With its world-class reputation and vast scope for employment opportunities, the digital industry within the UK is thriving.
It is estimated that in order to keep this industry at the forefront of our economy, 750,000 more digitally skilled workers will be required by 2017, and with a significant amount of these roles suited to younger people, it is vital that schools work to educate their students in the diverse roles and opportunities available to them.
What is BIMA D-Day?
This is where BIMA step in. ‘D-Day’ is a digital-oriented event which takes place in schools up and down the country with the sole aim of informing and educating students through the completion of practical projects, ranging from mobile app design to game coding. There to provide first-hand support throughout these modules were the digital professionals who entered the classroom to share a wealth of experience and knowledge, encouraging students to consider their thought processes and develop solutions and strategies outside of the obvious.
The Social Media Challenge
With this in mind, Silverbean partnered up with local Sixth Form College, The Hermitage Academy, in Chester-Le-Street, Durham to complete their chosen digital module – The Social Media Challenge. A module whose content resonates particularly well with a younger audience, the year 12 and 13 students were asked to create an effective social media campaign to promote their very own fashion store.
After an introductory presentation by Silverbean MD, Neil Robbins, which detailed the various channels they could use for promotional purposes and an insight into branding elements for their stores, the students were given their very first task of the day – to create their brand. A pivotal point for all businesses, creating a consistent brand is of the utmost importance, only after this is achieved can an effective social campaign be put into practice. The stores developed by the teams included a men’s tailoring emporium, under the Italian name ‘Abiti’, a high street shoe store or ‘Shooep’ as it was named, a mid-market fashion store with a boutique feel entitled ‘Trending’ and a specialist men’s tall fashion store, which was ironically named Paul’s Tall Mall – after the class teacher. Throughout this first branding exercise Silverbean were on-hand to encourage students to really consider the four P’s of marketing – place, price, product and promotion, ensuring all of these elements showed consistency and the ability to work cohesively for each brand.
After each brand was agreed upon, after much discussion and debate within some groups, it was time to start imagining and designing just how their store experience would feel. Floor plans were created using specialist software, allowing students to realise exactly how they envisioned their stores.
During this design work, team members also started to compile all elements needed for a successful social media campaign. From Facebook page design to relevant Twitter hashtagging and 140 character Tweets, all aspects were considered for each store, ensuring the audience was targeted in the most effective ways possible. Students were encouraged to think outside of the obvious and create actual Facebook and Twitter accounts to allow them to gain full creative control, with some groups even managing to cultivate Twitter followings of around 25 by the end of the day.
As the day and creative solutions progressed, each team started to collate their material in order to present their ideas from conception to realisation. What resulted was a series of carefully considered projects which really enabled the students to gain first-hand experience in using social media campaigns in a business capacity, whilst effectively sparking interest in the field within the minds of the digital marketers of the future.