UPS: Proactive social listening — Live from Member Meeting 39

Coverage of this session by Courtney Graham of Connect with her on LinkedIn here.

4:30 —'s Kayal Rajendran introduces UPS' Social Media Manager, Vincent Washington.

4:31 — Vincent: A quick overview of who we are: We're a great mix of ling-time UPSers and new UPSers. The mix of the legacy and new innovation give us a great team. We also have great agency support.

4:32 — Vincent: We have a great opportunity to humanize our brand through amazing storytelling, a rich history, and premium partnerships. It's working great for UPS… until it isn't. A large part of our listening is being able to act proactively on the businesses behalf.

4:33 — Vincent says the majority of social media listening is reactive. Traditional listening fell into one of three categories: Sentiment, content performance, and employee engagement. So we looked at what we were doing to find ways to impact the business.

4:35 — Vincent: Content discovery was another key issue. Could we use proactive social listening to:

  • Surface business opportunities
  • Inform the creation and increase engagement with UPS Content
  • Improve employee perception

4:36 — Vincent: We did a social audit of a potential customer.

We would identify “Opportunity” themes and social influencers around their brand and the issue. We looked at where their customers were talking about UPS.

4:37 — Vincent: It was a way to inform the creation and increase engagement with UPS content. We wanted the content to be more discoverable. We listened to engage existing customers in a meaningful way.

4:39 — Vincent: Then we looked at how we could surface relevant UPS content into the existing conversation.

4:40 — Vincent: We also use several new social tools to allow us to narrow our targeting to reach a key influencer audience. We found data overlaps and a key audience of influencers. We did paid posts to that group and achieved higher engagement than we would with a broad audience.

4:42 — Vincent: We've also been able to improve employee perception. This led to a successful TED@UPS event.

4:43 — Vincent: Social Listening works:

  • Over 100 sales reports have been delivered to clients
  • Content is relevant and reaching the right audience
  • We are refining the listening and have been given more budget


Q: How are you doing automation in social listening?

A: in the past, we were more focused on getting content and making it social. Now, we have a content team that handles copy. Our focus is identifying the target audience. We listen for general conversation around the business. Once we identify those key areas, we get with the content team to plan.

Q: How did you connect employees?

A: We created social media training to get folks within the company access to social within the firewall. That helped stimulate interest in them being more active on social for the brand.

Q: How are you handling listening for images that don't have text but relate to the brand?

A: We do use several products and tools that help with image recognition.

Q: How do you staff for social listening?

A: Our listening is around our business and the goals we want to accomplish. Everyone on the team is expected to do some listening. The tool handles the majority and makes it scalable. But, we're not trying to listen to everything.