Social media and technology is creating new opportunities to communicate with plan members, according to Kate Nazar, assistant vice-president, client relationships, group retirement services, with Sun Life.

Nazar told delegates at the Benefits & Pension Summit today that mobile technology can play an important role in increasing plan enrollment. Approximately 60% of Canadians have cell phones and a growing number of those are web-enabled smartphones. Studies in the U.S. have shown that use of smartphones during a plan information session can increase on-the-spot employee enrollment to as much as 90%.

Companies can also tailor traditional social media technology to their own use for plan education by incorporating elements such as video and chat into custom-designed microsites that offer plan members important information on how their plan works and how to save effectively.

But Nazar cautioned that even the best communications technology can fail to meet objectives without an effective communications strategy that clearly outlines objectives, target audience, key messages and what communication channels should be used.

More to come on this topic.

Other stories from the Benefits & Pension Summit

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