RADS Blog Week Day 3: Think of Twitter as advertising

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That was our strategy for the ITV work experience scheme. Unlike many companies, work experience there gives you a real opportunity to see what working at ITV is really like – and can give a big helping hand to your career with training and contacts. Aimed at anyone 18 and over in full-time education, it was a prime social media audience. With shows like The X Factor trending all over Twitter, being talked about by this audience – it was obvious Twitter alone could carry the recruitment ‘advertising’ message.

Kicking off with a mini campaign of ASCII art tweets, that message was soon ReTweeted around the streams – almost half of the campaign clickthrus came from this 5 tweet series. Using hashtags, such as #Xfactor and #Emmerdale, we also infiltrated viewers streams to ‘broadcast’ the opportunity. The campaign generated an enthusiastic Twitter following of over 1200 in just 4 weeks. Of all the campaigns we have run to date, this one was more about conversation, engagement and Word of Mouth than any other.

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The Twitter ‘advertising’ took them through to a Facebook ‘community’ page – bursting with information, testimonials from ex-workies, videos from ITV people about the importance of work experience and specific details of the areas available for placements. (And interestingly, a community double the numbers on Twitter.) Here we posted a lengthy series of #workexperience tips, which also appeared in the Twitter stream, to give advice and help on what placement areas had volumes of opportunity and what you needed to do to shine. The rest of the time the Facebook Wall was purely a community ‘area’ for chat. So everyone could get to know other people applying for the scheme in their areas. (In the end, all successful applicants would be placed in an Experience Pool – for when placements came available – so knowing each other was a useful exercise.) No ‘recruitment messages’ were put out on the Wall at all.

A combination of unique Tweets, plenty of ‘out of hours’ Twitter and Facebook managing (by us) and the building of a truly engaged social media community, created a response of  2000 applications for the three locations – Leeds, Manchester and London. Without a Pay per Click in sight.

The ITV Experience campaign has been shortlisted at the RADS 2012 for the Emerging Talent Campaign (alongside our for I am TV and ITV News Trainee) and Social Media (with ITV News Trainee). It’s a great achievement to be nominated in a non-Social Media category, let’s see what kind of result we ‘experience’ on Thursday night.

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