Awarded to Reading Room

Start date: Friday 10 December 2021
Value: £24,639
Company size: SME
Education and Skills Funding Agency

ESFA Social Media Review

5 Incomplete applications

4 SME, 1 large

4 Completed applications

3 SME, 1 large

Important dates

Monday 15 November 2021
Deadline for asking questions
Monday 22 November 2021 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Monday 29 November 2021 at 11:59pm GMT


Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Contracted out service: the off-payroll rules do not apply
Summary of the work
ESFA Social Media Review
We are looking for an agency to review the effectiveness of all ESFA social media channels (Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook etc), along with DfE and ESFA joint owned campaign social media channels, to ensure they are fit for purpose.
Latest start date
Monday 6 December 2021
Expected contract length
Up to March 2022
No specific location, for example they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
Education and Skills Funding Agency
Budget range
Maximum budget of: £25,000 including VAT for both phases combined.

About the work

Why the work is being done
The aims of this social media review include:

1) Support the progress towards a digital first organisation
2) Build trust and develop stronger relationships with high profile stakeholders
3) Enhance our reputation and support us to protect it in a crisis
4) Tell stories in the simplest terms for our users
5) Increase our large following
6) Reduce calls/queries for service desk and FE connect colleagues
7) Learning opportunities with other ESFA and DfE social media account holders
8) Increase the profile of our CEO and senior ministers
Problem to be solved
Service provider requirements are broken down into 2 phases:

Phase 1 (to be completed in December 2021)
We are looking for an agency to complete an in-depth review of the effectiveness of all ESFA social media channels, along with DfE and ESFA joint owned campaign social media channels (as listed above). This will include looking at how effective current channels are and whether we have too many channels. This will also include recommendations for future improvements such as where future content is best placed including these 3 new campaigns being launched in January 2022:

• Young People
• Adult skills and training
• Employer engagement in skills.

Phase 2 (to be completed Jan 2022 – Mar 2022)

From the review in phase 1, we would then like this agency to help us implement some of the recommendations. We will also require the agency to advise on setting realistic objectives for the future (this should also include recommendations for evolving our social media presence). As part of the agreement, we would like the agency to run around 3 to 5 training sessions (tailored to our needs) to support us with next steps.
Who the users are and what they need to do
Social media channels and our engagement with online platforms have become vital routes to help engage and communicate with a wide range of ESFA audiences. Social media is a great platform to listen to conversations about ESFA and allows us to pick up on any repetitive comments and positive new stories or outcomes, giving us the ability to be more reactive and help us reduce calls/queries for our service desk and FE connect colleagues. It is also a vital communications channel to our audiences for ESFA

As set out in the ESFA social media strategy, the corporate communications team have agreed that ESFA digital channels, including GOV.UK and social media are to be used in 50% of ESFA communications activity to communicate our key business priorities, and increase engagement and to be a government agency that takes a ‘digital first’ approach to communications to our audiences.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
Existing team
The supplier will work with the existing ESFA corporate communications team. This project does not include working with another supplier.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Working arrangements
Remotely - all costs to be included in the supplier bid response.
Security clearance

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
Standard Digital Marketplace terms and conditions

Skills and experience

Buyers will use the essential and nice-to-have skills and experience to help them evaluate suppliers’ technical competence.

Essential skills and experience
  • demonstrate previous successful social media reviews
  • have the skills and resources to meet our requirements
  • provide ideas for how they will complete the review and meet the objectives
Nice-to-have skills and experience
provide examples of previous experience in delivering social media reviews successfully

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Reputation / Experiences - 20% Weighting
  • Response to the brief - 25% Weighting
  • Delivery - 20% Weighting including 5% Cultural Fit
  • Resources - 15% Weighting
  • Value for Money - 20% Weighting
Cultural fit criteria
  • demonstrate in the DELIVERY section, how they identify and share lessons learnt
  • demonstrate in the DELIVERY section, how the team will work together to deliver this project within the timescales
Payment approach
Fixed price
Additional assessment methods
Case study
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Is the ESFA able to facilitate the recruitment of service users for research such as surveys, interviews and workshops, if needed?
Yes we have dedicated user researchers in the wider team, that we could use if needed. We have specialist software to help conduct user research too.
2. Does the ESFA have any existing audience segmentation / personas and journey mapping documentation (beyond website journeys) that can be used to inform the review & recommendations? If so, what data has been used to develop the insight?
Yes, the ESFA has audience segmentation, personas and some journey maps for each of its customer groups (education/training providers, employers and citizens). The insight comes from a range of sources - one to one research sessions, surveys, user group discussions, monitoring queries and so on.
3. How many people is the ESFA intending to include in the training sessions?
We expect around 10 people per training session
4. Can you confirm that the training sessions will also be remote?
We are open to training being delivered remotely or face to face, depending on what will work best for the training needs.
5. How many social channels will need to be included in the review and across which platforms? (The brief states “as listed above” but I can’t see a list of channels on there)
Social media channels to be included in this review include:

Twitter - ESFA corporate, ESFA academies, Apprenticeship service
Apprenticeships, National Careers Service, T Levels, Traineeships, Academies

LinkedIn - ESFA corporate, Apprenticeships, National Careers Service,
T Levels

Facebook - Apprenticeships, National Careers Service

YouTube - ESFA
6. Do we need to include other digital touchpoints (such as blog feeds) in the review?
No, this is a social media review only, at this stage.
7. How many staff members does the ESFA currently have allocated to social account management, social media content, and wider digital activity across the organisation?
Each social media channel has around 2-3 colleagues allocated to producing content and monitoring activity.
8. How much availability will the team and other relevant internal stakeholders have to take part either individual interviews and/or workshops during Phase 1 (Dec 21 – Jan 22)
The team will be available during these dates, as this is a priority piece of work.