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Andy’s Answers: How U.S. Bank decided to treat social fans just like real-life customers

For U.S. Bank, creating a cohesive social strategy was a journey. According to Karen Gutierrez, U.S. Bank’s social media director in corporate marketing, they were facing a wide variety of business objectives, uneven social expertise within each department, and what she calls “shiny object syndrome.”

Karen’s teams had to create a plan that kept them from chasing after platforms that weren’t right for the brand, got all 30 of their stakeholders on the same page, and accomplished what U.S. Bank wanted from social media. (But of course, that’s just the beginning.)

In her presentation at’s BlogWell conference in Chicago, Karen takes us through the process they took to bring the team together and develop the right social media playbook for U.S. Bank.

Here are a few key points from her presentation:

  • Bring in a third-party: With passionate opinions on all sides of the social strategy, Karen says they looked to an outside agency to lead their team on their journey. Digital agency VML gave them the opportunity to share their true feelings about social media and come to an objective conclusion.
  • Treat social communities like real-life customers: Karen says their guiding principle made their customers the focus. “If a customer came into a bank and asked a question, the teller wouldn’t just ignore them. And we wouldn’t want to start building a branch and then leave it abandoned and half-finished — that’s how we have to treat social media,” she explains.
  • Banks are very personal: So their social strategy has to be, too. Karen’s team took great lengths to humanize and personalize the brand through their community managers. For example, they included bios of bankers on their Facebook page so that customers could get to know them just like they would at their local branch.

Learn more from Karen’s BlogWell presentation below. The slides are available for download.

If you like this presentation, see more great social media case studies like it live at’s BlogWell conference Oct. 22 in Boston.