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UBS: Social media monitoring outsourcing

By outsourcing social media monitoring to Accenture, UBS gained the capability to monitor and respond decisively to online activity that could affect its brand.


UBS is a leading global financial services provider, engaging with private, corporate and institutional clients. It is present in all major financial centers and has offices in over 50 countries.

The client employs more than 65,000 people around the world and has historical roots that stretch back more than a century. In the fiscal year ending December 31, 2011, its operating income reached $27.8 billion and operating profit before tax was $5.35 billion.

As in other parts of the financial services industry, professional risk management is a key factor to success. Depending on the types of news stories and articles being published, a company may be required to take specific countermeasures.

UBS, therefore, put sophisticated monitoring practices in place to keep track of traditional media offerings—like newspaper coverage. However, mass media has been superseded by new communication channels that emerged to meet changes in consumer behavior.

In today’s digital world, understanding what is being published in the form of tweets and Facebook postings, for instance, is vital to any successful and effective communication strategy.

Like many of its peers, however, UBS did not have the capacity and experience to adapt its reputation risk management to meet the challenges of the new, digital world.

Tracking social media requires having a solid understanding of the challenges of a rather immature and fast-changing technological landscape, as well as the relevant practical skills.

With so few proven social media monitoring methods available, building an in-house capability can be a challenge—and even more so when the company has a global reputation to protect.

Even at a hefty price tag, available solutions may still be in an early stage of development, untested, and have little geographic or language coverage. In addition, one would have to assemble and maintain one’s own personal or technical capacity.

Thus, UBS sought a comprehensive, outsourced solution that could both deliver results cost-effectively and reduce internal complexity.


Accenture developed a conceptual design and pilot project to address UBS’ overall social media monitoring strategy.

Subsequently, we designed a multilayer operating model that defined the process, structure and technology components, and human resources needed. Using this model, UBS now performs its own tracking in Switzerland.

To achieve consistent tracking on a global scale, UBS signed a three-year contract with Accenture to deliver social media monitoring services in four different languages for all other UBS major global markets, and for various local and corporate business functions.

A key component of this deal is that we not only supply a technical infrastructure to deliver the tracking globally, but also that the tracked content is analyzed by native speakers with an industry background.

Leveraging our Global Delivery Network, Accenture tracks and monitors comments in social media in English, German, Spanish and Portuguese.

Based on the results and additional analysis, our team creates detailed reports for UBS, focused on specific results, and delivers the reports on a regular basis (daily, weekly or ad hoc). As a result, UBS gets a comprehensive view on topics that might require a response.

Thus, we are providing a global capability of standardized services and scalable technology and methodology that makes it possible for UBS to conduct campaign-related monitoring at short notice and at a relatively low fee, billed on a cost-for-cost basis.


This service provides global social media monitoring for UBS, based on industry insights.

It allows UBS to fulfill important communication and risk business objectives in the area of reputation management and customer trust as well as brand.

It also enables the client to successfully navigate the digital social world with a holistic perspective, and to detect relevant topics that might need a reaction.

The service, delivered in a consistent and cost-effective way on an international level, is a great example of our end-to-end capabilities as we combine our strengths in management consulting, global delivery of business-process outsourcing and technology assets.