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Harnessing the reach of social media to support Army recruitment

One of the biggest challenges facing Capita’s partnership with the Army to recruit new soldiers and officers is how to reach beyond the Army’s traditional audience.

While there is a small cohort of young people who are already interested in a career with the British Army or the Army Reserve, the Recruiting Partnering Project needed to find a way to engage with those who have never considered it, and don’t know what a job in the Army would involve.

Social media is playing a crucial role in this engagement. Beyond just tweeting about the Army and posting the usual Facebook content, Capita’s team is working to come up with innovative ways to spread messages about Army life far and wide.

As part of the partnership’s ‘With Heart, With Mind’ campaign to recruit new officers into the Army, a challenge was launched which saw university students compete for a parachute jump with the Red Devils, the Parachute Regiment’s display team.

The eventual winner was joined by a journalist from the hugely popular LADbible online media group – one of the top targets for the Army to reach young people aged between 18 and 24.

Their journalist filmed the jump and posted it as a Facebook Live video, linking directly to the Army Officer Jobs Facebook page – it has been viewed more than 700,000 times and there have been more than 9,000 reactions and engagements with the video on the LADbible Facebook page, including 2,000 comments.

LADbible also dedicated its Snapchat feed to the Army on the day posting 10 images and videos. Some of the videos were also posted on Instagram, on which it has more than three million followers.

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In another initiative, international football freestylers, F2 Freestylers, visited the Army Foundation College, Harrogate, to film a kickabout with junior soldiers. They posted a video posted on their social media channels being viewed by nearly 2.2 million people, prompting 70,000 likes from the public.

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As well as bespoke opportunities such as this, the team is running several ongoing drumbeat campaigns designed to draw people to consider a job in the Army and Army Reserve, dispel myths and misperceptions around Army careers, and drive people to the Army jobs website.

These include ‘365 Days Potential’ – over 52 weeks, this blog will bring Army stories to life, in the words of those men and women who have already made the decision to achieve 100% of their potential in 10% of their time.

In addition, ’44 Weeks’ provides insight, highlights and an exclusive ‘cadet’s-eye’ look into the training that helps to shape the future leaders of the British Army.

Each month, the partnership’s social media campaign reaches an average of almost 13 million people on a huge range of channels, from Snapchat to Facebook Live and live video streaming site Periscope. It is instrumental in helping to bring Army careers to the next generation of leaders.

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