• Twitter Campaign Helps Company Make Deeper Connections With Students

    Spotlight for Recruiting Professionals
    August 20, 2014

    Feedback from focus groups, recruiters, and college students showed a perception that, due to its size, the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies (J&J) could be seen as unapproachable and impersonal. To overcome this and make connections that better represent J&J and its culture, the company launched a Twitter-based campaign called the “Be Vital Social Media Strategy.”

    “We wanted to make a genuine, transparent connection with university students and at the same time, improve our social media strategy,” says Dia D. Harris, senior university relations specialist at J&J.

    The mission of the “Be Vital Social Media Strategy” is to use social media to attract the most sought after student talent and ensure that J&J is their employer of choice. Meanwhile, the program’s goal is to create transparency and approachability leveraging “Be Vital” branding and access.

    From the goals and mission, Harris and his colleagues created some objectives for the program around three areas:

    • Content—J&J seeks to differentiate its brand and let its culture “shine through” using Twitter, and make strong contributions to the online community. It also began targeting its talent messaging. Harris says J&J understands that while whatever it does is truly recruiting, the company has to make sure its messages aren’t all focused on recruiting.
    • Infrastructure—J&J ensures its messaging is consistent, relevant, strategic, and cross-functional. Because J&J has more than 250 different operating companies, the messaging through the “Be Vital” campaign must represent every one, and the tweets can’t focus too heavily on just one part of the business.
    • Voices—J&J uses different voices to tell its story, from leveraging executives and campus ambassadors (former co-ops) to participate in tweet chats to producing various “day in the life” videos. The company also wants to hear from its student followers, and tweets questions and hypotheticals and holds various contests, encouraging the students to respond/participate.

    “We make it casual, yet informative, and provide information to college students—from sources inside and outside of J&J—that will help them in their job search,” Harris explains, noting that he developed a proactive calendar that allows him to maintain an organized and strategic approach to the content.

    J&J measures the effectiveness of the program by its number of followers; in one year, the number more than tripled.

    “We also measure the effectiveness by the feedback and interaction we received from students, which has been overwhelmingly positive in helping us be perceived as more approachable and accessible,” Harris adds.