As well as presenting at the AoC Annual Communications Conference, we’ve been advising and supporting our education clients on engaging the disengaged using social advertising.

How can you market to the disaffected and disengaged? How can you “sell” education and work training to those who have deliberately opted out of the system?

As social marketing partner to FE Colleges, Net Natives’ tools and expertise, render Facebook advertising to a relevant potential students. We build campaigns segmented by age, gender, location and interests, delivering 1000s of interested school leavers and adult learners for each Colleges. We’ve proven that effective social advertising easily the most relevant and cost effective form of targeted advertising for student enrolment.

Promoting to NEETS isn’t so simple. But, Facebook IS where NEETS spend their time online.

You need to utilise effective Facebook advertising within your marketing strategies. Here are some top tips for using Facebook advertising to promote to NEETS

  • Be Bold – create interesting copy that will stand out to a disaffected audience
  • Be Specific – don’t waste clicks or spend, be clear in the advertising that you want to target this audience, NOT generic potential students
  • Be Lateral – think what may grab their attention, appeal to a sense of fun – without being patronising
  • Be Targeted – although your user will not define themselves, know their demographic and interests and promote accordingly
  • Be Creative – think about your community partners. Can you promote your college’s course in partnership with the Prince’s Trust, business or local sports community?
  • Be Diverse – do not just make one advert and hope it works, it won’t. Make sure that you create multiple ad variations.  Use different images and ad copy. This will enable you to see which messages work with your audience as well as ensuring NEETS don’t get bored of seeing the same advert
  • Be Social – Facebook advertising is “interruption marketing” – try not to direct your advertising away to another environment, away from social, where you are in danger of losing their interest. Build effective landing destinations within your College Facebook page. Adhere to landing page best practice  – our top tip guide will help
  • Be Direct – Keep the calls to action simple, no long forms, work out what are your most important contact details (email, phone), make it easy for the user to submit their details
  • Be Consistent – make sure that your landing pages reflect the tone of your advertising. If you are promoting in partnership with a community partner’s promotion (e.g. the Prince’s Trust), use their imagery and content as well as your own
  • Be Respectful – make sure you have an auto-response email set up for every person who submits information with a thank you note, clearly establishing next steps for engagement. Make sure you ALWAYS fulfill your promised next steps for engagement
  • Be Social (again) – make sure that one of your calls to action is to encourage “likes” of either your Facebook page or just the content on that page. This is the “nirvana” marketing call to action on Facebook. Once one of NEETS like your page/campaign, virally all of their friends will see they have done this. You can also then target their friends with social recommendation advertising on Facebook


Finally, test, test and test again. Constantly review your advertising campaign throughout your period. Review which messages are working and focus your spend on the successful advertising. Learn what works and use that knowledge. For more best practice tips read our top tips for Facebook advertising.

Hope you found this useful, really interested in your feedback and sharing any knowledge for the benefit of the sector. Net Natives continue to support the FE Sector and our MD, Steve will be speaking at the AoC conference this March. We also support the College Marketing Network and are available to provide free workshops on social media best practice.

For more information, contact us.


Article by


Charlie Penrose

Creative Director