Sunday, March 27, 2011

This Is What Advocacy Looks Like (Part 1 of 2)

Disclosure: I am an employee of USAA:

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! - Augie
The 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.

1 comment:

Tanya said...

Augie, The Military Community is a culture all in itself. The loyalty you see stems from a company being "there" when people need them the most. USAA is apart of that culture. If a military family feels like you're helping them they become extremely loyal and committed. They'll serve you as much as you serve them if you keep them at the forefront of your mind/business practices.

Awesome post.