6: Colgate University’s Advanced Facebook Targeting w/ Matt Hames

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Matt Hames, Communications Strategist at Colgate University, discusses how to centralize your social media governance and utilize Facebook’s hyper-targeting capabilities for your enrollment growth initiatives.

Find a breakdown of this episode here.

Attracting today's new post,traditional learners, means adopting new enrolmant strategies. Helikseducations data driven enterprise, wide approach to enrollment growth isuniquely helping colleges and universities thrive in this neweducation, landscape and Helox has just published the second edition of theirenrollment growth playbook, with fifty percent brand new content on howinstitutions can solve today's most pressing enromant growth challenges.Download ID today for free at Helocks, Educationcom, Playbok, you're, listening to enrolment growth,university from helics education, the best professional development podcastfor higher education leaders looking to grow in Romant at their college oruniversity, whether you're looking for fresh endromant growth techniques andstrategies or tools and resources. You've come to the right place. Let'sget into the show. Welcome back to anroman growthuniversity, I Mar Golson AVP of marketing and helics education andwe're here today with Matt Hames Communication Strategist at ColgateUniversity Mat thanks so much for joining us today. Thank Yohav me ArkMata. I first connected several years ago when he went on what I would call asocial media governance crusade at colgate convincing each in everydepartment on campus to willingly give up their individual social pages infavor of a more centralized, more unified approach with a much largerreach. I'm constantly impressed with the way matsees the world and fightsfor stronger communication on campus and today we're going to have a greatconversation about advanced facebook strategy for perspective students. Butbefore we get into that Mat, can you get the listeners a little bit betterunderstanding of both cogit university and your role there yeah thanks thanksagain, Kogi University is a leading residential, liberal arts university upin the northeast, where in New York State we have around twenty nine hundredstudents and it is undergraduate, liberal arts. So you know the promisesbe whatever you want to be take one of...

...our fifty five majors and and go intoanything. My role is communication strategits, which sounds sensive, butreally with so much content in so many opportunities for content. What at theway, I think about it is that a bunch of people? I culgat are making contentand I try to figure out what content should go. Where went so, what videoshould go on what platform and at what part of the cycle? So it's? It reallyis just strategy love, it love it and, let's start off with what we alluded toin the intro. So at cogate you have one facebook page total, the entireuniversity talk about how you got there and how beneficial it is from anadvertising standpoint yeah. So you know there're some Rogu facebook tagesout there don't Gete me wrong. I still have the occasional department ofhistory faceoof page and but my argument when I got here was this: Wehave a huge, we have a one facebook page and it wins a google search forKoge University. So instead of starting another facebook page an and then doingother marketing to try to drive people to that page and then create content onthat page wantet to create content and give it to me- and that goes back tothe whole communication strategy of instead of thinking about a channelspecific piece of content. Think about a piece of content or a story that youwant to tell someone and let me help you put it on the appropriate channelat the appropriate time. Far Too many people say is the page and then startthinking about the kind of content I need to create. Instead of thinking, Ihave a story to tell the people. How can I tell that story to the mostpeople at the right time, so my argument to everyone was always like.We have perspective student who look at our school every year. The rising highschool seniors, who are about to start school or started school around thecountry are starting to whittle down...

...their top twinty list or their top tenlist and think about the schools that they want to go to and they're going togo to the Google and they're going to Google, the schools and the results ofthat are the ways that they're going to look at our school. Now our facebookpage comes sifth, an a google search, and so what I say to people when theywant to start the Department of history page. Would you rather have yourcontent on the page that comes sift or Google search for cogate or one thatcomes a hundred and fiftieth? Would you rather talk to twenty five thousandpeople or ten people, not tenhsand ten people itbecause that who you're goingto talk to Peou when you have a Croop, and so you know I'm not very good atmatch, but twenty fivehzand is way bigger than a hundred. It is, I think, yeah like just why notlet me put your content out to the people who are going to see it insteadof you working so hard to try to do other marketing to build your audiencewhen we already have an audience hat, it is such an important conversation tohave. I love that you've had it ad cogate for so long and and a lot of uscan look to you for for how you made that happen. I think I think Iimmediately and our listeners probably jumped to but matt you're not going topost their garbage content. That's why they want their own page. How do youget over that kind of governences issue well again down to Youa story? To tell who are youtrying to tell it to and why? Why are you doing this piece of content? Why doyou want to take a picture of this lecture? It's not about the lecture!That's coming here. It's a the story is about the access that students get whenI come to coget. So take a step back. Give me the picture. Let me help youframe the story in a way that is going to make sense to perspective students,because if your goal is to try to get people at your event, students thenmake a make a sign. Make a polter on campus, put it into the classherfacebook groups that we all start. There are better ways to drive people.If you just want button seats, you don't want to facebook page, but if youwant to tell the story about access within your department, then let's tellthat story. It's so good. It's so good!...

But YOU'RE RIGHT! You know they come tous with. You know: It's not bad content. It's badly thought about contents! So,instead of coming to me with your picture of a lecturer and then let'sjust kind of reframe it so that it actually makes sense to perspectivestin andits, the reason to come here really good, really good. Okay, nowthat we have one page, we fought the battle, we've gotten there or we'vegiven up bloody. Let's talk about how cogit is use eutilizing facebooksadvanced targeting on this one page to recruit perspective students, whatyou're specifically doing at cogate? That's exciting you so much right now.So the the really exciting thing is that we are thinking about differentkinds of audiences and the different kinds of people that come here. We takea step back and say that for high red, it's a it's a highly involved highconsideration, purchase decision, even if a student doesn't pay the full priceand not a lot of students pay the foll price. It still cost a certain amountof money. So, there's a lot of consideration that that students aregoing to make and one of the things that is different about theconsideration process for university in comparison to like a house or a car orsome other high consideration products is. We know the exact date that theyneed to buy January fiftenth. You cannot buy admissions to Col Gate onJanuary th. That's that application is done. Youcannot say I would like to buy your product on January sixteth. So when youthink about the structure you in September, youhave people who you just want to get them to raise their hand in October.You want to get them to keep their hand up, and in November you want to getthem to generate a behavior which is apply or visit and throughout themthere's different behaviors that you want to try to generate which our visitvirtual to ar real tour like all those things right. So when you know that youhave a certain population, that's...

...already visited this summer and sothey're thinking about applying that's a custom audience when you have aregion of people where you want to kind of grow and use facebooks aadvanttargeting and say. I would like to go after thirteen to seventeen year oldsin Texas, who are interested in liberal ars and and are interested in a schoolthat has spirit Fasebol, let to advertise to those interest. And so youcan. You can kind of forge your advertising plan to sit thekinds of communities and the time of the year that you want a behavior fromthose people from your community yeah. I think you had on something reallyimportant here that that one of the clear targeting advantages spacebookhas is it's data, so unlike twitter or other suffthin that works where, as anadvertiser, you really don't know much about the person besides, what's intheir short hundred and forty character, bio, whereas facebook knows so muchabout the individual and you're able to target advertisment space on any of ityeah. What's that balance you found in leaving the targeting broader forlarger brand awareness initiatives versus going hyper, hyperprogramspecific for the most cost effective incuor generation versus, like you,mentione tarting, liberal arts, interested students in Texas, where thecogate brand recognition isn't as strong? How do you kind of Aweigh outthose balances and targeting ta great question, and it's an it's an evolvingthing for for us, especially FYSICASSIGNS, a score to your ad? It'szero orun to nine one is bad. Nine is really good when we do add out toouralums we get. We got a score of seven eight nine, and if you get a score ofnine, you can pay as much as seven cents a click. If you get a score ofthree or four, you can be you're, paying a buck fifty to toad fifty aclick. So when you do those broad kinds of awareness campaigns where your goalis, if your goal is a click you're, if you kind of go after thirteen toseventeen year olds in Texas, you're...

...going to get a low, which is a badrelevancy score for your ad Sothat is going to cost a little bit more. So themore that you target it, the better your score becomes and the less you payon a click. No, let me just say: FACEBOOK has said to my face: that' t escore that you get on an ad does not impict your costper click and my data sogest, something else. I don't know who's right. I justtelling you that I try to get a high qut a high score on my ads, because mycosper click goes down and so the more I can make it relevant to the end userand then you think about it. DITS right right at the end of the day, facebecause of product, and it's a it's a user experience. If people keep gettingadds on their new seeds that ar irrelevant to them they're going tohave a bad product experience and they could stop using facebook, so facebookwants to keep it as relevant as possible, so the more relevant that youcan make your ad the more that you're sort of fitting in with what thefacebook platform is, which is relevant content at the relevant time. So inorder make those ads as hyperrelevant ind scores highly as possible. Doesthat mean you are breaking up? You know your class of two thousand, an twentyone groups into program, specific audiences or how detailed are yougetting from a segmentation standpoint in order to make sure that those adsare hypirrelevant, so we're trying we're trying to test? One of the thingsthat we do is that we visit is that we do ads right to high schools and ads attid, O rigte to high schools that we visit. Now we get a low quality scorefor those, but if you do ten to fifteen high schools, which is n, which is atime consuming thing to input to into bilding an if you put in that time, that smallnumber you fis the kind of rewards it kind of assumes that it is hypertargeted if you're, if your audience is a really low number one thing that I'velearned if your audience is under a...

...thousand people, Yourad could takeforty eight hours to run it will run, but it will take fowe ad. We went timehad an ad that took fifty six hours to run from the time we put. We hit run toit actually charging us with fifty six hours,because the audience size is probably about two hundred D. fifty people yeahin an audience size like that they take a lot of time. facebook takes a lot oftime to just make sure that that ad is not it probably get flooked up by hand.Even I don't know, but it takes some time so those lower numbers for us,because we're a a highly you know, were we're leading liberal artist. Tationwere highly selective, we're going after school that we know that studentsare. Students are going to be able to get in that's another thing right. Wedon't want to don't want to promise somebody access to our school if theydon't have high sat scores, they're just not going to get in what are someways that you are segmenting out: academic quality when trying to findright fit students. That's a great question to we are trying to figure outwe're testing things like- and you know, bear with me on this, because this kindof testing is new, but we're testing things like you know a region, N, anage group and then interested in chess club or interested in like extracurriculars that have a tendency to be smarter people yeah. If you will, youknow so. This book allows that kind of detailed segmentation. So it's reallyfiguring out like looking at the students who come into your school andseeing the kinds of clubs that they were in when they were in high schooland then goingto going after that kind of interest. That kind of club, becauseI can guarantee you if you're, if you're a high school student and you'RAEST club, face Tok knowth it you can either because you checked in it atChess Club or you set in set in a...

...message to your friend on Messenger.Are you going to Cheff Club today and, like we tell facebook all the differentthings that we're going to go to so facebook? Knows it, and it's one of thethings you can you can market to? So you your ability to mark it to peopleas only limited by imagination. Right now, I'm not kidding like it really isonly limited by your imagination and the time you have to reallyhypersegnent your audience, really good thoughts on on how to effectivelyrecruit students. Let's talk about how Youre rerecruiting students usingfacebooks advanced targeting right so again, one facebook page. So when astudent graduates Calgade, we don't have to ask them to go like our alumni.facebook page, they just become Analam, and so you can do advertising veryeasily on a facebook to anybody who graduated coge university so andanybody can do advertising to their own university. So what we do is we doevent based advertisements that are sinkd with email invite. So if there'sthe event on Wednesday night in Boston, for instance, we do an email and at thesame time we can do an ad to people in Boston who graduated Colgi Universityand the Coltaction can even be look at your invite. Look at Youreo, not even not even click through, sothat you're, just basically generating awareness for an email and you're notbeing charged the click. So we did that too. We every year tryto get this year. We had the Theasteta year. We had forty six percent of ouralumni gift and so our goals to get it up to fifty percent half of our alumnito gest. We post events throughout the nation and around the world actuallyand try to get people to those events. Using facebook, avertizing and so farthat's been a success. It's T it's...

...another engagement opportunity more sothan just people liking our content. It's really clever and a good reminderthat you facebooks always experimenting with new advertising display formats.Video carecells Pacebook live. What are you finding the most effective rightnow from either an INCR generation standpoint or to get folks to thesealumni events? That's that's really interesting question to we've beendoing a lot of facebook live cours this summer, something that we're going todo a lot more of the facebook live tours are really sort of those stolgicmoments for our alumni, so they engage with those in a in a massive way. Againwe don't have one facebook page, so we have a current student. Do a facebooklive miny tour with a coltaction to go to the big virtual Touur, so we'regoing to do a lot more of those. You know two to four minute tours of theschool on facebook lives and we might even start busting those after the factout to our to our audiences, we're not really sure but our most favorite kindsof Adsour ads, where we have four to five pictures, especially whenwe are advertising to the south. We are obviously in the northeast where wehave winter, so we usually do an add to the suff that has a picture of Colgidin all four seasons, at least a picture of of one of the seasons, and I cantell you that winter always wints wile without just Lov pictures of winter, acolgate that is actually really surprising to me. But but it's just thenovelty of it. If you're hyper targeted you can you can you can understand whatmight appeal to your institution to these specific folks and th? And how doyou? How do you show off that that specific novelty and that's come acrossanecdotally like we do? We talked to a lot of students around here and I wastalking to a student recently from Dallas Texas and asking her if sheknows any like. If everything is okay and then I said so, whd you come tocogate and without missing a beach. He said I wanted to experience winter wow.That's awesome! Though there you go. I...

...love it. Mat really really good stufftoday. Anything else. Do you want to make sure we cover before we closetoday or can you leave our listeners with maybe one piece of low hangingfruit to talk with their teams about in order to utilize facebooks advancetargeting to reach perspective students more effectively? So I would say thisand I would say that focus focus focused on the facebook platform.They're, not paying me to say this. I don't we don't do snapchat. We barelydo instagram right now. There has never been a better tool in the history ofthe world to hypertarget the kinds of people that you want to go to yourschool facebook on, so many levels offers the ability to advertise exactlyto who you want to when you want to advertise to them with people.CONTINUINGL Y, ask me: Do you have snapjot? Are you guys doing whatever isnext? Are you guys doing musically? Are you guys doing this that the otherthing my response to them is, you know I fight a continue battle to decrease the amount of content that ourperspective Tudency? Is that isn't entirely and the control isn't theright word, but disn't entirely the right content at the right time? If youcan nail facebook you're going to start to win more and more so I would myadvice to you would be really truly understand facebook and go from there.Love it mad thanks. So much for joining us today. What is the best place forlisteners to connect with you if they have any FOLLOWU questions twitter? I respond to twitter muchquicker than I than I tend to respond to email. So I'm at M, Hames Ha Mzn,Matt es that's my twitter handle. You can also look me up at Linon. I writeabout a lot of this stuff on Lindad, so I'm goint to gowl search for Madham sonLineten. So you can. You can look me up. Tam Ly Dad I'm always thinking abouthow the university can market itself in theright way at the right time to both perspectives in Tan Alumni. Awesomehe's a good fine folks get connected...

...with them. Matt thanks so much forjoining us today, thanks for the time today to- or I appreciate it, you've been listening to enromantgrowth university from helicks education to ensure that you never missan episode subscribe to the show in Itunes or your favorite podcast player.Thank you so much for listening until next time.

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