Are you looking for a way to amplify your marketing mix and increase enrollment? A powerful and effective method of reaching out to potential applicants and their families is social network marketing through Facebook. Advertising on Facebook enables organizations and companies to reach more than 900 million users, who spend an average of 24 minutes a day on the site. With Facebook Ads, school marketers can create ads that are engaging and socially relevant. Establishing a social media presence for your school is vitally important, and there is no better place to start than Facebook. Successful school admissions marketing necessarily entails supplying valuable information to prospective students via Facebook. Adding Facebook to your marketing mix will help you achieve increased admissions and enrollment.
Facebook is one of the most highly trafficked websites in the world—reaching 45% of global internet users on a daily basis. Young people, including prospective students, spend a great deal of time socializing and seeking new information on the site. With such high traffic and usage rates, social network marketing on Facebook would make a great addition to your marketing strategy—helping you reach out to your key demographic and achieve your enrollment goals for next fall.
Facebook Advertising Options
- Facebook Ads: Potential students and their parents will pay more attention and derive more value from ads that are useful, relevant and information-rich. Through Facebook Insights, ads can be presented to an audience selected by demographic data, including age, gender, education, location and interests that users have chosen to share on Facebook. Take full advantage of Insights by tailoring content for your prospective applicants. Insights will inform you how you reached people, so you can see which methods are most effective. Here are some of tools available on the Insights Dashboard: People Talking About This, Friends of Fans, Reach, and Virality. Facebook lets you make ads socially relevant by displaying when users friends have liked your school.
- Sponsored Stories: Sponsored Stories enable marketers to amplify the distribution of stories that Facebook users have already shared with their friends. For example, when someone posts on Facebook that they have “checked-in” or visited your school, their friends may see the update in their News Feeds. You can purchase sponsored stories to increase the distribution of stories to the friends of people who interact—by “liking,” commenting on content, participating in discussion, or “checking in”—with your school’s Facebook Page. The power of sponsored stories to increase your reach is exponential.
5 Steps to Successful School Admissions Marketing on Facebook
1. Decide What to Promote: Start by choosing whether you want to promote your Page, an event, an application or a website outside of Facebook. Then, choose which activity you want to highlight in your ad or sponsored story. For example, if you decide to promote your Page, you can choose:
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-A new ad about your Page
-A post on your Page
-When people like your Page
-When people like content on your Page
2. Target Your Key Demographic: Think about the profiles or timelines of the people you want to reach with your ads, and generate content based on what your audience—prospective applicants—is interested in. You can target applicants by:
-Likes & Interests
-Friends of Connections
Select “Likes & Interests,” such as school admissions, academic programs, school sports, extracurricular activities and student organizations. Be mindful of the estimated reach of your ads and tailor your content to target a relevant audience, while keeping estimated views high enough to capture your full audience.
3. Design an Engaging Ad
Create multiple versions of your ads with different images and text to determine which combinations yield the most views and engagement. To be effective, your school Facebook ads should include your school name and a question or key information in their titles. Provide clear calls to action within the text of your ads and highlight the benefits of doing so. Use an eye-catching and engaging photo that relates to ad content. Tinker with demographics to determine which groups are most responsive to your ads. Use the Ads Manager to update your ads on a frequent and ongoing basis in order to keep them fresh and at their most engaging and relevant.
4. Manage Your Facebook Budget: Set a budget that will allow you to effectively reach your target audience and evaluate your ad campaign performance frequently. Decide if you would rather be billed on a cost-per-click or cost-per-impression basis.
Set a daily ad budget. By setting the maximum amount you wish to pay each day, your ad will no longer be shared once you hit your daily budget. Bid prices, which fluctuate often, are also available. Bids for ads should be placed within or above the suggested range. Access your Ads Manager often to update your bids, when fluctuation in price occurs. If one of your ads is getting more impressions or clicks, make sure it is favored over your other ads and presented to more people by increasing its daily budget and bid price.
5. Assess and Improve
The Ads Manager offers detailed insights and reports to foster improved ad performance. Continually access your Ads Manager after launching a campaign to augment, edit and optimize your ad content. The Ads Manager provides demographic data and time factor analysis. Analyze specific time periods to learn how your ad performance has evolved, and learn which times of day your ads get the most traction.
The summer break is a great time to establish or update your school’s advertising presence on Facebook. If you need assistance, Innovative Marketing Resources is available to create and maintain a targeted Facebook ad campaign to help you reach your admissions and enrollment goals for the fall.