Did you know that two-thirds of adults with a social media profile use social media more than once a day and they're most likely to do so on a smartphone? If social media marketing doesn't already feature in your overall marketing strategy, then you might want to reconsider, as it offers you an opportunity to interact with your audience on a daily basis as well as a number of other benefits. An increasing number of schools use social media advertising and now's the time to add it to your armour!
There are plenty of free tools and strategies that can help schools grow on social media organically, but the real benefit in paid advertising is that it allows you to target your audience in a wider variety of ways than any other online platform. The advanced targeting options that are offered in social media advertising are so precise that you can target customers with an incredibly specific list of attributes...an advantage hard to find on other advertising channels.
Social media advertising is an effective, economical tactic to supplement your other marketing efforts. There are many strengths and evaluating the pros and the cons can help you create the most effective and engaging content to advertise. The largest social media platforms all have inbuilt advertising options, and below we'll guide you through the benefits of the three biggest social media channels that schools are currently using.
Facebook has the largest audience of all platforms (at over 1.65 billion registered users, if Facebook was a country it would be the most populous place on earth!). It has the widest reach of any social network. A great feature of Facebook ads is their advanced targeting options. When advertising on Facebook you can target viewers based on six different categories: location, gender, likes/interests, relationship status, workplace and education. This is especially helpful if you're looking to advertise within a school catchment area.
One of the advantages of Twitter advertising is that it allows you to target people based on their current interests, however a downside is the limited number of interests currently offered (although keep an eye out as things change at lightening pace!). Perhaps the best thing about Twitter ads is that every time someone sends out a tweet with a hashtag, you have the ability to target them via social media advertising; this is just like keyword targeting on Google AdWords. This could be a great way to target parents who are utilising Twitter as a way to look for schools, especially if they are using hashtags relevant to a school search.
One of the biggest advantages of using LinkedIn for your school's advertising is its professional user base. In the case of independent schools, statistically at least one parent of an enrolled child will be a working professional. LinkedIn's user base is over 400 million, the majority of your prospective and current parents will have a presence on the platform. Like Facebook you can also target niche groups of people using metrics like their demographics and location. The disadvantage of LinkedIn advertising is that its engagement rate is less than the other major platforms and its cost per click is higher, though this is perhaps offset by the fact your ads will be seen by a more relevant audience.
Paid advertising opportunities exist on all major social media platforms, including Google+, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest and the up and coming Snapchat. We've discussed the three social media platforms that statistically provide the best results for schools, but another advantage of social media advertising is that you control the spending and with that control comes the flexibility to experiment with different channels and content. We look forward to hearing about your experiences!