The Bank of America Student Leaders program is an annual summer initiative designed to launch high school students into thriving leaders. The objective of our social campaign around the program is to encourage students to apply and shine a light on the students selected as they work their way through the program. These students are smart, driven and community oriented. They are aspiring leaders who are creating nonprofits at 17 years old and leading local initiatives to benefit their community. The social campaign is centered around telling their stories as they complete the summer-long program. During the program, students are paired with an internship at a local nonprofit while also attending Bank of America-hosted seminars with leaders from the public, private and nonprofit sectors. The students also participate in a weeklong virtual summit where they meet with politicians, learn about civic engagement and join leadership trainings.
At the start of the year, we knew we had a few key moments in time to tap into – the end of application season for 2022, the summit during the program, National Intern Day, and the call for 2023 applications. Because this program is national, we not only needed the support of our enterprise social media handles, but also the farther-reaching local teammates to amplify these messages. This strategy was centered around pushing out the national messages broadly and amplifying those local stories on a regional level.
To spread the word on the application deadline, we created content across our enterprise channels and then provided pre-drafted copy to teammates to share on their social channels, plus guidance on how to craft customized social content for local bank teammates. This approach disseminated the national call for applications while also echoing that message from prominent local community leaders.
While this year’s summit was virtual, we used this moment to highlight the stats around this year’s program – 292 students participating, across 92 markets, working at 139 nonprofits – and the activities the students would be engaging in throughout the weeklong summit. This helped tell the story about the breadth of this year’s program and the tools the students were learning about.
On National Intern Day, we once again utilized the support of our local market teammates. Throughout the program, teammates were enthusiastically sharing the contributions of the students at their internships and acknowledging the skills learned during seminars with local leaders. We pulled the notable posts into a Twitter Moment to organically share the achievements and impact of the students within their local communities. We decided leading with user-generated content would help authentically tell the story of the students’ experiences.
Before the students wrapped up their summer with the program, we asked them to record themselves answering a few questions related to the program, their experiences with leadership and what they’ve learned. With those submissions, we were able to create a compilation video for the 2023 Student Leaders application content, which went live in the fall of 2022, highlighting each student’s favorite part about the program. This first-person content allows for an authentic connection to be created between the 2022 Student Leader and any prospective 2023 applicants. By leveraging this asset, we allowed the students themselves to share their stories first-hand.
Throughout the year to keep the content feel consistent, we leveraged the same branding across our visual assets and incorporated the hashtag #BofAStudentLeaders to create a unifying term for social users looking to learn more. We varied between static and animated assets to keep the content from feeling dull and to utilize whichever format best told this story.
One of our biggest challenges was coordinating efforts to distribute the instructions for students to record themselves and to create a seamless process for them to send back the videos. We were able to work around this and delivered stellar results with the content.
Our objectives were two-fold – encourage applications for the 2022 and 2023 program and to tell the story of the program and this year’s students. In 2022, our storytelling content resonated with our audience. With 69% of our content across platforms (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram) around Student Leaders performing at or above benchmarks, this content is leading to high engagements. Creating the Twitter Moment and compilation video at the wrap of the program were our strongest examples of storytelling because it relied on UGC and the student video submissions helped build a strong first-person narrative.
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