How to build amazing back-to-school social media campaigns

Back-to-school season is the second-largest shopping event of the year. Here's how to make your back-to-school social media campaigns stand out.

The school year creates one of the most reliable seasonal shopping cycles. Back-to-school social media campaigns are incredible tools for boosting your back-to-school revenue.

But back-to-school season is shorter than it might seem, so you need to get going on your back-to-school marketing efforts soon.

Here are five ways to ensure that your back-to-school social media campaign is a success:

1. Start early

Yes, many back-to-school shoppers procrastinate actually buying back-to-school supplies until the last possible minute. But the process of shopping for the right stuff starts much sooner.

That means that the early summer months are the right time to publish content that builds your brand awareness, so that you’re on people’s minds at crunch time.

Also, early season discounts will pick up sales from the early birds.

Take Target’s tweet here for instance. It’s the very beginning of July and they’ve already started promoting school supplies located in their $1 section (Bullseyes Playground) to teachers and students.

Once the first day of school gets near, free shipping will help close more deals since people are pressed to get things before school starts.

Your abandoned cart emails are a great place to offer free shipping (if you’re not sending abandoned cart emails, back-to-school season is the perfect time to start), and nab the back-to-school shoppers who didn’t quite finish their purchase during summer shopping.

2. Create campaigns for kids and parents

In the school supplies marketplace, children are the influencers and parents are the buyers.

The trick to making this work for you is meeting each group where they engage the most. Content that’s designed to create awareness of your products and brands will be especially effective on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. These platforms have large concentrations of younger users.

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Discounts and offers will be most effective on platforms like Pinterest and LinkedIn, where there are more parents and college students who buy their own school supplies.

Avoid inundating buyers with discounts and offers, though. Post helpful things like back-to-school checklists, tips for managing the kids’ free time during summer and school preparation guides so parents don’t start ignoring your posts.

Use the parent-child relationship to your benefit. Include a call to action in your brand awareness content to encourage kids to share your posts with their parents. Then, coordinate your engagement content with your discounts so that parents get offers through Pinterest for the same things their kids saw on Facebook.

It’s influencer marketing with the best influencers.

3. Use video

Since kids and teens have a huge influence over the back-to-school buying behavior of their parents, content that appeals to them will pay dividends.

Children and teenagers spend the most time watching tv, movies and video, so ads that feature video will appeal to the younger demographic the most.

The younger generation prefers video entertainment over social media. Since ads for young users are brand awareness building, focus on delivering entertainment in your social media ads to get the most attention from these young influencers.

This campaign from 2017 takes our second and third points into account: it uses a simple video while also catering to both parents and kids.

4. Create a brand specific hashtag

A brand specific hashtag gives your posts more shareability and raises brand awareness. It’s especially effective since hashtags live on the platforms that the young influencers use the most.

When you’re brainstorming for a good hashtag, focus on creating a hashtag that helps people promote themselves and gives you a free mention (rather than the other way around). This helps you access customers who aren’t brand loyalists with your brand hashtag.

5. Create a bonus program

A great way to expand your reach is to offer a discount for tagging your company in a post or sharing your content.

If you have a brick and mortar location, you can offer incentives for people who post pictures of themselves in your store or of your product and tag your business (or include your hashtag) in the post.

This rewards customer loyalty and helps you get valuable repeat purchases.

Back-to-school season can generate amazing revenue. Use these tips to make the most of the school year!


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