In today’s market, especially during a pandemic, paid advertising is a great way for independent schools to promote all the benefits and successes they are experiencing this year. The ads are also a great way to reach new families who are exploring different options for their children. According to an eMarketer study, 96% of social marketers consider Facebook the most effective paid advertising option available to them. Paid advertising on social media can be very effective at growing your admissions funnel, and it is relatively easy to put a quick ad campaign together; however, it is important to remember your organic presence can continue to nurture these families throughout the admissions process, as well as support the paid ads, so that the paid and organic strategies together have a longer, stronger impact.
3 Reasons Your School Should Be Posting on Facebook and Instagram While Running Ads
Reason #1: Organic Facebook Engagement Can Build Credibility
Facebook and Instagram ads are usually run through your Facebook ads manager account and appear as sponsored posts. Aside from the call-to-action, your logo in the top left corner of the ad is a link directly to your Facebook or Instagram page. This allows families to access your social media pages quickly, but without keeping content up-to-date, it does not leave families the impression you are open. While there is no hard rule as to how often you must post to remain “current”, it is recommended that you come up with a plan and remain as consistent as possible.
Reason #2: Facebook Paid Ads will Perform Better with an Organic Strategy
Similar to Google, the better the quality score on Facebook, the better your ads will perform. While Facebook doesn’t provide insight into how they develop their algorithms, a key step to improving your quality score is likely through providing families with a positive experience on your Facebook page. This includes consistently posting, engaging with comments, and creating a captivating environment. It also provides you with more data when determining who your core audiences are and what posts are most effective. With that, you can provide an even better user experience and opportunity for strong engagement.
Reason #3: Facebook Can be a Cost-Effective & Long-Term Solution
An integrated marketing strategy is key for long-term success. Search Engine Optimization balances out paid search engine ads like an organic social media strategy balances out a paid advertising campaign. They work harmoniously to keep your brand top of mind and each can provide data that informs the other. The organic strategy will keep your current followers engaged and will encourage word-of-mouth advertising, while the paid campaigns will work on attracting new followers. Also, long-term, this strategy will allow you to allocate your advertising dollars to initiatives that help with your enrollment goals instead of trying to pay to advertise all of the school happenings.
How to Evaluate Your Organic and Paid Social Experience
Paid advertising and organic social media work together to ensure you are building your admissions funnel and engaging with families from inquiries through alums. Get started on this process yourself by reviewing your Facebook and Instagram pages. Look at how often you are posting. Do you notice any long hiatuses? Are you actively posting on topics in line with your admissions marketing goals? Evaluate the insights: does the content resonate with the right audience, your core audience? Do you have new shares, likes, and followers as a result?
After looking this over, come up with a social media marketing plan that’s aligned with your enrollment goals. Great content ideas include highlighting events, both in-person and virtual, (before and after!), sharing testimonials, and linking news articles about your school. This will help you build credibility with your audience and start to craft your organic strategy moving forward, as well as provide great opportunities for boosting and creating ads in order to drive more qualified engagement.
Are you an independent school looking for help with paid marketing? Reach out to Enroll Media Group today to start the conversation!