,000 followers. I was ecstatic that weekend. And it kind of really took off from there.

IBJ: How do you make short-term and travelers’ medical insurance interesting enough to capture so many followers?

A: People are not interested in insurance. It’s not an interesting topic. You’re going to run out of topics pretty quickly. To reach some of the market here, it was the question, If they’re not searching for things like travel medical insurance, what are they searching for? They’re searching for tips on how to get there or tips on what to do when they get there. So we thought we would provide content about that. We research and keep abreast of vacation ideas in between those trips. That’s something I want to make sure we’re continuing to be involved with.



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  1. Why not take some time to do some research before traveling to that Indiana town or city, and find the ones that are no smoking either inside, or have a patio? People like yourself are just being selfish, and unnecessarily trying to take away all indoor venues that smokers can enjoy themselves at. Last time I checked, it is still a free country, and businesses do respond to market pressure and will ban smoking, if there's enough demand by customers for it(i.e. Linebacker Lounge in South Bend, and Rack and Helen's in New Haven, IN, outside of Fort Wayne). Indiana law already unnecessarily forced restaurants with a bar area to be no smoking, so why not support those restaurants that were forced to ban smoking against their will? Also, I'm always surprised at the number of bars that chose to ban smoking on their own, in non-ban parts of Indiana I'll sometimes travel into. Whiting, IN(just southeast of Chicago) has at least a few bars that went no smoking on their own accord, and despite no selfish government ban forcing those bars to make that move against their will! I'd much rather have a balance of both smoking and non-smoking bars, rather than a complete bar smoking ban that'll only force more bars to close their doors. And besides IMO, there are much worser things to worry about, than cigarette smoke inside a bar. If you feel a bar is too smoky, then simply walk out and take your business to a different bar!

  2. As other states are realizing the harm in jailing offenders of marijuana...Indiana steps backwards into the script of Reefer Madness. Well...you guys voted for your Gov...up to you to vote him out. Signed, Citizen of Florida...the next state to have medical marijuana.

  3. It's empowering for this niche community to know that they have an advocate on their side in case things go awry. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lrst9VXVKfE

  4. Apparently the settlement over Angie's List "bundling" charges hasn't stopped the practice! My membership is up for renewal, and I'm on my third email trying to get a "basic" membership rather than the "bundled" version they're trying to charge me for. Frustrating!!

  5. Well....as a vendor to both of these builders I guess I have the right to comment. Davis closed his doors with integrity.He paid me every penny he owed me. Estridge,STILL owes me thousands and thousands of dollars. The last few years of my life have been spent working 2 jobs, paying off the suppliers I used to work on Estridge jobs and just struggling to survive. Shame on you Paul...and shame on you IBJ! Maybe you should have contacted the hundreds of vendors that Paul stiffed. I'm sure your "rises from the ashes" spin on reporting would have contained true stories of real people who have struggled to find work and pay of their debts (something that Paul didn't even attempt to do).