Case Study

Post Office UK Successfully Enlists Lithium Social Media Management for #LoveSundays Campaign

With over 370 years of service, Post Office is the UK's largest retail network and the largest financial services chain in the UK with more branches than all of the UK’s banks and building societies put together. They also have growing direct channels such as contact centers and online—meaning they’re there for more customers, in more ways.

They have connected communities and customers with the products and services they need for centuries—and that isn't going to change. But Post Office is now more than it ever was—an independent multi-channel business, with a vibrant, fast-growing financial services business, separated from Royal Mail and embarking on a new era of growth, modernization and customer excellence in serving the UK population.

  • Goal

    Leverage the power of social media to help increase traffic to the Post Office branches, increase sales of parcels/letters and overcome negative perceptions

  • Solution

    Launch a #LoveSundays real-time marketing campaign to dominate media for one day only and leverage Lithium Social Media Management to monitor and track awareness and customer engagement on social media

“(Lithium Social Media Management) helped us organize all the massive conversations into appropriate queues and manage agent efficiencies. The tool also surfaced customer data seamlessly, which helped us deliver personalized interactions both during and after the #LoveSundays campaign.”

— Darren Jones, Social Media Manager, Post Office

Tell us about the #LoveSundays campaign.

In research, it was revealed that our customers had low awareness of Post Office's Sunday opening hours. We were tasked with creating widespread awareness of Sunday opening hours. The strategy was to dominate Twitter for one day only with #LoveSundays, celebrating everything great about Sundays, from brunch to pajamas to Sunday dinner and—of course—Post Office's Sunday hours. Twitter was the perfect place to generate broad awareness and to engage our audience with the core campaign message.

How did you execute the real-time campaign on Twitter?

We used a social content tiered approach that focused on: 1. Activation: The planned Twitter content was designed to align perfectly with people's Sunday activities, and we ran mini competitions throughout the day encouraging user generated content, in exchange for onesies, Costa Coffee vouchers and more. 2. Reactive: We produced social content reactively when topics relevant to our customers were trending in order to increase the reach of our message, as well as offering real-time, personalized customer service by helping customers notice that their nearest branch is open on Sundays. 3. Prepared: We had a ‘war room’ for our campaign day, prepared our agencies partners and were ready with aligned content that tapped into key weekend ‘moments.’

How did you leverage Lithium Social Media Management as part of the real-time marketing campaign?

We leveraged Lithium Social Media Management to help us in the monitoring and response phases of the campaign. With monitoring, our team of agents looked for conversations with keywords and phrases in Social Media Management, and we also used the tool to respond. The tool helped us organize all the massive conversations into appropriate queues and manage agent efficiencies by routing to different team members for approvals.

How did you use customer data to personalize their experience during the campaign?

Lithium Social Media Management surfaced customer data seamlessly, which helped us deliver personalized interactions both during and after the campaign, specifically:

  • Notes allowed us to record whether a person had won a prize, which helped our operations team with background information should the person tweet us to inquire about their prize in the future.
  • Conversations allowed us to quickly understand whether the person had talked to us before, and if so, offer a more personalized response during the campaign (e.g. if they talked to us about a specific branch before, we could pre-empt that they were talking about the same branch during the campaign).
  • Snooze allowed us to go back to key influencers after the campaign, and also check that those who entered the competition had received their prize.
  • Klout Topics gave us a quick snapshot of the individual’s interests, which we used to try and tie back to the Sunday opening message. For example, if we saw that someone was interested in gardening, then this opened up the opportunity for us to reply to the customer with an “open around you” message about them visiting us before their Sunday trip to the garden center.
  • Klout Score understanding this was helpful to amplify the campaign by giving us the opportunity to engage with those with a high influence quickly/in the moment, and in the process, encourage them to retweet (for example, when the Church of England tweeted us).
  • Import allowed us to import particular tweets from influencers, and participate in conversations based on what was trending at the time (for example, The Open).

What was the teams’ response to using Lithium Social Media Management? Was it efficient, and did it help surface the social conversations you were looking for?

The team’s response to Lithium Social Media Management was very positive. Lithium Social Media Management is already an established platform within Post Office—shared between marketing, corporate communications, and customer service—and we already deal with thousands of conversations a week, but this campaign allowed us to share access with our two marketing agency partners on the day we had our ‘war room.’ This was the first time both agencies had used Social Media Management, and both found it to be very easy to use—requiring only ten minutes of training. With us all using the same platform, there was no duplication with our replies, and above all else—we ensured that standard customer service queries didn’t go forgotten. By getting our agencies to use Lithium Social Media Management, it gave us a safety net—with all their replies going through to us, via Lithium, for approval, before getting published. With the approval process all being within Lithium, it made it more efficient instead of emailing each other internally.

What’s in store for the future of the Post Office’s social media strategy?

The campaign highlighted the importance and effect that good quality customer interactions can have on amplifying a campaign and changing perceptions of a brand, just as much—or more—than broadcasting status updates. As such, we expect both teams to be working much closer together for future campaigns, as well as upskilling our customer care agents with marketing skills, so they can spot more ‘moments’ to help amplify our corporate messaging within their replies.