Did your chapter recently host an event but didn’t know how to advertise for it? Has your chapter always wanted to utilize social media to the fullest but doesn’t know how? Is your chapter unsure how to reach pre-dental students in the area?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then this post is for you!
Every chapter struggles to some degree in spreading the word about an event. Reaching predental students can be especially challenging since they don’t usually have a direct connection to your school or ASDA chapter. Here at Colorado ASDA, we are no different. Despite our recent outreach to the predental clubs in the area, we were still only reaching a fraction of the potential students with our e-mail advertisements. With the first week of our newly organized Summer Pre-Dental Academy quickly approaching, this was not an issue that we could afford to overlook. So we decided to do something about it.
We knew that social media could be a powerful tool, which is why we recently created the Colorado ASDA Facebook page. However, beyond creating events or posting on our own wall, we didn’t know exactly how we could use it for advertising, especially to reach those who hadn’t already liked our page. That is when inspiration came. I remembered a post on ASDA’s blog that I had seen earlier in the year about an event that #MarquetteASDA hosted called “The Amazing Dental Race.” Marquette ASDA had gone all out in advertising it and had even created a commercial. I soon realized that a commercial was exactly what we needed.
With help from my wife, I was able to film everything in one night and edit it the next day. We posted it on YouTube and Facebook and before I knew it, our school was emailing me and asking if they could post it on the Facebook page and their website. Not only did they want to post it on their website, but they offered to make it a sponsored Facebook ad for predental students in the state of Colorado and southern Wyoming. By spending less than $30 to promote the video, they gave us a lot more exposure. Suddenly, our view count was in the hundreds and our registration numbers began to rise. We’ve nearly sold out the course with 43 students currently enrolled (that’s about our max due to lab seating).
The powers of Facebook and social media made our event a success and really opened my eyes to different ways we could reach students, near or far. There is a whole world out there filled with “boosted posts” and “sponsored ads” that is just waiting to be explored. The new Facebook page layout makes it easier than ever to track your posts and how far they reach. What I learned was not to take Facebook at face value. Don’t just post an announcement on your wall or send an invite that will probably be ignored. Grab their attention. Make a video. Whatever you do, just make sure you then dig into the real potential of social media.
So, I ask the question, how are you using social media? Are you utilizing it to the fullest? Or are you just simply taking it at face value?
~Kyle Larsen, Colorado ’17, council associate, Council on Communications