For this profile, we talked to UPS Social Media Manager and Georgia State University Professor Vincent Washington about his career in social media. Vincent’s been a member of SocialMedia.org since 2013.
“I’ve always had a gift for explaining technology to technical and non-technical people,” says Vincent Washington, UPS Social Media Manager.
Before working for UPS, Vincent was a Senior Business Development Manager at Research in Motion at the start of BlackBerry devices. He also worked for LinkedIn as an account executive for marketing solutions.
He says, “Working for two hyper-growth companies opened my eyes to the importance of mobile technology and social media marketing.”
Vincent also teaches digital and social media classes as a Marketing Professor at Georgia State University.
He says that with around 30 students a semester, he has a great opportunity to not only mentor the next generation of marketers, but also get some reverse mentoring.
“I get to interact with digital natives in their own environment. I see what they’re interested in, what’s important to them, and what they think is trending compared to what I see in a corporate environment every day.”
With a lot of experience in mixed BtoB and BtoC marketing, Vincent says business objectives have to be clear.
For companies like BlackBerry and UPS, it can be a challenge to market to both business and consumer audiences simultaneously.
According to Vincent, “The most important thing is that a campaign starts from the business objective. Then you can decide on the target audience and build a social presence around the objective.”
He says that has a lot of influence on their social strategy. “We’re very strong in knowing who we are as a brand.”
Vincent explains how one way they’re using social is to tell stories of the strong relationships between the drivers and their customers.
You’ve probably already seen our Wishes Delivered video featuring Carson, a four-year-old who wants to be just like “Mr. Ernie,” his family’s regular UPS driver. In the video, UPS helps make that dream come true with his own tiny truck, and it has about 40 million views.
Carson’s story was discovered from a Facebook post Vincent’s team found through social listening. But, he says, it’s not the only one.
“For every story like this, there are dozens of ways UPS drivers interact with our customers and have great stories to tell — from introducing a couple that got married, to saving a dog, or helping an elderly person — our UPSers show tons of general acts of kindness that people reach out to us about.”
Looking forward, Vincent says he’s excited about telling more of these stories.
He shares it’s not just about the heartwarming content from their Wishes Delivered campaign, but also the behind-the-scenes logistics and stories about delivering vaccines during the Ebola crisis, for example.
“There are actual UPS solutions that facilitate change in the world, and it’s exciting to be able to tell those stories — not from a stale or static product description, but from a true value solution people can relate to. I have a great Social Media TEAM here at UPS. We look forward to telling those stories.”
Follow Vincent on Twitter and ask about his recent award from U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald.