Digital Byte: Finding Reach, Relevancy, and Results in Facebook and Instagram

Carnegie Higher Ed Mar 08, 2016 Carnegie Higher Ed Persona The Visionary Frontrunner

With the Snapchats, Twitters, and Tumblrs of today, how do you navigate the social opportunities that exist to yield the best recruitment marketing campaigns? We know prospective students are on social, but when it comes to paid advertising, we need to consider where they are most often, the best approach for targeting capabilities, and which tactics will result in the highest ROI. I call these the three R’s of marketing opportunities: reach, relevancy, and results. Two social platforms in particular that have proven very effective in accomplishing all three are Facebook and Instagram. Here’s why:

Facebook and Instagram still top the charts for use among teens and young adults. In fact, according to a Pew Research Center report last year, Facebook and Instagram were the top two most popular social media platforms among teens. Additionally, more than half of the adults in United States use Facebook, and 26% of Internet-using adults have an Instagram account. (Check out the full story from last year here.)  

Facebook and Instagram profiles also have a ton of personal information to offer up. While it’s TMI for many, advertisers like me geek out about it. From the basic demographics like age, geography, and gender to personal interests and skills, and even educational criteria like school name and degrees, this targeted info makes it easier than ever to reach traditional, grad, online, adult, transfer, and military populations.

Instead of using profile data at face value, consider leveraging almost any list; whether it’s a yield campaign for accepted students or a cold Search list, you can market to your future students on social media to mirror the other online or offline marketing campaigns you’re sending to them.

If nothing else, consider Retargeting users while on Facebook and Instagram based on the fact that they’ve visited an area of your website. Whether it’s an academic program, housing, or scholarships page, Retargeting will ensure users keep your institution top of mind with appropriate ad messaging based on their areas of interest. Talk about relevance at its finest!

From text, images, and even native-looking banners, videos, and hyperlapses, it’s never been easier or more appealing for Facebook and Instagram users to actually want to engage with content through clicks, plays, likes, shares, or comments. And the more they engage, the more effective the campaign—and the results—will be.

And how’s this for a bonus ROI: advertising on Facebook and Instagram is a twofer. Although Facebook bought Instagram in 2012, they’ve just recently made it easier to manage both campaigns with one platform! So you can maximize your reach and save on time.

And since no two schools are the same, be sure you determine the appropriate channels that work for you, based on your target audience and goals. Measure results, which includes keeping a close eye on Google Analytics, and optimize accordingly.

Whether it’s social media, lead generation, or paid and organic search, Carnegie has over 30 years of experience helping schools find students. Talk to us today if you want to Search differently.™

Follow Angie on Twitter @AngieMayWard

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