I don’t like to pick apart advertising so openly, but when I came across this promoted tweet from a college it got to me that they’ve clearly taken a step in to a relatively new (for the education sector) advertising platform, without properly understanding how to use it.

I should probably tell you up-front that our current opinion of Twitter as an advertising platform is that it’s not ready to run the quality of campaigns that we strive to deliver for our clients.

Here’s what they’re doing right:

  • Using Twitter cards and an image in the tweet

and here are some mistakes you should avoid:

Firstly the targeting was wrong, why am I seeing it? Probably because the college in question set the targeting too broad. Brighton isn’t a target city on Twitter, neither is Sussex for that matter; they’ve therefore been forced to just target the ‘South East’. I bet Twitter are kicking themselves that they don’t ask for date of birth on registration – age targeting is a must for education marketing.
Full list of UK Twitter regions you can target is available here.

The copy isn’t bad but the call to action should be at the start, and the image that the rest of those precious 140 characters references is too small to read; especially as 85% of Twitter activity happens on mobile.

However, it’s beyond the tweet that this campaign really falls down.

When you click on ‘Book now’ you’re taken to a landing page that tells you more about the open days; but you clicked ‘Book now’, you’re not expecting to ‘learn more’ because you want to ‘book now’.

To do that you have to scroll down the page and then click ‘Book your place’, which takes you to a form asking for 15 bits of data! 9 of which are compulsory! Why would you need to give your address to register for an Open Day?

What we recommend to our clients is to use a platform where they can target users by age as well as region, and ideally something more specific than ‘South East’.

Next, the landing page needs to be where they capture data and they should be asking for much less information than 15 bits of data.

One way of doing this could be through multi-part forms, where only data that’s absolutely necessary is captured through the initial form; secondary data like ‘course preference’, ‘postal address’ and ‘other colleges being considered’ can then be captured in the second stage.

For Net Natives’ clients we use software called Akero, which allows us to collect data from potential students in stages. This allows us to pre-qualify students and rank them based on how much information we have.

To find out how we can run outcome focussed social media campaigns for your institution, get in touch with one of our experts.


Article by


Charlie Penrose

Creative Director