Today’s topic is all about the social media that you need to execute for a new business. Again, this is our continuation in a multi-part series of marketing a business from scratch and using a childcare center as an example. 

Social media is a very, very broad topic, but the good news is, we’re going to focus on social media 101 initially, and really laser in on what social media makes sense for a business that isn’t even open yet—how can you garner essentially free leads and free opportunities for a business that isn’t even open. 

What I love about doing social media for a business that hasn’t even opened is that you really get to build it however you would like. And what I mean by that is you can set the tone, be a lot more creative and really a lot more raw with what you’re putting out there. If you were opening up a childcare center, and let’s say now you’re five months out, we’re starting to get a little bit closer to really starting to gain people starting to enroll or put down deposits, things like that. I would like to see you focus on one or two social media channels at first. 

Now, there’s a lot of information out there that says you’ve got to be on every channel, you’ve got to go broad, and you got to be everywhere. Part of me agrees that yes, you’ve got to eventually be all over the place. However, with a new business, and a somewhat limited amount of content, it’s almost close to impossible. 

So if you want to go on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Twitter, or YouTube you need to localize the content for each particular channel. There’s only certain content that’s going to work well—you have TiikTok versus Snapchat versus Instagram versus Facebook. And in good conscience I couldn’t advise you to put all of your eggs in that basket. You’re working with limited resources, and it’s not even just limited resources by way of money but more so time. You can outsource it, but it’s just not one of those tactics that until you start to gain some good steam and you start to be open and have more fodder that you can put on social media, that it would make sense. 

Now, if you’re opening up a business with a ton of other fodder initially, then it could be a different story. Even with that, however, one to two channels is my recommendation to start with. Facebook is really the main platform to this day—I don’t see that changing anytime soon. Every time that I thought that it was going to change a little bit, it really hasn’t. Other platforms have come and gone. Yes, there’s platforms like Snapchat and Tiktok which are exploding at the moment. But just because the platform is exploding doesn’t mean you need to be on it. 

If I was opening up a childcare center, I would want to be posting things that were visual and fun. So I would focus on Facebook, and Instagram—those would be my top two channels. When we talk about advertising, I’m gonna have you start to do some stuff with YouTube, because it’s the equivalent of running TV ads for pennies on the dollar. But initially, Facebook and Instagram are the top two that I would suggest you move with. 

And what you’re going to do is you’re just going to start to formulate a light content strategy to start to engage with people in your community in your area. The way that you do that is simply by putting out helpful, authentic, and engaging content—recipes, fun activities, scavenger hunt things like what are all the kinds that parents can be doing. You want to be using relevant hashtags. So you want to look at some of the different hashtags that you could be using. These hashtags are very easy to find. In Instagram, for example, you just type a certain hashtag and you would know how many people are using it. The right hashtags can really help you start to move in the right direction. You could probably start posting “coming soon”, offer giveaways or some raffles.

Once you’ve got your logo, which you already hopefully have, you could start to do some fun t-shirts, mugs, or stickers. Start to look at how you can start to cultivate a following on Facebook and Instagram before you’re even opened. And what you’re doing is you’re building up that anticipation as the dates get closer and closer. When you start to get ready to take deposits, because you know that you’re going to be open by XYZ date, for example, because certain permits and licensing and all of those things are completed, that you know for certainty you’re going to be open as an example that you can then start to take those deposits and enrollments. 

What I’m looking for you to do is just to start to build your followings by just giving great content away and doing some fun giveaways. People love free stuff—they love swag. Even better if you’re giving away swag that has your logo on it and fun sayings and amazing captions which will continue to get your message out there. 

You’re not constantly pushing and pumping your brand, you’re simply providing value and you’re communicating. You can then continue to do some collaborations from the episode yesterday of looking at partnering with some of those mommy bloggers or some of those mommy Facebook groups. Maybe they’re going to do a little shout out and then all of a sudden, that drives a couple hundred more people to your Facebook page, for example. 

Most of the people are way too weak when it comes to promoting and cultivating a Facebook page. It just is one of those afterthoughts that you post content once a month, and you’ve got a few hundred followers, but you really don’t do much of anything with it, those days are over. Those days are over, you’re going to get out there, you’re going to set up and focus on up to two channels. I’m even, okay, if you’re only focusing initially on Facebook, all of your eggs go on the Facebook basket, the only nervousness that I have there is having all my eggs in one basket. 

As long as you’re following all the different rules and things like that you shouldn’t have any issues. You want to make sure that you’re setting up these platforms in these channels with all of your branding elements that you created a couple of weeks ago. 

So if you haven’t listened to the branding episode really listened to that. You’re using the right fonts, your graphics and the colors are right in the imagery and the logo placement—you’re not just slapping stuff up there. You’re strategically putting stuff up there. You’re strategically out there creating value, using good hashtags so that you become more and more well known in your local community and you associate yourself with everything relating to parenting. Because I promise you that as we get closer to launching, that pent up demand will drive hard enrollments to your center

Get out there, make a change and take some action.