USAA: Social Business is Everybody’s Business — Live from Member Meeting 30

Coverage of this session by Travis Kenney of Connect with him by following him on Twitter.

3:50 —'s Lauren Clevenger introduces USAA's Director of Social Communities & Advocacy, Julie Finlay.

3:53 — Julie shares why USAA uses social media: To communicate with members and enhance and protect reputation.

3:54 — Julie talks about their social business: We embed social capabilities, principles, and practices into business processes to drive enterprise benefits. We use social in everything we do.

3:57 — Julie: Lessons learned…so far:

  • Social media is not a marathon or a sprint, it's a series of sprints.
  • Rich data without analysis and insight gets you nowhere.
  • Evolution requires cultural change.

4:01 — Julie says a well-written social media policy is a great start. There were a lot of don'ts. What we wanted to do is empower employees and focus on the do's. We asked employees to share their own experiences — to share what USAA shares. Think about who is listening: use honesty, transparency, and respect.

4:04 — Julie: A policy on its own is not enough. Think, try, learn, and understand.

4:05 — Julie says to build toward a vision of cultural change. Share an updated social media policy in a virtual space. Develop physical space to raise awareness (command center). Combine work streams to create a bold, experimental, game changing opportunity.

4:06 — Julie: Our call center is 60% of our work force.

4:07 — Julie talks about their Social Exchange (USAA's social command center): Demonstrates the art of the possible, facilitates the exchange of ideas, offers social experiences, provides hands-on learning, and showcases tools. Their ultimate goal: Use social tools to serve members better.

4:08 — Julie: We generate excitement (online and IRL) by casting a social shadow and teasing what's to come. Example: “10.23.13. Be there.”

4:09 — Julie: We bring social to life by hosting a grand opening filled with contagious energy. Everybody wanted to know what was going on. Our CEO and the media was there. Everybody wore shirts, we gave out notebooks, bracelets, and pens. The CEO did a countdown to the unveiling of the social media command center. We unveiled Social Exchange in a dramatic fashion.

4:11 — Julie: We used online space to share information and generate discussion (see YouTube video from opening day).

4:12 — Julie: Encourage prudent risk taking. Instructional videos. 4 do's, 2 don'ts.

4:13 — Julie: We use Radian6 for Social Exchange/command center.

4:14 — Julie talks about the next steps: Interactive physical space and develop/deploy education.

4:15 — Julie shares the lessons learned from creating a command center: 

  • It will cost more than you think.
  • It will take more time than you think.
  • It will require more people than you think.
  • Test early and often before big unveil.
  • It is worth the effort.
  • There is a lot of buzz at USAA!


Q: What is on your screens at the command center?

A: Julie: Asteroids hitting planets…broken up by lines of business. What competitors are doing and our Twitter feed and Facebook wall. We also have a word cloud and we can see What the common ways people are talking about us are. There are also faces that float around the screen based on who is talking about us. Two screens are dedicated to what is happening in our internal communities (word cloud and posts).  We had 10 choices from Radian6.

Q: Are you filtering posts?

A: Julie: Only filtering for naughty words and inappropriate pictures.