The US Bank Paid Social Program Is Remarkable

Jason Schober, Social Media Campaign Manager for U.S. Bank, joins the Social Pros Podcast to share how a multi-state bank stays engaged with the local community through paid social and research.

In This Episode:

8

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Full Episode Details

Banking on Social

Paid social can be a powerful tool for any business, however, like any tool, it takes training and education to wield it correctly.

To get at the heart of their customer’s wants and needs, Jason invests in party research before crafting his social media marketing plan for U.S. Bank. And by getting to know his market first, he creates impactful content whose motivating factor increases exponentially with a boost from paid.

Understanding his customers also aids in an effective social listening plan. If he knows what they want and don’t want, it’s much easier to read between the lines of statements made on social. This way, he can truly know what is going through the customer’s head and how to fix what has gone wrong for them.

Last but certainly not least, Jason draws upon a broad base of professional knowledge and seeks inspiration from successful traditional marketing campaigns. The combination of diverse skills and carrying forward what has worked in the past makes for a paid social campaign that works.

In This Episode

  • How party research before the campaign leads to more effective measurements of success
  • Why building and maintaining customer loyalty means close social listening and rapid customer service responses
  • How successful traditional marketing campaigns lead to impactful social strategies
  • Why launching your social career means stepping out of your comfort zone

Quotes From This Episode

“We have been developing our content strategies around understanding who our clients are and what’s important to them.” —@jschobes

The way that we evolved on Instagram made us think about developing creative for each platform. Click To Tweet

“We are starting to think more about how we can leverage any kind of creative production or content stories and make them more visual.” —@jschobes

“We’re partnering with our business lines to help them understand where social fits in and how that can help achieve their goals for a total campaign success.” —@jschobes

“We are using more of our research studies to help understand how our customers are interacting with our brand and what they feel comfortable with.” —@jschobes

“We allowed those artists to take ownership of the Tour Possible message and then curated content around that.” —@jschobes

He may be wrong about specialists dying off. But he wasn't wrong about expanding your knowledge. Click To Tweet

Resources


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Episode Transcript

Jay: Welcome everybody to Social Pros, the podcast for real people doing real work in social media. I am as always Jay Bear from Convince and Convert, joined as usual by my very special Texas friend he is the executive strategist of Salesforce Marketing Cloud. Hailing from the great city of Austin, Texas by way of Tennessee he is the one, the only Mr. Adam Brown whose birthday was yesterday, Happy Birthday.
Adam: Thank you. Thank you. It is hard to believe I'm one year older but no wiser, I don't know how that happened.
Jay: You're negative wiser, that's what happens.
Adam: Yeah. And it could have been the brain cells that were killed in the past 24 hours. But-
Jay: You tore it up for your birthday little bit?
Adam: I had some fun, had some fun going on a little PTO starting tomorrow.
Jay: Nice.
Adam: Then it's going to be some crazy travel, I'm going to get to go to Sydney in Melbourne Australia for a week or two and then London, and Norway. Maybe we have some social pros listeners in those fair countries that can email us jay@jaybear.com and tell us about it.
Jay: You're not trying to hook up with Adam while he's on his road trip. Are you doing a Salesforce event in Norway, or you just hanging?
Adam: Little bit of both. Little bit of both.
Jay: Nice. I love Norway, I am a quarter Norwegian, so, I love it …
Adam: I did not know, so, we're going to spend some time in Norway and then Trenton.
Jay: Nice.
Adam: So, it'll be my first visit to Norway.
Jay: Fantastic. You'll have a great time.
Adam: Thanks.
Jay: You know what's interesting about Norway? It is of course part of the Nordic countries, the Scandinavians, you know where a lot of the Scandinavians settled in this country?
Adam: Uh...
Jay: Minnesota.
Adam: Minnesota.
Jay: Yeah it's all tall blondes in Minnesota for the most part. Our guest on the show today is right smack dab in the middle of Minnesota, he is surrounded by Scandinavians. He is in the lovely, fantastic city of Minneapolis. He is the Social Media Campaign Manager for US Bank. He is Jason Schober. Jason welcome to the show.
Jason: Thank you Jason it's wonderful to be here so I appreciate you having me on the podcast.
Jay: Are you sufficiently Nordic by birthright to live in Minneapolis or are you an invader?
Jason: I am an invader I'm actually of German Irish descent so-
Jay: Don't tell anybody that. No one listens to this show. Okay?
Jason: I try to keep that on the down low especially when I'm working with a lot of my coworkers here who are very much Scandinavian but-
Jay: Yeah.
Jason: I just happened to find a nice German girl here in Minnesota who made me stay and that's why I reside here to this day.
Jay: Nicely done. Tell us a little bit about US Bank and it's footprint for folks who may not have a US Bank location in their town.
Jason: Yeah so US Banks is what is considered a super regional bank. We are in about 26 states nationwide, which is mainly concentrated Midwest, west coast, northwest. And so we kind of stand alone. We find our competitors to be a lot of those national banks that you may have heard of like Wells Fargo, Chase, and the such. But we also have certain competitors in different markets that we definitely consider and keep an eye out and you're open to for any kind of marketing types of purposes.
Jay: What is the role of social media in the bank? What is social supposed to do for US Bank? Is it customer acquisition? Is it cross-promotion of additional products to current customers who might have a checking account with you, but you want to get them in on a home equity line of credit etc? Is it more a B2B or is it in some ways all of those things?
Jason: It's in some ways all of those things. A lot of what we start out ... So, kind of the history there, is we started out like 3 years ago with an internal audit. Social media was very disjointed and so we realized that there needed to be some, kind of, oversight and a larger umbrella of what social can do for the bank. And in that case scenario we were able to kind of put a larger strategy together that hit multiple business lines in an awareness standpoint primarily. And what we've seen in just the past couple years based off that audit is really understanding not only where that awareness can play, but then how we can expand off of that for different types of products, services. To be able to kind of transition that awareness play into some of our more, kind of, consideration and acquisition types campaigns. So it has played an important role kind of expanding that way but it has primarily been an awareness. And so we have seen a lot of brand building over the last couple years. We have been developing our content strategies around that play of awareness and understanding who our clients are and what's most important to them and trying to really emit those types of emotions and storytellings. To help, kind of, build that kind of trust and awareness with those individuals that either are current clients or are considering being clients of US Bank.
Jay: On your side of the aisle you were primarily working on the paid social advertising front. Yes?
Jason: Yes, yeah. So, in my role, what we call is kind of the social business team. We are almost the internal social advertising and strategy agency within the bank. So we are, our first kind of go to for a lot of our business line partners. So we work with your product marketing managers, or business line marketing managers to help them develop a strategy where they have a business line goal that they want to achieve. Whether that is just a broader brand awareness of lets say some credit card benefits or, a potentially strengthening a certain demographic within a market. So we are presenting them with ideas of how social would fit into that. They may or may not have already worked on a content strategy and have some initial creative. If not, we kind of provide them with that," What would a social first content strategy look like?" And how that would potentially work with integrated campaign for some more of their traditional ... And being a bank, we do rely quite a bit still on some direct mailers, some tents that happen in branch, relying on that foot traffic, sometimes trade shows and kind of community outreach events. Those types of things. So we want to be mindful of those when we are considering how social fits into that. And really understanding if that audience is active on social platforms, which ones they are active on, and how that can potentially support them either pre, during, or post any kind of activation to best be a part of that strategy.
Adam: I suspect you are putting a fair bit of budget on Facebook since everybody is on Facebook. Are you also doing social advertising on Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin, and Snapchat etc?
Jason: Yeah we actually ... Instagram has been a specific platform that we really have emphasized here in the past year. And it's also kind of helped us evolve in thinking about our content strategy. When we were expanding out where we were going to have our content developed and where we could potentially place that, we were really thinking about okay well how can we take this one content development or creative piece and really stretch it across all platforms. But, the way that we started to evolve on Instagram, really made us start to think a little bit more of how we should be specifically developing creative for each platform. Now the messaging may still be the same but the way that we were seeing the growth of our Instagram community as well as the interactions that they were having with our content. We felt like we could do better. We could tell more visual story, based on maybe the general storyline that we had for maybe some of the Facebook content that we had. And, or if we had a B2B message, you know, something on LinkedIn how could we tell those types of stories? So one thing that's been really successful for us is what we call our "Talk Shop" campaign for small business. It is a very B2B to kind of see the types of story where we are talking to small entrepreneurial business owners. And we've found that those types of content work actually really, really well on Instagram. We were sharing that type of content. We even did some, kind of, you know…
Adam: Were those actual videos on Instagram?
Jason: What's that?
Adam: It's actually videos on Instagram?
Jason: Yeah some videos on Instagram, some images. We've actually also started doing some Instagram stories on behind-the-scenes on how those talk shop videos that we were developing are happening. And so, we found that to be really engaging types of content that our audiences really like. So we are starting to think a little bit more about how we can leverage any kind of creative production or content stories and make them a little bit more visual.
Jay: How do you measure effectiveness? Because you've got so many different, kind of, mouths to feed from a campaign and objectives perspective. Are you looking at engagement and clicks or are you looking all the way through conversions? Like, "Hey we just got a new customer from this particular Instagram ad etc." Or are you creating a different, sort of, success dashboard for every ad campaign?
Jason: Yeah we are definitely creating different success kind of platform. We used the same platform but really want to understand what the business line goals are for our partners first. So any kind of social metrics and KPIs that we're establishing really all get tied back to that business line goal. So each business line goal is potentially be acquisition based, it could be awareness based. So if it is awareness based we have some JD Power types of campaigns out there that we do surveys on. So we tend to look at okay if we do an awareness campaign we can at least from a social side maybe measure some brand uplift. And then we use the JD Power as, kind of, our end goal to see, "Are we moving the needle and making a little bit more awareness on certain products? Do our customers feel a little bit more comfortable with doing business with us?" If it's more of an acquisition campaign then yeah, Are we looking at then social clicks? Cost per clicks as far as social success? But then again are we helping them reach their goal whether that is a volume goal or a cost per application, cost per acquisition type of goal? So we're really partnering with our business lines to help them understand where social fits into that and how that can help achieve their goals for a total campaign success. We would partner with our internal teams. Along with the social business team we have, a content team, a social metrics and monitoring team. They will help us from an analytics standpoint to see if it is, you know, a brand sentiment type of campaign. They'll help us do that measurement for us. The content team, if we're trying to measure how maybe different types of messaging is getting to certain demographics or markets. We can help have them do a little bit of analysis there and take that back to any kind of internal partners that we're working with or external agencies.
Jay: It's so great to hear you say that because so often Adam, we find social media professionals, whether it's organic or paid. When it comes time to prove whether or not this works, they want to be able to press a button on the software and get the, "Yup it worked." Show me the spreadsheet. But in some cases you actually have to do first party research to determine the effectiveness. So when you're doing JD Powers to determine lift on awareness based on a campaign, if you are doing internal attitudinal surveys, or share of voice, or sentiment analysis to see whether or not those particular campaigns moved the needle in that regard. That's the right way to do it. I love what Jason and his team are doing at US Bank but it's really rare. So often we find people don't want to take the time to do the research to determine whether it works. And so they decide they are either going to stipulate that they think it works or, they just figured, "Well, it's unknowable so we'll just make some assumptions."
Adam: Yeah and I agree and I think it's one of those things where, too often times, I think that we as marketers or communicators sometimes kind of fall into that trap. Of kind of the difference in correlation and causation but Jason, what I'm really impressed with is your use of things like that JD Power and Associates program. What other types of primary research vehicles are you using or other types of metrics. I know a lot of companies like US Bank use Net Promoter score and other, kind of known tools that executives are familiar with for them to be able to show, again not just correlation of social activities improving brand lift or actual attribution to sales or new accounts, but also causation. How are you educating up to your senior executives on how your success is going?
Jason: I would say it's definitely ... the details of that were probably best for our measuring and monitoring team but we do have a monthly report that is sent up all the way to the C level of teams. So they kind of know where our social footprint is at. We get to create a report that gives them a pulse on it. So that's a lot of more internal types of resolutions. How are things going with our social community service and customer service? What are we seeing as far as net sentiment across the board, as well as any kind of comments, as well as interactions we have with our social content. And so we really have been relying a lot on that. Every once in a while, like you said, we will have certain products that work with different types of research firms. Our corporate side of things will do a lot of research in partnering to develop white papers. So they really ... they're not relying on themselves as maybe just individual voice but having a research firm come and really give the whole broader industry spectrum of where things are heading within maybe let's say payments. Digital payments or different types of industries that help give that perspective from the research side as well as what they're seeing from an industry side. As you know, strategic partners, they want to provide their own types of stamp of approval on what's happening. So we're really kind of relying on those research partners to almost develop some larger thematic content that helps support the types of conversations that they want to have. So I would say those are probably our biggest partners from a research side of things when it comes to content development and where we're seeing any kind of awareness play for our content strategies.
Adam: And are you finding that those research groups that you're bringing in as well as just everybody, kind of, in the financial services industry are adopting social media now more. I've always found it interesting. Sometimes, regulated industries like financial services, will be very quick to adopt a new technology or a new platform and sometimes they will be a little bit more hesitant. I would think in your industry, it's probably a little bit of both. There's certainly interest and enthusiasm, you've demonstrated that the activities that you're doing at US Bank. But when you're dealing with information around people's money and the sensitivities of personally identifiable information and things, there's also a little bit of trepidation there. How are you working with your leadership at the bank, both in marketing as well as the business side, as well as the research groups and your agencies to weave through those challenges and opportunities?
Jason: Yeah absolutely I think you hit the nail on the head that there's a little bit of both. There are some things that being on a social media team in where we are placed, we are actually part of the brand within the hierarchy of US Bank rather than corporate marketing and that allows us to be a little bit more nimble. We also have the pulse of where the US Bank brand is going and where they would like to be. So we can provide some feedback on where social can help with that as well as maybe what we are seeing with our business line partners. That can help them take that next step. We do see that there are, a lot of our business line groups exploring types of opportunities with different marketing platforms. Putting some automation in play. Trying to be a little bit more strategic with campaigns and doing some scoring qualifying there. But it is something that we can provide that value because, as a social media team we are partnering with all types of business lines across the bank so we can provide, let's say a business line that hasn't put together a sophisticated content marketing plant together before. And we can give them a playbook from another business line to say, "They've tested this out. They've gotten initial approval to test this platform, test this strategy and this is how it worked." And so from there they can maybe have something that they can take back to their compliance team to risk analysts and say," This has already been done on this side of the bank. These are the considerations. Would you approve us doing something similar?" And then we can take that next step a little bit quicker and so I think that piece from a social side has helped. As well as, we have a great innovation team here. In our innovation team, we actually ... I sit on the same floor as them and have worked side by side with them for the past two years. And we've invested some time in exploring chat bots. We've been exploring different types of virtual pay and that sort of things. To be able to help understand, not only from a marketing standpoint, where we can potentially reach our customers a little bit more efficiently but how we can expand that user experience and how maybe then, social plays a part of that. So how can social tell that story about a new experience for our customers that makes banking easier for them. I find that to be another key caveat of how we're kind of pushing the threshold of what we can do at the bank.
Adam: Jason that answer just kind of hit me like a freight train because, I realized the stayed and traditional world of banking, even in just the past couple of years, is transforming so quickly. I mean with Apple pay and PayPal and this ability for you to move money from one account to another just with your fingerprint on your Android or ISO device. It is completely transforming, which kind of brings me to my next question. And this is certainly something we talk about with a lot of our guests on Social Pros. In that, trying to use social media to find those moments, those inflection points where a customer is deciding to leave whatever service provider or brand or product they are going for, to then kind of switch to another brand. In this case, this would be somebody who's switching banks, or considering switching banks. I'm curious, what's the impetus for a switch from somebody from one of those other banks that you mentioned in the open, to US Bank. And how are you using social media to find those people and I'm also just kind of curious, how often does the average consumer switch banks?
Jason: Yeah I would say loyalty is something that we measure quite a bit. And it is something that, I think banking in general can maybe have a struggle with at times. So it is an impetus of a structure of how they maintain and strengthen ... their core business is retaining and strengthening the business that they already have. And I think one of the things that we see quite a bit, is customers really trusting their bank. If everything works well, they are going to potentially be pretty quiet about what's happening with their bank. They may occasionally send us some praise about a certain individual at a branch that provided some exceptional customer service and they wanted to call attention to that. And we love giving that feedback to branch managers so that they can share it with their team. But we kind of live in a world where a lot of people love to go on social media to air their grievances. We are aware of that and we listen to that wholeheartedly to understand. Okay where are we potentially missing the mark? Where are the potential keywords that are continuously popping up in our social listening that we could go back to our customer service team and say you should keep an eye on these types of interactions. And so we really want to understand, then, from that standpoint of ,"How can we build that trust? How can we be either the bank that everybody wants to stay with and refer their friends and family to? Or how can we be that next best option for that next customer that is potentially looking for a new bank because they have potentially lost that trust in their current financial institution?"`
Adam: So you really have to be working in lockstep with those customer service folks because when a customer is tweeting either their area of grievance around a competitor's brand or celebrating a great experience they had at US Bank. They don't know whether they’re speaking to a marketing or communications person or a customer service person at the respective bank.
Jason: Absolutely and we do have a close relationship with our Omni channel group that does 24 hour banking and we have individuals on that team that do help with our social response and so we try to make sure that kind of a flow chart or an elevation of issues that can be answered to by our product specialists are one and the same. Whether it is somebody calling and emailing or potentially reaching out during social as well. We try to provide that timely response and provide empathy as well as proper customer response and answers when we can provide answers. And again knowing when to take that offline obviously PII and customer information we want to be sensitive to and really be able to address like we would any other kind of platform but also through social.
Adam: I know you have a big and interesting event coming up at the first of next year as it relates to your brand and to your bank. One of your big partnerships or sponsorships of course is the US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. Which is going to be home to Superbowl 52, 53 where are we now?
Jay: 52.
Adam: 52. Talk a little bit about that. And are you already preparing for the deluge of chatter around your brand?
Jason: We have been preparing for that for the past at least year. So it's been about a year and half process that we really, really have been kind of going through that planning. Our mini-test of that was the opening game for US Bank Stadium last season when the Vikings played the Packers. It was primetime television. It was going to be the biggest game of the year and we wanted to really use that as a good task. Cause there was going to be a lot of hype, a lot of excitement around that. Probably was going to be the most chaotic until potentially, if they got into the playoffs. At the beginning of the year it looked like the Vikings were going to make it there and they just came up short. But really that was kind of our mini Superbowl. We really wanted to use that as a testing ... It was kind of hard to do so because, that was going to be our first, foray if you will into a proper partnership with a large sporting event like that. We had to shoot from the hip a little because, it was one of those things we haven't had any practice on before but I think we put a good game plan in place and really understood how to listen in to interact. Put some activations beforehand, as well as then interactions during the games as well. And so I think that just continued to evolve. We got stronger with that throughout the course of the year. We did have on January 1st, we had the NoDAPL protest at US Bank stadium. It was specifically targeted towards US Bank. We got a lot of learnings off of that. I thought we did a fantastic job. Our monitoring metrics team as well as our community management team did a fantastic job of responding to that and understanding what was coming out of that at the given time. So I think if anything, we kind of realized how we could do some crisis management around that. And I don't know if we will see anything of the like, around that, during the Superbowl but we would, at least understand, how we can strengthen our community management listening to be prepared for something as large as the Superbowl in February.
Adam: You know you have said that you were actually a Packers fan because you're from Wisconsin originally. You know, no home team has ever played in the Superbowl in 51 years, it's never happened. But the Vikings are on the rise. So this could be, this could be it.
Jason: They could be-
Adam: -they'd probably have to take out the Packers in order to get there, which would be unfortunate for you but it could be. Probably not. But it could happen.
Jason: It could happen and we'll see there is definitely some talk out of Packer camp with some of the GMs in management around being pretty cool if the Packers could just drive across the state over here for the Superbowl.
Jay: Yeah invade the Vikings stadium, literally.
Jason: We'll let that play out over the course of the year so-
Jay: Twist the knife a little bit more. I appreciate that. I'm going to take a second to acknowledge the sponsors of the podcast this week. Of course Salesforce Marketing Cloud. Where Mr. Adam Brown serves as the executive strategist. Free ebook from the guys at Salesforce. Interesting stuff too the topic is, "More than marketing, exploring the 5 roles of the new Marketer." It breaks down the five new essential marketing skill that we all need to have to be relevant and still be employed in the future. There's interviews in there, there's stories, there's interactive features. It's actually an interactive download, which is pretty sweet. Immediately actionable steps to master your new talents. Grab it now at candc.ly/newmarketer. That's CandC.ly/newmarketer. Also the new e-book produces by myself and the team at convince and convert consulting called, "The Three Types of Social Media Metrics and Why They'll Get You Promoted." All kinds of info on how to measure social media better, how to merchandise your results better internally too. So your boss actually knows what the hell you are talking about. Grab that and candc.ly/3socialmetrics that's andc.ly/3socialmetrics. And of course all the transcripts of all 281 episodes of Social Pros, links to resources that I talk to you about on the show and more at Socialpros.com. And also, Adam, fun fact, don't even think I told you about this, brand new Social Pros website on the way.
Adam: New and improved!
Jay: New and improved.
Adam: -and fresh Borax.
Jay: Full redesign of the Social Pros website and of convinceandconvert.com website on the way. I've been working on it for most of the summer. It's a big project cause it's a big site.
Adam: 281 episodes.
Jay: And about 5,000 blog posts. So there's a lot to move over but we are super excited about it so we will give folks a preview of that in a little bit. Jason I wanted to ask you a question about creative. You are making so many different campaigns for so many different reasons and different business lines inside US Bank. I suspect that you have had circumstances where you have put together a campaign or a piece of creative before you could test and optimize it, you're like, "This totally sucks. There's no way this is going to work," and then it actually worked. Do you have a story like that where, I can't believe this actually succeeded and it turned out to succeed?
Jason: Yeah so I would say when I first came in, just about two years ago our kind of approach or at least interactions with our business line partners really were, "Hey, we have this e-mail marketing campaign. We would like to do something on social to help support it. Here's all the creative that we used for email." Things of that sort, happened quite often in the first 3 to 6 months that I was here and, along with some education we definitely evolved from that to really provide a little bit more of a partnership in development of creative. But there's a lot of types of card awareness's of different products that we have we were trying to do some outreach to. I think one of those specific outreaches is your credit card benefits and understanding what those are. Those are ones that came to use where they had a pretty established e-mail interaction with their customer base. At that time we were just starting to get first party data utilized on Facebook and so we were just taking e-mail lists that were provided to us and utilizing creative that was primarily optimized for e-mail based on their interactions. And we would do with what we could basically. And those actually ended up working really well. We did see some decent engagement to those. I think since we started doing that, a couple years ago we've really evolved and that is a specific instance where-
Adam: And you know, what works with evolved right? I mean the best practices have evolved as well.
Jason: Yeah. Yeah absolutely and we are now ... at that time we didn't have any kind of brand lift on Facebook. Now we can really understand, "Is there a brand awareness that's happening that we could take a look at that. Again, we are using a little bit more of our research studies to help understand how our customers are interaction with our brand and what they feel comfortable with. We're using targeting a lot more efficiently. If we do have a targeted URL or landing page that specifically educates around those types of benefits. We're creating website custom audiences to help put them in a certain pool that we know, these are the engaged users that they're willing to learn a little bit more about this product. Maybe we can leverage that for other products that potentially that other customer is for. Or even maybe down the line, maybe a secondary product that they're not using yet. That would maybe be beneficial to them based on the product that we know that they are already using. Those types of things have really ... we started with the basics of putting those almost retro fitting
Adam: Please make a Facebook ad out of my direct mail piece?
Jason: Sorry what's that?
Adam: You started off with please make a Facebook ad out of my direct mail piece?
Jason: Yeah basically yes. And so really just evolving from those types of traditional marketing and please make this into social to being part of that process for content development and giving them social-specific content that'll help support whatever their goals are.
Jay: Yeah. You obviously have budgets for each of your campaigns. If you had no budget. If you had an unlimited budget and they just said, "Jason, you're the man, figure it out." What would you do more of or do differently if you didn't have a budget consideration?
Jason: Hmm that is a very good question. Honestly I live in a B2B world that I partner primarily with and so I would say if I had those budgets I would do a much more larger integrated campaign with different types of…Specifically on Social, you know we're just testing out inmail here we had to do quite a bit to try and get that approved because it is a unique customer interaction in how that's defined on Linkedin especially being compliant with our marketing. We really had to do a little bit more research in how we felt comfortable with that. And so we're really understanding what that would look like if we were going to use it as more of a strategic lead gen opportunity. Where that fits for our clients on the B2B side that have webinars, that have white papers ... helping them understand how those types of advertising and partnership with a Linkedin sponsored updates. With we are using Facebook as well from a B2B side and really understand where social can help play to that awareness and help drive those types of conversions. So that's where I think I think I'm really most excited where social fits in is really understanding where those lead gen opportunities are for a much larger integrated campaign and how either social can support or lead those opportunities. So I would definitely put an unlimited budget into something like that to help build an infrastructure.
Adam: I think that's what we're hearing from from so many of our interview subjects and even my customers at Salesforce is this interest and renewed interest in Linkedin. I know we had AJ Wilcox, Jay on the show, a month or so back and that's a big part of the technology and the craft that he's building on lead generation, specifically with Linkedin.
Jay: Yeah a great episode. Look for that episode in the archives if you haven't listened to that episode with AJ Wilcox all about the ins and outs of Linkedin ads.
Adam: Jason I know one of the other big things that as social media marketers we can always kind of hang our hook on is when our company or our brand does something that's kind of a social first. Where social is the primary channel or medium that's being used for a program, rather than it being kind of a second fiddle or a secondary or tertiary part of what, at least I call a surround-sound marketing campaign. Where you are using lots of different disciplines and lots of the different channels. I know you had a very much social-first campaign for US Bank with your Tour Possible project. Which I thought was fascinating because, it came from a bank. But you, it was a great idea, and it really drove some interesting metrics. Why don't you tell everybody a little bit about Tour Possible.
Jason: Yeah so, Tour Possible is a small segment activation for our larger brand campaign. And those of you that are in some of our markets may have seen some of our new US Bank commercials. That's kind of our bigger part of that. And so, Tour Possible was specific activation that we did in Milwaukee and what we wanted to do there is we really wanted to create something that involved the community but put the community first. And had the bake kind of in the background. And really, we were omnipresent. If somebody went to it. You would definitely see that this was part of you know, a US Bank event but it was not something that we wanted to push that it's US Bank, US Bank, US Bank. It's something that, no, this is the community this is something that is part of individuals that make it up. And we're just helping as an institution to either make that possible or strengthen the community with that type of support. And so Tour possible was a battle of the bands type of activation where everything was really social-first. We put out some advertisements to interested parties, kind of targeted demographic of musicians, people that follow certain stations, certain bands, in those markets. And really tried to have them take ownership of it. So we had about almost 40 entries in each market and that kind of got dwindled down to 15 to 20 finalists and those finalist could then promote to their fans to wherever they were in their community. Whether it's online or offline and really share the Tour Possible opportunity that they have. That was then brought down to six finalists. Four based votes and two internal, kind of wild cards so to speak. And those individuals then, we did some really great creative production. Helped tell their story, what their music's all about, where they've had struggles, where they are now, where they'd like to be. And helped them, give them a sounding board for what their music is all about. As part of those 6 finalists were able to perform for a chance at $20,000 and judged by local radio personalities. We had an Amazon streaming services representative in Seattle. We had a record label executive at the Milwaukee show and really have them decide okay who do they think could be the one that takes it to the next level. That fits well in music streaming services that fits well into the type of genre of music and where that music is going that they could be the next big artist. And that the $20,000 prize would be something that could really help elevate them and take them to that next level. So as part of that activation we really allowed those artists to take ownership of it, share the Tour Possible message and we then, again, curated the content around that. Developing videos based on their stories, videos based on the concert itself. Kind of the next evolution of that going forward is really then telling the story of how the bank can provide the support to help make that dream possible fore wherever they want to grow with their music career. So giving them some guidance on how to use the $20,000, giving them access to a record label executive to give them the ins and outs of the business if they're not familiar with it already. And then we're going to tell that as much a larger story. So a lot of this was storytelling within those markets, but we see this as a much broader evolution to a national storytelling campaign. And so not just taking the one day we have the event. But really understanding how content can be created, developed and supported over months period of time.
Adam: I love that campaign on so many different levels Jason. I mean just because of the interest and enthusiasm around music because it is at its basis around kind of, community banking. Which is a concept that I think is emotional and drives interest and awareness in a brand like US Bank. And as you said, you can book end and you can turn it and transform it into truly a national, a repeatable type of campaign. So serious kudos for you on that. Jason, I have one last question before I hand it back over to Jay. And one of the things you told us right before the show was getting some advice from a PR professional about six years ago. As you were looking at your career in marketing and communications and trying to determine whether or not you were going to stay in this thing called social media or branch out, or diversify. Love for your to share with our audience that advice you got. And also, did you take the advice?
Jason: About 6 years ago I was working at communications firm that worked with the largest worldwide consultancies out there like your Anne Hewitts of the world, Anne Mercers of the world those types of things and we were providing some interactive communications for them for some of their enterprise partners. And every single time they came to us, we're providing them these great interactive platforms but they always asked us, "Well how can we maybe get the message out for these people to use the website?" And, "What do you think about using social?" And that was something that, even the consultants were wondering about and we didn't have a play for that because, we weren't in social too actively. But it was something, since I always kept on hearing it come up as an account manager, I was like, " I gotta learn more about this. I gotta figure out exactly what is the best approach about ... Whether it is internal or external communications to get that message out to get more people to engage and get to your websites where you want them to go and drive that traffic." I really did a lot   of self education into ... We have a great social media breakfast organization here in the Twin Cities. I just kept on going to those every single month, really interacting with that community. Until I got to a point where I was able to really show my chops and get my first social media job. And in that role I was like, "Great this is fantastic. I love where this is going. I continue to see the evolution of social media." But I wasn't , when I was maybe applying for that next job, I wasn't seeing a whole lot of interaction from brands or agencies. So, I reached out to this PR professional who has worked with many of the fortune 500s in these Twin Cities here. Which we have quite a few. And I asked him, you know like,"I've worked in social media, primarily in marketing. What is your advice to kind of present myself best to these employers? Whether it is an agency or a brand?" And he said,"Get out of social media." And I'm just like, I was floored, I was shocked, I was like,"But I see so many opportunities. I see, you know, I still see brands and agencies hiring for social media specialists or managers." And I just didn't understand that. So I had him go further and he's just like,"Well, you get into these organizations and they don't want you to know just one thing, they want you to know all digital marketing. They want you to know how to do SEO. They want you to know how to do search content copyrighting. All that sort of thing to be able to leverage across the board." Because, he thought specialists were a dying breed. And I took offense to that for a couple weeks and then thought about it holistically and I'm like,"Well he may be wrong about specialists dying off. But he wasn't wrong about really expanding your knowledge and knowing about how all digital works together." So that's where I took it upon myself to know a little bit more. I went outside my comfort zone. I went to an agency where social was a component but they had everything integrated with content and SEO and really had a holistic integrated campaign around that. I wasn't just relying on my social skills but I was working with teams to help better understand my content writing capabilities and editing and what is a proper way of placing keywords naturally within content. How that affects natural, organic search, where our paid search fits in with all of that and being ranked in certain keywords. Really that helped me understand yes, I can still be in social but I can be such more of an asset to any partners, whether it's at my current job or where you know, now, coming to US Bank. That I can let them know how social fits within their larger scheme. I felt that's helped me quite a bit in this role where I can meet with marketing managers in different business lines and not just give them my social recommendations, but be a sounding board for, " This is how social is going to help your content strategy. This is how social's going to help your search potentially if you are trying to keyword optimization in developing a blog and that sort of thing. Really just, I felt that it was one of those types of things where I was shocked but really took to heart what the true message was from that advice.
Adam: Yeah it's really inspirational. I loved the way you phrased that. I think obviously, you are on the right side of history, with all the great work you are doing at US Bank. Jason I'm going to ask you the two questions that we ask every guest here on Social Pros. The first is what one tip would you give somebody looking to become a social pro?
Jason: Continue to learn. If you are not in the mindset that you are going to be open to learning new things or would like to continue to find new ways of doing things, social media might not be the place for you. Always be learning. ABL instead of ABC but definitely keep your mind open so you are always wanting to learn what's next and best. But still trying to find what maybe are those best practices.
Adam: Couldn't agree with that more. Last question for you Jason Schober, Social Media Campaign Manager for US Bank, is if you could do a Skype call with any living person who would it be? Is it Erin Rogers? Just thought I'd throw that out there.
Jason: I wouldn't say I wouldn't get too starstruck. I love going back to Packer camp and interacting with that community. But I'm going to be a little sentimental and probably I would want to Skype with one of my old teachers and coaches. There's a couple that I've lost communication with over the years. Have heard through the grapevine maybe what they're doing. But my 7th grade science teacher was also my basketball coach. My freshman or sophomore baseball coach, those guys, they were really influential and it's just you kind of think of it as you get older here and you start to have kids. Sending them to school, you start to think about like, how important they were but you really don't know where they are to this day. So I would say probably one of those teachers try to connect with them again.
Jay: I love that. That is fantastic. I feel the same way about a lot of my teachers. I would not be here, literally, without their guidance and inspiration so thank you for that. Jason we really appreciate you being on Social Pros sharing all of your knowledge with our listeners. Congratulations on all of the great work at US Bank. I'm sure Social Pros listeners could just send you a quick email and get Superbowl tickets we'll make sure to direct them to do that.  
Jason: (laughs) I'm still working on that myself.  
Jay: Yeah I imagine that's true. We've got two great guests coming up in the next two weeks ladies and gentlemen. It's food stretch here at the Social Pros podcast. We have Krispy Kreme and the new launch of Ghost Tequila , which is Tequila infused with hot chili peppers. Right up my alley! So those are the two next episodes. It's were taking a food detour here at Social Pros so tune in for that as well. As I mentioned earlier, food detour here at Social Pros so tune in for that as well. As I mentioned earlier all 281 episodes of the show are available at Socialpros.com soon to be redesigned. On behalf of Adam Browne from Salesforce Marketing Cloud, I am Jay Baer from convince and convert, he is Jason Schober from US Bank and this has been Social Pros.
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