In social media circles, the word "advocacy" is thrown around a lot, but what does it look like and where does it come from? I had a recent experience that answered these questions in clear fashion.
As you know if you read this blog, I recently had the good fortune to become part of USAA's social media team. I was eager to start posting on USAA's fan page, which, with over 140,000 likes, is the most popular insurance page and among the top financial services pages on Facebook. Once I was added as an administrator, I introduced myself with a post:
Hello USAA friends. I'd like to introduce myself: My name is Augie Ray and I'm a new member of USAA's social media team. I'm excited to be part of USAA's mission to facilitate the financial security of members, associates and their families. I also want to take this opportunity to thank servicemembers and family members for their service and sacrifice. Your commitment inspires my commitment here at USAA! - AugieThe speed of the reaction was breathtaking; in just three minutes, the post received 50 likes and seven positive comments. Within a day or so, 464 people clicked "like" and 93 comments were received, the vast majority of them welcoming and supportive. While this represents just a fraction of a percent of the USAA fan base, the numbers are quite impressive when you consider most insurance and financial companies are lucky to get more than a couple dozen likes or comments for an average post.
And then there's the sentiment expressed--comments such as:
- I love USAA as my insurance company and my bank. Truly a great organization.
- You are in the best organization of its type in the USA!
- Welcome to the family -- as you can tell from the comments, we're the USAA family!
- Thank you to the greatest company in the world!!!
- If usaa was a church, I would be a member.
- I love my bank!
How many financial institutions earn a comment like "I love my bank" even once? In fact, USAA fans used the word "love" nine times in those 93 comments, demonstrating a level of passion to which most brands aspire.
This experience got me to thinking more about social media's role in advocacy, and I came the conclusion we social media professionals can overstate our own importance in the advocacy equation. Check back tomorrow for the second part of my blog post on advocacy.