Being in the childcare industry means making the little ones under your care and their parents your top priority. If your childcare center does not have an active social presence, you will miss out on many opportunities to engage with parents and potential clients. With billions of users using and engaging via social media every day, there’s no better way to reach out and connect with your customers, and build a brand that will help them find and embrace the awesome services you provide than through these platforms.
There was a time when traditional marketing was the bread and butter of the childcare industry. Common marketing strategies used to include flyers, professionally-printed business cards and brochures, word-of-mouth referrals, and maybe handing out personalized items (such as notepads and pens). However, with more childcare centers acquiring their licenses and setting up their businesses, the competition is becoming tougher and tougher. While this may seem a bit intimidating, here are some tips for how you can create a social media strategy for your childcare center.
1. Set social media goals and objectives
As with any social media marketing strategy, the first step is always to determine which goals align with your objectives for your business.
Some suggestions you can start with include:
- Growing your social media following to increase your reach and generate leads for sales
- Increasing your center’s enrollment by increasing the number of website clicks from your social media accounts
- Increasing engagement with your existing followers through likes, shares, and/or comments or reactions to your posts or stories.
Once you have defined your social media goals and how they can be measured and analyzed, you’re on the right track. Knowing how your social media can best align with your business objectives will help you determine all of your subsequent steps. Every time you create a post, remember to go back to what your goals and objectives are, and consider, “Is this post going to help me achieve my goals and objectives?”
2. Pick the right social media platform(s)
Even though it may be a given that Facebook is the greatest launchpad for your social media marketing strategy, you will eventually need to expand your exposure and reach to other social media platforms. You can always start with Facebook marketing, it’s also wise to start exploring other media in order to connect with existing and potential customers, and grow your childcare business even more.
Keep in mind that every social media platform has its own audience and unique personality. Take the time to study each platform and pick out a few that suit you best when it comes to reaching your target audience and representing your brand. Common social media platforms that you may consider utilizing for your childcare center include Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Pinterest, and YouTube.
3. Engage with parents
In the past, referrals used to be considered the greatest source of leads for childcare businesses. But since competition has grown fiercer, you need to do more than rely solely on referrals. You need to keep your parents engaged, and social media platforms are the best tool to use. Parents want to know if their kids will be safe under your care. They also want to know what their kids will be doing all day at your center. Through social media, you can showcase all of your activities and safety protocols on a regular basis. With a strong social media presence, you can create a strong sense of community among your parents, as well as potential future customers.
4. Content planning
Now you have identified your goals, objectives, target audience (which types of parents you’re hoping to reach), and determined which platform to use. Your next step for developing your ideal social media marketing strategy is to create a social media content calendar. Having a concrete plan for what kind of information you want to post when to post, and where to post, is critical when it comes to creating a brand that stands out. This will also help to ensure that your social media presence is sustained for the long-term. It is best to plan ahead of time since this will give you enough time to carefully develop your strategies and stay organized, while still being able to maintain an active social media presence.
Here are few recommendations for crafting a manageable social media content plan:
- Post 1-2 “Lives”, or videos, per week
- Post a plethora of information — for example, you might post some personal news, business-related posts, entertainment, trivia, or anything currently relevant to the childcare industry.
- Post 1-2 posts per day (it’s not about quantity, but posts that are relevant to your audience — and make sure these posts stay consistent.)
On a final note…
With so many social media platforms you can utilize, your opportunities for reaching the right parents for your center are endless. Given the right tools, social media marketing can also be really fun.
If you are ready to take a plunge and go for a deeper dive into social media strategies for your childcare center business, get in touch with us at Local Childcare Marketing.