529 College Savings Plans – Social Media Revamp

A Social Revamp to Reinvigorate Engagement

As a part of a campaign to spread national awareness of 529 plans, Bozell partnered with the College Savings Plans Network (CSPN) to revamp their social media channels. As an organization comprised of state treasurers, higher-education agencies, and financial service firms, CSPN had previously used social media to communicate to its members. With the launch of a national campaign, however, they tasked us with making their social media more consumer-facing to reach the target demographic of millennial moms.


Through an initial audit, we discovered that while follower count on 529’s primary network, Facebook, was high, engagement and follower activity was not. Posts comprised mostly of informative articles and blog links, with little to no engagement outside of the rare occurrence that tagged another Business Page. The same content was also auto-sharing to all social networks, not accounting for the unique audiences and purposes of each network. Profiles were also not optimized with cohesive branding to appease the social algorithm.


Our focus was on creating content speaking to preventing student debt for the next generation with imagery that would appeal to millennial moms. Our content buckets included 529 gift card contests, testimonials of real families who found benefit using 529s, recognition of trending holidays, features of famous educators and thought leaders, dispelling myths of 529s through easily digestible fact graphics, and content that reinforced our partnership with Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. Knowing that our social channels would be visited for reference, our social media team closely coordinated with the traditional-media public relations team and creative team to ensure that our social content matched that being utilized in our paid partnership with Fred Rogers Productions and supported pitches submitted to the media.

Knowing that many of our partners in the campaign had limited resources to devote to their own social media, we provided them assets including a guide on best practices as well as the content calendar for CSPN’s social channels. This allowed them to share or reuse our graphics and copy on their own Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages to further the reach of our message on preventing student debt.

For the campaign, we created branded hashtags to identify specific messages including the message that we’re tackling the student debt problem together (#529Together), we’re addressing the student problem for our children’s future (#529ForTheirFuture), it only takes a small amount invested on a consistent basis to compound into an impactful sum (#littlebylittle), and there is a solution to the student debt problem (#529Roadmap).

We also executed a proactive engagement effort, extensively researching and engaging with social content that appealed to millennial moms on a daily basis, including authors, financial gurus, women-focused news sources, and parent publications. We commented, linked back to pages on our website and shared content to help further our reach to our desired audience. With the help of Sprout Social’s listening feature, the social management software that we utilize, we were able to search out social content containing specific keywords and hashtags.


Across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, our efforts for the duration of the campaign resulted in:

  • 7.4% increase in followers.
  • 621% increase in engagements.
  • 895% increase in messages received.
  • 135% increase in clicks.