Nancy Tovar Huxen

Vice President/Social Media Manager Nancy Tovar Huxen sat down with us to talk about what it’s like to be the first social executive at Comerica Bank. She joins Burger King, Kia Motors of America, New Balance Athletic Shoe, and other big brands as a member of the Purple Council.

In his ethics briefing at every Member Meeting, SocialMedia.org CEO Andy Sernovitz says that some of the first social media leaders at big brands fought hard for their role in social, while others had social media responsibilities fall into their lap with a thud.

“For me, it was kind of a perfect storm,” says Nancy Tovar Huxen on becoming the first social media executive at Comerica Bank.

Starting at Comerica in corporate communications and public relations in 2010, she recognized the need for a social media presence and quickly found an internal champion to back her up, Comerica’s Chief Marketing Officer, Jim Weber.

“He let me try things out, like live tweeting from events, to let those social interactions build a case he could take back to leadership,” she says. “I was very fortunate to be there at the right time, with the right leadership.”

Supportive leadership and the right metrics helped Nancy make the case for social at Comerica.

She says that unlike the PR they get from something like a newspaper feature, with social, she could put some hard numbers behind the people they were reaching.

“I’m a numbers geek. So I loved being able to share that with people. Rather than just going by the numbers some publication was giving you, I could get hard data on our reach, which was beneficial for making the case for social.”

Day One: “The first thing I did was make sure we had a plan,” says Nancy.

She says that, contrary to popular belief, social media doesn’t just happen — like other traditional media, it takes strategy. Once she had the green light to build a social media program, she started there.

“If you don’t have a strategy behind what you’re doing, you lose focus,” Nancy explains.

She says it’s about more than the minute Facebook post or tweet, but to have an overall understanding of a page’s purpose, what makes sense for each channel, what stories are appropriate, and making sure those stories are targeted to the right audiences.

“By laying down that groundwork, it makes it much easier to plug as you go, instead of flying by your seat. I think it makes it a lot harder if you don’t know your destination.”

Social media in a regulated industry, according to Nancy, is like a double-edged sword.

“As a financial institution, we’re in a highly regulated environment. For example, our bankers can’t talk about our products or services. So we focus on what we’re doing in the community, which allows us to show how committed our employees are to volunteerism,” Nancy explains.

She says those regulations helped her shape a plan for each of their social presences. For example, on Facebook, Comerica focuses on their employees and worthy non-profits, while their LinkedIn efforts are focused on providing value for the businesses they serve and their workforce.

“We’re not going to be able to compete with some larger national banks on follower numbers. But our engagement rate is very high.”

On Facebook, with about 2,300 fans, Nancy says Comerica still sees a reach of about 20-30 percent with an engagement rate that usually exceeds 10 percent.

“For us, that’s a success. Even if it’s a smaller number, the people who are looking at our page are reading it, liking it, and sharing it with their friends. And for me, that’s what’s important.”

Another success: incredibly responsive social customer service.

Nancy says, on average, they get back to customers with complaints or concerns, no matter what platform, within an hour.

“What makes my day is when someone says they have an issue, we respond to them quickly — whether it’s on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter — and they come back to thank us for helping them,” says Nancy.

Her advice for other pioneering social media executives: Don’t ever be afraid to ask questions.

“Someone’s already been there, probably done it, and if not, they’re working on it. Don’t feel like you’re by yourself. Even the most experienced social media person has something to learn,” says Nancy.

“We have a lot of opportunities. Not a lot of people get to be the first, and that’s very exciting.”

Find Nancy on Twitter and ask about Comerica’s latest charitable efforts with Batkid.


What do you think?

  • Share
  • Newsletter Signup
  • The Family Album
  • Member Login
  • Meet Our Members

    A + E Networks, Abbott Laboratories, AbbVie, Ace Hardware, Adidas, Advance Auto Parts, Aetna, Agilent Technologies, Ahold USA, AIG, Allianz SE, Allstate, AMD, American Eagle Outfitters, American Family Insurance, American Honda Motor Company, Ameriprise Financial, Amgen, Amica Mutual Insurance, Amtrak, Amway, Analog Devices, Andersen, Aon, ARIA Resort and Casino, Ariba, Arizona Public Service, Arrow Electronics, Assurant, Asurion, AT&T, Autodesk, Avery Products Corporation, Avon, AXA, Barclaycard US, Barilla, BD, Best Buy, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of IL, TX, OK, NM, MT, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, BMC Software, BMW, Boeing, Bosch, Bose, Boston Children’s Hospital, Bridgestone, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Brother International, Brown Shoe Company, Buckle, Burger King, CA Technologies, Cabela’s, Cambia Health Solutions, Canadian National Railway, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Canon USA, Capital Group, Capital One, Career Education, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, Cargill, Catamaran, Catholic Health Initiatives, CDK Global, CEMEX, CenterPoint Energy, Central Garden & Pet, CertainTeed, Chesapeake Energy, Chevron, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Children’s Medical Center of Dallas, Chubb Group of Insurance Companies, Ciena, Cisco Systems, Citi, Citrix, CME Group, The Coca-Cola Company, Coldwell Banker Real Estate, ComEd, Comerica Bank, ConAgra Foods, ConocoPhillips, Corning, Cost Plus World Market, Costco Wholesale, Cox Enterprises, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, CVS/pharmacy, Darden, Dassault Systèmes, Delaware North, DeVry University, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Direct Auto and Life Insurance, Discover Financial Services, Discovery Communications, Dole, Dorel Industries, Dow, Duke Energy, Dunkin’ Brands, eBay, Electronic Arts, Eli Lilly and Company, EMC Corporation, Enterprise Holdings, Ericsson, Erie Insurance, Express Employment Professionals, Express Scripts, Exxon Mobil, Fairmont Raffles Hotels International, Fairview Health Services, Family Dollar Stores, Fannie Mae, Farmers Insurance, FedEx, Ferguson Enterprises, Fidelity Investments, First American, First Republic Bank, Fiserv, Flight Centre Travel Group, Florida Power & Light, FMC Technologies, Fortune Brands Home & Security, Freescale Semiconductor, Garmin International, Geisinger Health System, General Dynamics, General Electric, General Mills, Genworth Financial, Georgia-Pacific, GNC, GoDaddy, Goldman Sachs, Gordon Food Service, Grainger, Hallmark, Harley-Davidson Motor Company, Harman International, The Hartford, Hawaiian Electric Industries, Helen of Troy, Hershey Company, Hewlett-Packard, hhgregg, Hilton Worldwide, Hobby Lobby, The Home Depot, Honeywell, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, Hospira, HSNi, Humana, Hyatt Corporation, ICON Health & Fitness, Ingram Micro, InterContinental Hotels Group, Invesco, Iron Mountain, The J.M. Smucker Company, JCPenney, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Johnson & Johnson, Johnson Controls, Johnsonville Sausage, Jostens, JPMorgan Chase, Kaiser Permanente, KB Home, Kellogg Company, Keurig Green Mountain, Kia Motors, Kindred Healthcare, Kingston Technology, The Kroger Company, Land O’Lakes, Laureate Education, Lettuce Entertain You, Level 3 Communications, LexisNexis, Lincoln Financial Group, Lindt & Sprungli, Live Nation Entertainment, Lockheed Martin, Logitech, Lowe’s Home Improvement, lululemon, Mack Trucks, Manulife / John Hancock, Marriott International, Mattress Firm, McAfee, McDonald’s, McGraw Hill Financial, Medtronic, Meijer, Michelin, Microsoft, MillerCoors, Molson Coors Canada, MoneyGram, Monsanto, Monster Worldwide, Motorola Mobility, Navy Federal Credit Union, NCR, Neiman Marcus, Nestle Purina PetCare, New Balance Athletic Shoe, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, Nintendo, Nissan, Northwestern Mutual, Novartis, NRG Energy, NVIDIA, Old Dominion Freight Line, Old Navy, Orange, Owens-Illinois, P.F. Chang’s, Pacific Life, Patterson Companies, Paychex, Pearson Education, Penguin Random House, PepsiCo, PerkinElmer, Perrigo, Philips, Phillips 66, Pitney Bowes, Potbelly Sandwich Shop, Praxair, Premier Farnell, Principal Financial Group, Procter & Gamble, Public Service Enterprise Group, Publix Super Markets, Quintiles, RaceTrac Petroleum, Rackspace Hosting, RadioShack, Raley’s, Raytheon, RBS Citizens Financial Group, Red Robin, Reebok, Regions, REI, Rite Aid, Roche, Rockwell Automation, Rogers Communications, Rollins, Royal Bank of Canada, Rust-Oleum, Sabre, Safelite AutoGlass, Sage Group, samsung, SanDisk, Sanofi US, Scottrade, Scripps Networks, Sealed Air, Select Comfort, Shell Oil, Shaw Industries, Shire Pharmaceuticals, Solo Cup Company, Sonic Drive-In, Southern California Edison, Southern Company, Southwest Airlines, Spectra Energy, Spectrum Health Systems, Sports Authority, Sprouts Farmers Market, St. Jude Medical, Stanley BLACK + DECKER, Staples, State Farm Insurance, State Street, Steelcase, Subaru, Suncor Energy, Symantec, T-Mobile, T. Rowe Price, TaylorMade-adidas Golf, TD Ameritrade, TD Bank Group, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Texas Instruments, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Thrivent Financial, Tim Hortons, The TJX Companies, Toll Brothers, The Toro Company, Toyota, TransUnion, Travelers, Trend Micro, Tyson Foods, U.S. Bank, U.S. Cellular, UCB Pharma, ULTA Beauty, Union Bank, United, The United States Postal Service, United Technologies, UnitedHealth Group, Universal Parks, Unum, UPMC, UPS, USAA, USG, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Vanguard, Verizon, Visa, Vista Outdoor, Voya Financial, W.L. Gore and Associates, Walgreens, WD, WebMD, Weight Watchers, WellPoint, Inc., Wells Fargo, Wendy’s, Western Union, Whirlpool, Whole Foods Market, Wiley, Wyndham Worldwide, Xerox, Yamaha Motor Corporation, YMCA, Zurich of North America, 3M

Open
Close
Get our free weekly newsletter

A short email packed with updates on what big brands are doing in social media.

Never display this again