How Our Adoption Outreach Plan Got 500+ Facebook Likes

If you’re hoping to adopt, chances are you have a parent profile on Facebook. After all, nearly a billion users are on it. It makes sense that you should be, too.

But just how effective is Facebook in reaching out to expectant parents who are considering adoption for their baby? That’s the question I asked Tracy and Micah from our find an adoptive family registry.

Married for nine years, Tracy and Micah live in Waldo County, Maine with their 2 1/2 daughter, JP. JP joined their family as a newborn through open adoption. As they write on their new adoption website,  “Our adoption experience is something we are so thankful for and will treasure forever. Her birth mother gave us so much hope after a long journey of infertility.”

Now they’re trying to expand their family a second time, again through open adoption, and have turned to Facebook to give their networking efforts a boost. Recently I had a chance to discuss their experiences with the social media channel and whether they would recommend it to others who are hoping to adopt.

It’s the latest in our series of interviews with hopeful parents from our Find A Family registry. Earlier, I spoke to Preetha and Don about the open adoption challenges they face as a South Asian couple and to Andrea and Scott from our registry about their adoption networking experiences. Stayed tuned for more interviews in this space in the coming weeks.

Why did you turn to Facebook to help you with your adoption networking?

We created our Facebook adoption page in 2009 and initially had luck just networking with family and friends. However, eventually we ran out of friends and family to network with, so our number of Likes slowed down.  At some point Facebook suggested advertising to us. The cost seemed to be in our budget, so we thought we’d give it a try.

What kind of response did you have?

We had a fairly good response. Initially, we only set a budget of $1 a day and ran a national campaign. We made about 1.1 million impressions (how many times your ad is shown) and we gained a number of new Likes. Our second adoption campaign specifically targeted people who had already Liked our page, and friends of people who had Liked our page. The purpose of targeting people who had already Liked our Page was to remind everyone we were still looking to adopt, and to target people who no longer saw our posts in their news feeds. The purpose of targets ‘friends of our friends’ was to increase our audience and amount of Likes. We made about 350,000 Impressions, and had a 77% Social Impression Percentage (our ad was shown with the names of the viewers friends, so in turn they were more likely to Like it). We gained a number of new Likes, and had two adoption leads, although none resulted in a match.

Were you happy with the results? Was it worth it?

I do not think our first campaign was worth it. Our target audience was too broad (the United States) so we had a number of Likes from people that were not tied to adoption. Our second campaign was worth it. It resulted in a couple adoption situations. Although they did not result in an adoption, it helped us realize what type of ad works best and who we need to target.

What were the pros and cons of reaching out to expectant parents on Facebook?

The advantage to a Facebook ad over other search engine ads is that it is very easy to create an ad. You can set up an ad in a matter of minutes. Additionally, if you have an adoption budget, you can run ads for as little as a $1 a day, which is very affordable. The disadvantage is that you can’t use key words to focus your ads to specific audiences. Ads can only target interests that people have liked in their timeline. There are only a limited number of interests you can select from when creating your ad and we have not found one yet that is specific toward adoption interests.

How did it compare to other adoption networking tools you’ve used?

It’s much less complicated then Google AdWords. Google AdWords is also more expensive. It’s also easier to generate a report using Facebook as well, so you can track the performance of your ad. However, Google allows you to select keywords so your ad targets specific searches. Where we live in the northeast, adoption is not as common as in other parts of the country, so there are not many expectant women searching “adoption.” In our experience, Google Ads work better in other parts of the country.

What advice do you have for other hopeful adoptive couples and singles who are thinking about advertising on Facebook?

Our first piece of advice would be to start with a small budget, say $1-$2.50 a day to see how your ad performs. If it seems to be working, increase your amount to about $5 a day. If your ad is not performing well, experiment with another ad by trying different wording and possibly targeting a different audience.

Our second piece of advice involves the website that the user would land on after they click on your ad. If it’s a Facebook page, make sure it’s visually appealing, clearly states your desire to adopt, and contains links to other adoption profiles you may have online.

Based on your experiences, would you recommend Facebook to other hopeful adoptive parents?

We would recommend anyone to try Facebook advertising.  It’s affordable and easy to navigate and can help you network with a large audience. And even if you already have a lot of Likes, you can target your ad to friends of your friends, which will help you network with people who may only be acquaintances. The more people who know you’re looking to adopt, the better your chances of connecting with someone considering an adoption plan.

Do you have an adoption story?
Share it with us any time. If you’re a hopeful adoptive parent, adoptive parent, birthparent or adoptee with a connection to open adoption, we’d love to hear your story. Submit it here or learn more by checking out our Guidelines For Guest Posts at America Adopts!