Shoppers frequently scour social networks for bargains, meaning shopping intent is high.

Chandler Sopko, marketing coordinator, Adaptly

Chandler Sopko, marketing coordinator, Adaptly

The back-to-school shopping season constitutes a $75 billion industry for retailers in the US, second only to the holidays. Between K-12 and college students, the average household spends $674 to equip and adorn themselves for the new school year. It’s an opportunity brands don’t want to miss, and with these 6 tips, you’ll be ready to reach back-to-school shoppers from late summer into early fall.

The traditional school shopping experience has evolved far beyond browsing the isles, with 61% of consumers researching products online before making an in-store purchase. Meanwhile shoppers are all over social media to find out about promotions, so purchase intent on social is particularly high.

89% of teachers will go out of their way to shop at stores that offer teacher discounts.

Only half of American families have completed their shopping by August, so brands have an opportunity to reach last-minute shoppers with a big push at the end of the summer. Use these recommendations to craft your back-to-school social advertising strategy:

  1. Go Mobile First
    In 2016, more than 91% of back-to-school Facebook posts, photos, and videos were shared via mobile. Consumers are using their smartphones to discuss the new school year, so branded content will feel native on mobile.
  2. Cater to Multiple Audiences
    Back-to-school shoppers include parents and caregivers, K-12 students, college students, and teachers, so make sure your creative speaks to the right audience. It’s important to segment your audience by age, since college students and K-12 students have different needs and will be looking for very different products.
  3. Add Value
    Shoppers will be doing more than buying school supplies. They could be searching for school lunch inspiration, back-to-school outfit ideas, ways to commemorate the first day of school, or organization and DIY hacks for the home or classroom. There are many ways for brands to get involved and be helpful as summer ends and school season begins.
  4. Play With Back-to-School Keywords
    Brands that don’t offer specific back-to-school products can still capitalize on the season by using strategic keywords. Mentioning campus, dorms, homework, or other buzzwords will help non-traditional back-to-school brands join the conversation.
  5. Highlight Deals for Teachers
    89% of teachers will go out of their way to shop at stores that offer teacher discounts. Make sure your ad creative highlights any educator discounts or promotions your brand may have.
  6. Focus on Video and Eye-Catching Creative
    After a long, hot summer, back-to-school season is exciting for brands and consumers alike. Have fun with your creative, employing bright colors and utilizing video as much as possible.

Going back to school can be exciting or it can be nerve-wracking. As you prepare your late-summer social ad campaigns, use eye-catching creative, teacher discounts, and a mobile-first approach to make sure your brand is part of what makes the season fun!


Adaptly is a social media marketing agency.