What Private Schools Should Know About iOS Updates and Your Social Media Ads

Updated: Feb 8

by Brianna Banks, Director of Partner Relations and Allison Sinnett, Digital Marketing Specialist, Truth Tree

Did you know that there are now over 1 billion active iPhones in the world?

Unless you're a phone geek, this might not sound like riveting news. However, in April 2021, this stat became a large point of concern for school digital marketers.

This is because the recent iOS 14 update is promising to disrupt social media advertising.

Are you a private school running social media ads? If so, then it's imperative that you know about the new iPhone update and what its ramifications are for your ad targeting.

Schools are especially vulnerable to this update, thanks to the fact that their advertising is often geographically and demographically targeted.

Fortunately, once you understand the impacts of the iOS 14 update around digital marketing for schools, you can take steps to lessen them.

Keep reading to learn more, so you can carry on effectively promoting your private school on social media.

What Is iOS 14 and What Does It Mean for Your School's Social Media Ads?

On April 26, 2021, Apple launched the iOS 14 update for its mobile devices.

This update requires all apps to display pop-up prompts asking users to either allow or disallow the app from tracking their activity across third-party apps and websites.

Users then have to option either select "yes" or "no".

Although iOS devices have had this function for some time, it was buried deep in the settings. Now, iOS users are prompted to make their selection with every app they downloaded.

This has large-scale ramifications for social media giants such as Facebook that rely heavily on user data for their highly targeted advertising.

Reports state that 86.3% of marketers use Facebook ads in their campaigns. One of the reasons why marketers and businesses rely on Facebook and social media ads is because they can be finely targeted.

For instance, if you are promoting your private school in Chattanooga, Tennessee, you can refine your target audience so your ads only display to Chattanooga residents who have age-appropriate children.

Unfortunately, the iOS 14 update will limit this kind of targeting.

Impacts of iOS 14 On Social Media Advertising

So what impacts will the new iOS privacy feature have on social media advertising?

Predictions state that a considerable portion of iPhone users will say no to data tracking. This means that there won't be nearly as much data on these users for social media advertising purposes.

The iOS 14 update is guaranteed to impact:

  • Geographic advertising data

  • Demographic advertising data

  • Conversion data

If you are promoting your private school via social media ads, this means that your demographic and geographic targeting won't apply to users that have opted out of data sharing.

The number of conversions you will be able to report on will also drop. One of the effects of the iOS privacy feature is that it limits conversion tracking. This means that the size of your retargeting pool will also drop.

However, it's not all bad news when it comes to the iOS privacy update.

Why You Shouldn't Worry Too Much About the iOS 14 Update

Although the iOS privacy update sounds dire, there a couple of reasons why you shouldn't lose too much sleep over it.

Firstly, Facebook has implemented its Aggregated Event Measurement protocol. This allows Facebook to still process events from users who are on iOS 14 devices, even if they have opted out of data sharing.