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This article explores the reasons why only using digital marketing to target college students is a mistake. Other forms of marketing, such as peer-to-peer, event marketing, and sampling promotions, resonate with students. Don’t miss out on these opportunities to connect and engage the college crowd!
Digital Media Plays a Prominent Role in the Lives of Youths
The digital world continually changes the way people communicate and interact with each other, and similarly changes brand-consumer engagement; it plays an integral role in the day-to-day lives of youths. College students and teenagers use the Internet and social media sites as a means of self-expression and self-promotion. It provides them with unprecedented opportunities to showcase their work, thoughts, ideas, passions, and talents, and gives them a chance to connect and engage with people who share the same interests. More and more young people are turning to niche venues and online communities for inspiration, camaraderie, and the hopes of achieving success.
Utilize these 5 tips when advertising to college students for a successful college advertising campaign.
- Know the Demographic. This can be highly challenging because the youth and collegiate markets are constantly evolving with the input of new technology and media influences. Something that was popular and hip six months ago may no longer be in. So it is important when advertising to college students to make sure your ad is up to date.
- Utilize Smartphone Technology. Teenagers and college students use their cell phones more than any other demographic. It is important to remember this when advertising to college students. Millennials want the option of using their smartphones to receive mobile coupons and text message advertising from stores. They also want to use their smartphones as a way to scan QR codes and barcodes, as well as a way to look up reviews of your company and product. Try to utilize smartphone technology in your next college advertising campaign.
- Use Facebook and Other Social Networking Sites. According to Digital Buzz Blog, “48% of 18-34 year olds check Facebook when they wake up, with 28% doing so before even getting out of bed. . . .The core 18-24 year old segment is now growing the fastest at 74% year on year.” These statistics show how essential it is to use Facebook as a way of advertising to college students.
- Provide an Incentive. College students are more likely to try your product or visit your establishment if there is an incentive to do so. College students like to feel like they’re getting a good deal. Possible incentives include: providing coupons, having a discount day for college students, holding a contest, distributing product samples, or offering a free trial of your product or service.
- Create an Eye-catching Ad Focused on Them. College students will be more receptive to an ad if it is specifically created for their demographic. They’ll be more responsive to an ad picturing college students versus an ad picturing middle-aged adults. Keep the ad simple and to the point. It is better to be eye-catching and bold, than lengthy and obtuse.
In order to captivate students’ attention and increase sales, college Facebook advertising and social media marketing must be done with finesse.
Build Value With Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing should not solicit sales directly, as that would scare away fans and followers. No one “likes” a company’s Facebook page to be sold things; instead they want information, news, and updates that they find engaging, fun, and relevant. Social media marketing requires finesse; you need to share just enough information about your brand to attract customers, while keeping it fresh and exciting.
Advertising to college students using mediums that they engage with regularly, will allow your message to reach its target audience in a meaningful way.
It’s a known fact that college students love technology. They use it as a way to interact and engage with their peers, stay up to date with the latest news and gossip, and as a tool in constructing their online image. Facebook has become an integral part of most college students’ lives, an obsession for some. Take the more extreme example, of where a University of Georgia student broke into somebody’s home, not to steal or vandalize, but in order to check her Facebook account. Though this case is bizarre, it does show the basic idea that college students consider Facebook an essential component of their everyday life.
College students need a reason to stay connected on your social media sites; simple sweepstakes—though great for accruing followers—will not suffice in reaching college students.
A recent Adweek article, Social Media Reach Helps, but Quality Counts More, states that “while having a large following on Facebook theoretically increases a brand’s reach, big numbers alone won’t build a brand.” This is especially true among the college demographic, as they require constant engagement that they find valuable.
Using Facebook as a tool to reach and advertise to college students may be a lucrative alternative to traditional print advertising in some cases.
According to the New York Times, “newspaper readership is declining, especially among college students.” This isn’t very surprising with the rise of social media sites and online resources vying for college students’ time. Recent “studies show students are spending between six and 10 hours per week on Facebook.” What this means is that a new form of advertising is needed. Why stick with traditional print advertising, when readership of magazines and print media is on the decline?
Trends indicate a growing interest among the youth in social media platforms that rely heavily on visual content.
In the last decade, social media has vastly changed collegiate marketing. In this day and age, traditional forms of print advertising—college newspapers, magazines, and campus ads—no longer suffice. They can be useful as part of a multi-tiered college marketing approach, however, reaching college students through print alone will not cut it. By pairing social media marketing with campus marketing, your company will gain greater brand awareness among the youth demographic.
College students are often thought of as the target for brands on campus but the truth is that there are ways to utilize college students in a variety of programs to reach college students on campus through peer to peer recommendations.
College students are a highly sought after demographic on campus as they are on their own for the first time and are empowered with purchasing decisions for the first time in their lives. This is also a key time in their lives where brand can forge a relationship with students in the hopes of beginning a lifelong consumer/brand relationship.
It seems like almost centuries ago that Ebay was the major player ecommerce. Despite no longer being in its hay day Ebay has found a unique way to promote its services on college campuses.
Back in the early to mid 2000s Ebay was all the rage. If you wanted to sell something online, you went to Ebay and listed it. Now there are not only free services like craigslist but also improved ecommerce on other sites. The younger generation has grown up with a choice when it comes to selling things online which makes it important for a company like Ebay to educate this consumer about what makes them great.