Most customers overlook the individuals who provide them services. This lack of acknowledgement isn't specific to the transportation industry, but commonplace across sectors. With ever-increasing expectations and little regard for the "who" and "how", society sometimes forgets to stop and say "thanks". This fact was the impetus for our #DeliveringThanks series. We wanted to showcase our team members' daily excellence in order to present positive storylines, boost morale, and encourage others to express appreciation for people and things we too often take for granted – whether related or unrelated to FedEx. These gratitude features are a collection of team member stories that we initially published throughout our Peak season when social sentiment is at its lowest. The series celebrates team members who go above and beyond, including instances of life-saving heroics. The stories are primarily submitted by customers who want to ensure that their courier/driver/customer rep is properly acknowledged for a job well done, whether on the clock and even voluntarily off the clock. We vet each submission, develop copy, and obtain UGC that best tell the circumstances of each storyline – all without the assistance of an agency for any creative development. Our ultimate goal is to emphasize positive, authentic experiences that challenge our social audience to intentionally pause, appreciate, and "deliver" it forward. This campaign humanizes the brand, pivots from negative social conversations, secures and invigorates brand ambassadors, praises those who are overlooked, and compels others to recognize the "good" around them.
"Delivering Thanks" is meant to celebrate our team members and highlight the very real circumstances they encounter each day. In our approach to storytelling, we wanted to offer an honest depiction of their experiences, choosing to showcase UGC that featured our team members in their daily work spaces in the most authentic way possible. No filters, no photo shoots, no pretension. We chose to publish at least three features per week (both organic and paid posts) during our Peak season to offer positive stories that would often combat negative sentiment and customer complaints. We found that FedEx ambassadors were eager to voice their appreciation of the series in the comments section of each post and often noted its merit to those who challenged us. The social posts served as teasers with short summaries of each scenario and links to longer features housed on our corporate blog. The idea was to get our social audience excited and even awed by tales of customer service excellence, extraordinary empathy, and unbelievable rescues to elicit their engagement and participation – and then carry that engagement from the social sphere to our corporate channel. There, users could read not only the long-form Delivering Thanks stories and provide additional commentary about their own examples of gratitude, but also see even more features about team members, customers, products, and services. As best we could, we aligned the publication of each story with key cultural moments to increase their relevance and "boosted" those stories that performed at or above our average benchmarks. We allocated additional paid budget to those stories we felt were truly inspirational and likely automatic "hits" on social. In total, we published 18 stories from around the world, considering diversity of experience, gender, race/ethnicity, and geography, and including at least 1 international feature per month. We also mined social conversations for additional tales of customers detailing their appreciation for members of our workforce outside of our initial "batch" of stories, even choosing to feature some of them on our social channels and corporate blog.
Overall, posts performed above average engagement, some performing 5 times our average organic benchmarks and producing record-breaking share totals. Negative metrics were minimal, and positive sentiment increased. Current and retired team members, customer loyalists, new customers, and local media responded positively to our team member features, providing uplifting messages and combatting trolls. Local media even produced their own features about certain team members. In terms of paid metrics, the series yielded an average engagement rate of 9.52% for paid posts and generated over 3.1M impressions. The CPE was only $0.06. Some posts performed at 31% and $0.05 CPE. (Note: Our average paid Facebook benchmarks are 8.07% engagement and $0.14 CPE). Additionally, the social series drove an incredible amount of traffic to our corporate blog, besting average page view benchmarks within its first month, and eventually notching 100,000 page views during our Peak season – a 1,900% increase in comparison to average, "successful" blogs. Viewers spent a record-high 4.3 minutes reviewing the series (3.2 minutes is our average). #DeliveringThanks social traffic netted a 599% year-over-year increase in blog traffic and the series is the top-performing feature on that site. In fact, demand for the series is so high that it's becoming an ongoing campaign. Team members actively support it, congratulating and acknowledging colleagues for their professional excellence - an encouraging indication of high morale, and, at record levels, external customers share stories in which they #DeliverThanks to those inside AND outside of FedEx, proving the true power of this campaign.
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