Building the Pipeline for New Talent in the ACE Industry
How can high school students get exposure to various careers? After the most recent economic downturn, many professionals in architecture, engineering and construction (A/E/C) left their jobs for alternative careers while others are nearing retirement. As a result, the industry is investing in next generation of ACE professionals by offering first hand experiences to high school students – many of whom have not had any exposure to the opportunities that exist.
The Los Angeles chapter of ACE Mentorship Program of America turned to THO to help expand the visibility of the program.
As the second largest affiliate of the national nonprofit organization, the focus of ACE is to mentor high school students, thus inspiring them to pursue careers in architecture, construction and engineering. The program pairs high school students with professionals in the industry to get hands-on experience and mentorship. THO was brought on board to further its mission in Southern California. By developing and implementing a social media program that would support its mission in tangible ways.
- Developing a clear and consistent brand image across social media networks
- Increasing awareness and engagement among key audiences through social media
- Educating board members and mentors on social media best practices
To maximize the ACE Mentor L.A./O.C.’s social media efforts, THO restructured its existing profiles. THO solidified ACE Mentor L.A./O.C.’s social media brand identity by ensuring consistency in its handles and hashtags across all platforms. THO also implemented new hashtags, including #ACEMentorLAOC and #ACELAOCEvents, and encouraged board members, mentors, program participants and followers to use these hashtags when posting about the organization to increase name recognition, awareness and memorability.
In the restructuring, THO put a special focus on LinkedIn, the organization’s main gateway to new mentors and sponsors. Initially, THO transitioned the existing ACE Mentor L.A./O.C. LinkedIn profile, which was started as a personal page, to an official company LinkedIn page. The new page allows the ability to track progress through analytics and create sponsored posts in order to more effectively reach the audiences vital to the organization’s continued success. Through a focused, six-month effort, THO successfully increased the company’s new LinkedIn page following by more than 100 percent.
Beyond developing a brand image, THO also sought to increase awareness of and engagement with ACE Mentor L.A./O.C. by generating engaging and consistent content for dissemination via the organization’s social media platforms. THO drafted monthly content calendars leveraging recent ACE events, industry news and timely, trending hashtags such as #NationalEngineersWeek and #WomenInConstructionWeek in order to gain additional visibility among target audiences and establish a credible presence for ACE in the industry.
THO also implemented an educational program which included e-blasts and social media “cheat sheets.” As the organization’s board members, mentors and team leaders are all influential professionals working in A/E/C industries, it is critical that they become ambassadors for the organization, sharing its content to their own social media pages and further extending its reach into the pool of industry professionals.
In addition to more than doubling the organization’s LinkedIn following, the social media program also resulted in a 47 percent increase in Instagram followers and 32 percent increase in Facebook followers over six months.
THO leveraged the success of the social media program to inform ACE Mentor L.A./O.C. leadership about the social media process and how to maximize the program’s reach.
ACE Mentor L.A./O.C. continues to value the social media program THO implements on the organization’s behalf. During a one-year period, the program has:
- Earned 661 LinkedIn followers
- Reached 51.2K post impressions on Instagram
- Promoted their annual Build Day Event, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity, on NBC News and NBC’s Instagram page
- Obtained 4.7K Twitter profile visits
Because of all of these efforts, the organization has already seen a steady increase in engagement with social media posts among board members and mentors, which is leading to more inquiries about the mentorship program.