Online social networking has become one of the most popular activities worldwide, with so many companies using various social media platforms for their businesses. Online social networking has become the word-of-mouth of the modern era. As a child care provider, you must utilize social media marketing as a powerful tool to help increase brand awareness and attract more parents to your center.
Just some statistics to help you understand why…
As of the start of 2021, there are about 4.20 billion active social media users globally, which equates to more than 53% of the world’s total population. With more people working from home due to lockdown procedures brought about by the recent pandemic, the numbers of people using social media have dramatically increased, with 490 million new users from 2020 until January of 2021, which is 13% of annualized growth.
Facebook is still the world’s largest social media platform, with about 2.740 billion monthly active users. On average, a person has an account on more than eight social media platforms, which equates to spending an average of 2.5 hours online per day. Altogether, the world spends approximately 10 billion hours on social media platforms each day, or about 1 million years of human existence.
These are quite the numbers, yes. But they are real numbers, and they will continue to grow as the world becomes more and more digital by the minute.
Reasons Why You Should Use Social Media for Your Child Care Center
Social media benefits are countless — the internet provides a great platform to help you stay connected with existing families at your center and deliver your message. Additionally, utilizing social media can also improve your center’s customer service, foster brand awareness, and help you connect with the community better.
1. Communication Tool
Social media marketing is a great communication tool for parents. Through social media, you can easily post daily updates about your center and keep parents informed about what their children are doing each day. However, keep in mind that these platforms should not be your primary tool for communicating with parents. Make sure to continue having one-on-one conversations with them, as this gives them a sense of attention and importance, which leads to better relationships with each family at your center. You can utilize social media as means to share information, like meal schedules, lesson plans, photos, and suggestions about healthy child development and learning. However, it is important to note that there are privacy rules when using social media, especially when you post photos of children online. Facebook pages are also critical when it comes to helping you market your center to prospective parents.
2. Lead Generation
Another great benefit of social media marketing is to help promote your childcare center and generate prospective clients. These social media platforms are like your modern-day word-of-mouth referral marketing. Nowadays, anyone who is searching for something can find whatever they need on some form of social media. You can advertise your center online, or perhaps one of the parents at your center can refer them to your social media page.
3. Local Business Reach
If you want to target local parents, as well as businesses in your community, social media marketing is perfect for your childcare center. When parents search for a center, location is one of the key factors when it comes to finalizing their decision. Social media is a great tool for local businesses because it offers geographic features, such as location-based tweets on Twitter, or Facebook geo-tagging, which makes it easier for people to easily find your center.
Social Media Platforms for your Child Care Center
Not every social media platform will work for your business, especially given your center’s own unique attributes and the competitors in your area, and you don’t need to be on all platforms. The channel you choose will depend on your particular goals and objectives, and the time and budget you have to allocate toward your marketing efforts. Each channel offers unique strengths and drawbacks. Here are some of the major social media channels:
Still the world’s most popular social networking platform, Facebook is a very powerful avenue that can help you connect with others and share information with friends, family, and clients. The best way to use Facebook as part of your child care social media marketing strategy is to create a Facebook Business Fan Page. This feature is specifically designed for companies or organizations to help them promote their businesses. Make sure you include an eye-catching cover photo and profile photo, like your center’s logo, if you have one. Visual experiences are one of the key aspects of Facebook, so be sure to add videos and photos, as they tend to get more likes, comments, and shares compared to other types of content.
If you want to incorporate a smorgasbord of stunning visuals and impressive creativity, Instagram is the platform for you. Launched in 2010 and currently, with about 1 billion active users, Instagram is the social network where influencers, coaches, and product-based businesses can thrive. As a child care provider and owner, you can use this platform to share images of play spaces, activities, crafts, and photos of staff and children (with permission).
Founded in 2003, Linkedin is home to about 310 million users. Within its huge network of professionals, you will find more than 60 million users in senior and executive positions. LinkedIn is the place for decision-makers, so this is a really good market if you are looking for partners for your center, or those looking for managers. This might be the flashiest social media network, with more than 50% of Americans with a professional degree. There are unlimited opportunities to connect with elite groups of professionals who can make a great impact on your business.
Twitter is a great platform to spark some parent-directed conversations by posting your own ideas or re-tweeting interesting posts. Twitter is a micro-blogging social media network that has about 230 million users. It lets you broadcast real-time posts limited to only 140 characters. Your username, or “handle” name, is one of the most important elements of your Twitter account, along with your profile bio and photo. To be successful on Twitter, you need to tweet at least three to five times a day and share relevant content for parents. You can also include pictures, videos, and links. Twitter is also the platform that will allow you to better engage with your followers, so make sure you answer questions, retweet, connect, and interact with the community as much as possible.
Social Media Marketing Tips for Child Care Centers
There are so many easy ways you can leverage social media for your child care center. With so many parents now living an extremely active digital life, technology plays an important role in the ways in which these parents communicate, look for valuable information, and make decisions. Catering to these parents can help your business in a lot of ways. The question is, how do you start?
1. Create a Facebook page for your center
We all know that Facebook is the biggest social media channel, plus it’s free and so easy to use. Creating a Facebook page for your center will give you the opportunity to interact with parents, answer questions about your services, share photos of what goes on at your center, which will result in more people becoming interested in enrolling their children in your care.
2. Manage your reviews
Reviews and client testimonials can tell your prospective clients pertinent information about your center. Parents who are looking for child care center options seek out reviews. You can invite existing parents to leave reviews on your Facebook and Google profiles. Make sure you monitor these platforms regularly so that you can address any concerns or respond to comments about your center, regardless of whether the reviews are positive or negative, in a timely manner. How you respond to reviews will give potential clients additional information about your character and professionalism as they make their decisions.
3. Share educational content and tips that help parents learn more about child development
Child care centers are an integral part of both parents’ and children’s lives. Child development is a complex process that requires many hours of quality care, play, and instruction. Parents who are looking for child care options have many choices to make about which type of program will best suit their needs. Many parents are unaware of the benefits of learning through play, and how much it can help their child’s development. Parents should be exposed to the latest research on child brain development and should be encouraged to read up on what experts are saying. The content you post can be shared across all of your social media channels for parents to read.
4. Interact in the social medial community
You will be surprised by the number of local neighborhood groups in your community and its surrounding areas. Some may have swap-meets while others are more focused on community events. Be active in both real-life and virtual neighborhoods. Recognition is very important for a business. When your center becomes visible as one that is very much active and engaged in the community, your brand will be highly recognized in a positive way. Parents will be more comfortable sending their children to a center whose name is associated with a positive image.
Ideas for Social Media Posts
- Event announcements
- Craft instructions
- Day-to-day activities
- Videos of activities
- Children’s artwork
- Funny quotes or stories from kids at your center
It’s clear that social media marketing is a great way to help increase your enrollment and generate increased interest from prospective clients. It may even result in a waitlist for enrollment at your center! Local Child Care Marketing has worked with numerous child care centers across the country. We offer interactive and customized websites that are built to get results, including an effective social media strategy that works best for your needs.
Get in touch with us at Local Child Care Marketing and book a strategy session with our marketing specialist team.