Case Study

Post Office UK Achieves Revenue and Brand Value with Lithium Social Media Management

As one of Europe’s largest retail networks with more than 11,600 branches, Post Office is the UK’s market leader in mails, the fastest growing provider of personal and business banking services, biggest bureau-de-change, and an important source of footfall and income for the more than 10,000 independent businesses that run their branches.

Post Office’s modernization program has already seen it become UK’s biggest Sunday retailer and through this have added more than 200,000 weekly opening hours for customers. The Post Office Money brand, launched in January 2015, is bringing multi-award winning financial products together under one umbrella, with the goal of becoming one of the UK’s leading financial services providers by 2020.

  • Goal

    Build awareness of Post Office UK’s Travel Money product and improve brand sentiment

  • Solution

    Leverage Lithium Social Media Management to plan, execute and measure the #SummerSorted social media marketing campaign

“Our social mission is to make Post Office more relevant, accessible and transparent. And with the help of Lithium Social Media Management we’re delivering on that promise. The bottom line is that our social campaigns are easier to manage, data-driven and are delivering business results. We now have a smart social platform that helps us do more and, ultimately, work smarter.”

— Darren Jones, Social Media & Audience Insight Manager

Tell us about your #SummerSorted campaign.

The exciting part of this campaign is that we took a business problem and made real impact with social - and have the numbers to prove it. Our #SummerSorted campaign, which ran from June – September 2016, was an integrated effort and the first time we benchmarked a social campaign with Lithium Social Media Management. From a business perspective, we knew we had to build awareness of our Travel Money product, get more people to buy it, and improve brand sentiment to be successful with this social campaign.

So, how did you do it? What was your strategy?

Well, we took an audience-first approach, meaning we did our research on which audiences we should target. We looked at the interests of our competitors’ followers versus our own. We also looked at what type of content those audiences are engaging with on social. Once we had our target audience and priority content themes, we split our social strategy into four focus areas.

Tell us more about the four focus areas.

The four areas we focused on for the #SummerSorted campaign were:

  • Incentives (Involve & Grow): We wanted to encourage people to share and engage with our contests (e.g. Which branch did you buy your travel money from? One winning response chosen at random) as well as maximize organic reach on social channels.
  • Moments (Start the Conversation): We also focused on sharing positive and uplifting content regarding summer travel (e.g. swimming, Wimbledon, vacations), share common conversation starters as well as grow permissions to discuss Travel Money with people on social.
  • Products (Inform & Sell): Most importantly, we focused on sharing information about Travel Money as well as funnel social users into online and in-branch sales.
  • Monitor & Respond: Lastly, we had to make sure we had the right social platform to help us monitor our target audiences as well as respond quickly at scale.

How did Lithium Social Media Management help with the #SummerSorted campaign?

At a high-level, it was a busy Summer for all of us on the marketing team so we needed the right social technology that we could depend on. With #SummerSorted, we had over 300 assets, 15 contests with 91 prizes, and more than 36,000 conversations to monitor (all in real-time). Plus, there were many people involved (including agencies) in the planning, design, and activation of the campaign.

So, of course, we needed the right technology to manage the campaign and Lithium Social Media Management delivered. The two areas that really stood out include:

  • Streamlined workflow: Not only did the Lithium platform help get us organized (no more spreadsheets!), improved our approval chain and planning, but it helped us collaborate with other stakeholders, such as: Customer Service, Designers and Agency partners. In fact, #SummerSorted saved us 43% of our teams’ time (compared to our last campaign) and more than £22,000.
  • Content Management:We absolutely love the ‘best time to post’ feature. This feature helped take the ‘guesswork’ out of our social publishing. It told us when exactly to post for maximum engagement. It saved us time and increased our content engagement as well as gave us more confidence with our social posts.

Can you dive deeper into how you maximized engagement?

Of course - that’s the fun part. The team did some exciting things to make sure we engaged customers at every point of their Post Office UK journey as well as integrate with other teams.

  • Surprise and delight: One of the best parts of the campaign was re-connecting with customers and fans. With Lithium Social Media Management, we tagged previous conversations (going back up to a year) and re-engaged them with #SummerSorted assets and contests.
  • Make conversations work harder: We knew we had a business problem to solve, so social had to do more than just engage people. We had to convert. We had to make sure people were purchasing Travel Money so #SummerSorted was integrated into all marketing initiatives and we tracked conversations and engagement to see if they converted.
  • Keeping abreast of the wider environment through email alerts: The Lithium Social Media Management alerts feature helped ensure that we didn’t let Customer Service slip during this busy campaign. The platform kept us well-informed and up-to-date on real-time service alerts, volume alerts, influencer alerts and publishing alerts. We were all moving so fast during the campaign so this helped ensure we engaged quickly and that every customer was attended to appropriately

How did you measure the campaign?

We created a real-time Lithium dashboard to monitor and optimize activity. We also looked at social performance by social channel – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. On Facebook, we had a very strong CTR of 1.77% compared to our 1% benchmark. On Twitter, the campaign generated over 120k engagements at an average engagement rate of 3.74%. As a comparison, the average engagement rate is 1.88% for the Financial services industry in the UK on Twitter.

So, how did the #SummerSorted campaign perform?

The most significant metric was that we increased subscribers 113% through the development of engaging content. We now have more subscribers (and more Facebook followers) than Yorkshire Building Society and Tesco Bank. This clearly helps us grow our brand awareness and edges us even closer to be the leading financial service provider by 2020.

Our activity contributed to more than 8,000 online sales, which was a result of on-going testing and optimization of messaging and targeting. Lastly, we are so proud to tout a 38-minute response time to questions, discussion and complaints across social media, exceeding the industry average of one hour. A few other metrics we are proud of include:

  • Campaign contributed (via incentives) to a shift of -1.3 to -0.7% brand affinity
  • Social share of voice for the brand increased from 28% to 45% as a result of the campaign
  • A 128% growth in customers engaging with us on Facebook Messenger
  • Lastly, #SummerSorted helped demonstrate brand authenticity and product relevance in the travel money category