It's often said the younger generation have taken to the digital age like ducks to water and now historic Birmingham car-maker MG is aiming to exploit those youthful skills to the full in a bid to strengthen its social media presence.
The Longbridge-based firm’s forthcoming social media campaigns will largely be the work of students at South and City College Birmingham following a pioneering partnership which started back in June.
The tie-up is part of an ongoing relationship between MG Motor UK and South and City College, the latest phase of which saw the car-maker team-up with the college’s social media students to find out what sparks their interest when it comes to online content.
In June, seven social media apprentices from the college visited MG’s head office to discuss online interaction and how the car manufacturer can expand its social media followers.
Matthew Cheyne, MG’s head of sales and marketing, said; “We’ve got a fantastic following of MG fans, some as far back as the earliest models, but we’re always looking to increase our audience and interaction.
“Through the help and expertise of these students, we’re hoping to do that and identify what people look for when it comes to social media.”
The students were set a project, which involved researching other car manufacturers and creating a unique social media campaign for MG to run with.
They were split into two groups, with Amba Fellows, Eleanor Duncombe, Lauren Crates and Savannah Gonzales in one team and Adam Askew and Jay Styles in the other.
The students presented their findings to the MG marketing team at the end of July and their campaigns are now set to be launched in just a few weeks.
MG Motor UK is currently running the social media campaign #MGthanks, which will continue until the end of August, to be followed by the campaigns devised by the South and City College students.
Lizi Piggins, PR officer for MG, said: “We were really impressed with the ideas the students came up with and it was refreshing to speak to young people who haven’t necessarily got an interest in cars, as you get a completely different outlook.
“With their input, we’ll be running their campaigns in the coming months, which is fantastic experience for these students.”
Steve Dourass, business and community manager for South and City College, said: “To be working in association with such a fantastic local brand is great because everybody wins.
“Our college students have been really enthused by the relationship we are building and have already gained invaluable experience through a ‘real life’ project.
“We look forward to developing many more opportunities together.”
MG is hoping to further grow sales this year after a successful 2014, when it was named the fastest-growing automotive brand in Britain by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.
The car-maker currently engineers and designs MG cars for global markets in Longbridge and also assembles MG3 and MG6 vehicles there for the UK market.
The company’s UK technical centre (SMTC) at Longbridge employs 300 engineers and designers.
MG’s sales surge has been based largely on the success of the MG3 supermini, which was launched last year.
MG is also set to launch its first SUV in the UK next year. Currently available in China, where it is badged as the MG GTS, its design was overseen by MG’s global design director Anthony Williams-Kenny, in a collaboration between the company’s Shanghai and Longbridge design teams.
The new SUV is set to compete in the compact SUV sector, one of the fastest-growing areas in the global automotive world, against cars like the Nissan Qashqai and Vauxhall Mokka.
Speculation has also suggested MG may add a smaller SUV to its range and though the car-maker has not revealed any further new model plans it did say it has “several models planned for the immediate and longer-term future”.