Recruiting 18-35s into adult social care for NW ADASS

The challenge

Think have worked with The North West Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (NW ADASS) for over 2 years. Initially we were commissioned to help develop an internal comms strategy, but as the pandemic struck, priorities shifted. It was identified that, as a result of the pandemic, local authorities were anticipating a 25-50% reduction in adult social care staffing. This is due to isolation and sickness, leading to a potential loss of up to half of the workforce. This would put some of the most vulnerable people in our communities at risk.

‘Step into Social Care’ is our third campaign for NW ADASS. It was aimed at the 18-35 age group, in particular school and college leavers who might be at a crossroads in terms of moving forward with their careers.

With this campaign, we wanted to challenge perceptions of what social care is and the wide range of people that social care staff work with. There was a strong sense from the sector that we should be getting across the aspirational and fun nature of social care and break down stereotypes of people who need support.

The approach

Our approach with the first two campaigns was to cut through the visual noise of the photograph to include text, with a bold, illustrative style. During our initial research it was felt that the content needed to be more exciting and dynamic to reach our demographic. We chose the channels our audience most frequently use, predominantly TikTok for under 21s, Instagram for 22-25s and both Instagram and Facebook for 26+.

We designed a campaign encouraging our audience to create their own story and #stepintosocialcare, using a popular TikTok/Instagram user-generated format in ‘a day in the life of.’ With the help of NW ADASS, Think recruited young care workers to produce their own footage to tell the positive stories of their day. The videos were edited by Think to encourage applications. Stills of the campaign creative were also used across all channels to build visibility and awareness.

A campaign microsite was designed to create consistency in the journey, maintain engagement, improve UX and ultimately drive applications.

The results

The campaign has been a resounding success with local authorities commenting that it was ‘fantastic.’

We ran an 8-week campaign, with Christmas in between, which resulted in a reach of 595k, 41k likes, 8k website visitors and 125 applications. This equals a 1.5% conversion rate, which is an exceptional achievement for a sector which is notoriously hard to recruit for, especially with a younger audience.

It is safe to say, the campaign exceeded all expectations and due to the success, the creative will be refreshed to run again later this year.

167k
Facebook reach
35k
Instagram reach
356k
TikTok reach
38k
Twitter reach
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