Social Media: Is it Time for You to Change up Your Channels?

If you’re trying to recruit anyone with a millennial mind, you already know the importance of having an active, visual online presence. You need to engage with your prospective students wherever they happen to be in their decision-making process and on the channels they regularly use. But how do you know which platforms will work for your unique audience. And what do you do if a channel that once flooded your funnel with potential students just doesn’t seem to work anymore?

Choosing Channels

In the best case scenario, you have demographic, admission and graduation data that tell the story of who your most successful students are and where they come from. At Effective Student Marketing, we take the information our partner schools provide and combine it with analytics that include intense sourcing and trackback analysis. This enables us to take a really deep dive into the data. From all that info, we cull the nuggets that matter most to build student personas so we know exactly whom we’re talking to on social channels. We can also follow the path your students took to find your school and the programs that most appeal to them. We know which pages and channels they were on prior to expressing interest—by way of filling out a form on your website or landing page—in your programs. We know the channels that work.

For example, we know that teachers love Pinterest. They look to the site for inspiration and ideas, tips and tricks, collaboration and commiseration. If your school offers continuing education programs for teachers and you’re NOT on Pinterest, you’re missing your market. On the other hand, if you’re targeting Generation Z (those born in or after 1995), you might want to consider new ad options on Snapchat. It’s important, though, not to jump onto the latest channel just because you can. You need to understand its benefits and possible drawbacks before you invest your resources.

Changing Channels

So what happens if your crazy good results from Facebook lead generation efforts come to a screeching halt? Time to dump the channel and move on? Not so fast! Facebook has a proven track record in education. It allows you to target future students and their parents with hyper focus and monitor the results of your campaigns. So if things aren’t going well, it may not be Facebook’s fault. Here are a few factors to consider before you make a drastic move that could dry up your lead generation altogether:

  • Seasonality
    • It’s not unusual for ads to have varying effectiveness depending upon the time of year. That’s why you need to structure your account and allocate your budget to spend when your investment is most likely to produce results.
  • Ad fatigue
    • Do you regularly change up your creative? Bombarding your target audience with the same ads over and over can make those advertisements virtually invisible to the user.
  • Testing
    • To truly get the most out of your marketing dollars, you need to continually test and evaluate. When a test causes a dip in results, you’ve learned what not to do.
  • Landing pages
    • When your prospect clicks on an ad, it needs to link to a landing page that provides them the experience they were looking for. It should not be copy-heavy or cluttered with distracting images. It should answer their questions and encourage them to take a next step.
  • Reputation
    • If you do not closely guard your school’s reputation, negative comments on your pages and ads can have an adverse effect on your marketing campaigns. Reputation management is vital to the success of your channels and your school.

There are many factors that can cause the effectiveness of a channel to diminish that may have nothing to do with the channel itself. If you’d like to learn which channels will work best for your school and how to structure your accounts to produce positive results you can measure, contact the HigherEd Geeks at Effective Student Marketing now. We’ll show you how!


~Linda Emma