For the past several years, the FedEx social media team ran a campaign called Delivering Thanks to highlight team members who had gone above and beyond to help a customer or their community.
“Because we have 490,000 plus team members around the world, we have a lot of these types of stories,” said Manager of Social Media & Content Alex Shockey, who manages the team. “And they always performed well on our social media channels.”
Following Delivering Thanks’ success, she said their goal going into the 2019 fiscal year was to better amplify those stories and tell them in a more compelling campaign.
“We wanted to humanize our brand and showcase the diversity of our workforce,” said Alex. “Our priority was to honor our team members, who rallied around this content, and we could see really positive comments from them.”
FedEx had a new brand campaign called “Possibilities: What we deliver by delivering,” and Alex’s team decided to play on those themes by talking about their team members and what they make possible.
According to Alex, that’s how the Made Possible By campaign was born.
Alex and her team partnered with their strategic planning and measurement team and media team.
“We also worked with advertising from a paid perspective, and the brand team to develop the campaign that laddered up to their larger campaigns,” she said. “Then, our creative agency played a big role in helping bring this to life. They were the ones who helped pitch this concept and build the creative around it.”
Their primary goals for the campaign was to celebrate their people and highlight their workforce.
As they were developing Made Possible By, Alex said it was important for them to create positive sentiment around the people of FedEx.
“Our hope was to develop engaging, shareable content,” she said. “We also use Dynamic Signal for our social media advocacy program, so we wanted to tap into that and give our team members stories that they wanted to share.”
“We want to show people that FedEx cares about their communities and their customers,” she said. “This campaign gave us the opportunity to showcase that.”
Planning for Made Possible By officially started in June, with the beginning of their fiscal year.
“That’s when we started drafting our visual elements,” said Alex. “It took two months of working closely with the brand team and our legal team to nail down what the creative could look like, and we were able to publish our first piece of content in August.”
Their first piece of content was with a flying eye care organization called Orbis.
In partnership with that organization, FedEx provides a plane and pilots, and Orbis provides doctors who travel to countries to serve people who may not have the opportunity to visit an eye doctor.
“There was a story about a team member who went above and beyond to help,” said Alex. “A student was going blind in one eye because of a terrible accident that he had had at school, and our team member made sure that he got the surgery he needed and went through great lengths to get him to the plane.”
This particular story was from a team member in the Bahamas. “We were able to get imagery and an interview with the team member who made it happen,” said Alex. “It all came together quickly.”
Following that story’s success, Alex and her team focused on identifying their next Made Possible By stories.
“Our Delivering Thanks campaign set up a foundation for sourcing and curating them,” said Alex. “Then, we have our humanitarian award, and each operating company gets a list of nominees every year for that award. As those nominees come in, they get sent to our team if they think it’s a good story idea. We also go through social media content and do social listening to curate stories.”
Alex said they’ve also found stories, like their recent Made Possible By story spotlighting a team member named Mike, through the people they made their deliveries for.
“In that case, it was the mother of a patient at Le Bonheur who was staying at the FedEx Family House in Memphis who had shared her story on Facebook,” said Alex. “One of our team members saw it and we thought it was an incredible story. So, we reached out and it went from there.”
According to Alex, how they develop the content around each story varies depending on the assets they have access to.
“Some stories we decide would work best for video, especially if we have access to interview the different parties,” she said. “Then, we’ll edit it into different pieces of content across our channels. For example, our video with Mike was a longer form video that we shared across multiple channels.”
They also have a running blog of shorter Made Possible By stories, if all they have is an image or if they weren’t able to do an in-depth interview.
Then, they share them out across their social media channels.
She said the channel they use for telling most stories is Facebook, because they have a strong community of FedEx team members on Facebook, which brings the most positive engagement. They also post on LinkedIn to tell the story about their workforce to showcase FedEx as a great place to work.
“We post 70 percent of them on Twitter, but we don’t see as great success on Twitter as we do on other platforms,” said Alex. “Then, we did some testing and learning on Instagram and realized the feed wasn’t the best place for these stories, but the Instagram Stories themselves draw good engagement.”
So far, they’ve highlighted 25 team members as part of the campaign.
According to Alex, the Made Possible By campaign has generated 20.1-million impressions across their social media channels since it launched in August — with the Made Possible By Mike video being the most popular piece of content in the campaign, with 1.9-million views and 8.5-million impressions.
Now, they’re planning to continue publishing new stories and amplifying the campaign throughout the year.
“The biggest thing for us right now is continuing to socialize it internally,” she said. “Our biggest goal is to spread the word among our team members so they can see themselves in this campaign and have a reason to be proud to work at FedEx.”
She also emphasized the importance of focusing on stories that will connect with their audience.
“We have an abundance of story ideas,” said Alex. “We try to be data driven and look at the story types that are performing well and make our editorial decisions based on past performance of other stories. Sometimes, we can share stories through our advocacy platform that we don’t have the ability to put a lot of resources behind, but we’ve had to really focus our time and energy on the stories that matter.”
For campaigns like this, Alex said finding the first few stories is the hardest part.
“If you put your time and energy into having a strong rollout and amplifying it however you can, once your team members see these posts, you’ll start to see more story ideas coming in,” she said. “A successful launch and impactful stories to share at the very beginning of the campaign sets you up for success.”
Alex also attributed the success of the campaign to her team’s hard work.
“The stories themselves were put together in house by my team of five, so it’s a lean content team,” she said. “And they did it all while doing all of their other jobs. If our team can do it, any other team can do it, too. It’s just a matter of having a focus and knowing where you need to focus your time and efforts.”