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How Using Paid Ads On Social Media Can Improve Alumni Engagement

March 12, 20233 min read

How Using Paid Ads On Social Media Can Improve Alumni Engagement

Carol Roderick, PhD

As a university, college or small higher education institute, your alumni are extremely valuable. It is worth keeping them engaged and feeling connected to their educational experience. This is why so many post-secondary institutions are constantly looking for new ways to improve alumni engagement. Yearbooks, newsletters and emails have been the popular media of choice in the past, but this is now shifting more and more to social media.

how universities and colleges can use facebook ads for alumni engagement

Pervasiveness of Social Media

Most North American adults carry a cell phone with them at all times and they hop on to social media - Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and LinkedIn - when they want to message a friend or see what their extended family members are up to.  When you integrate paid social media ads into your alumni engagement strategy you are literally putting your school into the palms of your graduates. 

woman looking at her phone on social media

Why Posting on Facebook and Instagram Isn’t Enough

The problem with putting ads in the local newspaper for an alumni event or quarterly magazines or simply posting this on your Facebook page is that this is casting out a very big net and your ad is unlikely to be seen by the very people who you want it to reach. 

With today’s social media saturation, at most 1 in 15 people who follow your school will see what is in your newsfeed. This means you need to be posting frequently to get any substantive reach. 

The Paid Ads Advantage

When you introduce social media marketing in the form of paid ads, you get access to several tools that will help you reach the right people at the right time. Here are three:

1- Custom Audiences

You can use custom audiences to get seen by those you want to reach.  For example, you can create audiences of your alumni and recent graduates - and the social media platform will get your post delivered and seen by that specific audience.  

2- Lookalike Audiences

And if that wasn’t enough, you can also easily create audiences that look like your most engaged alumni to get your message out to individuals who may have lost touch with the school. 

3- It Allows Engagement

Well-crafted ads are engaging and encourage will encourage your alumni to like, comment and share. Social media facilitates a back and forth communication between the school and alumni that is truly scalable.

Paid advertising is also cost effective.  Your ads can be delivered to your audience often for less than $0.10 per person.  I have seen actual pricing can be as little as $0.002 to $0.005 per person. This is significantly less expensive than having the same message appear in a quarterly magazine that is delivered by mail. It gets your advertising budget working over time and that is dollars well spent.

Interested in knowing how paid social media ads work and seeing how they might help you stay in touch with your school’s alumni? Reach out to Carol Roderick, Ph.D. at

We understand just how important it is for you to keep your alumni engaged, and we make it easy with our premium social media advertising services. 

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