Childcare Marketing Hack: Using social media marketing to expand your center's reach
It’s the year 2000. Parents are considering enrolling their 3-6 years olds in a playschool or nursery and are talking to the community of similar parents, asking for their opinions. Childcare marketing was still in its nascent stage, which is perhaps why, parents might have also encountered a newspaper ad in which a childcare center talks about its educational and growth activities. After a few conversations and interviews, the child is enrolled.
Fast forward to the current year, and it’s not just newspapers convincing parents to send their precious young ones to top childcare centers. A lot has to do with the new age of childcare marketing.
Today childcare marketing ideas are heavily influenced by digital impressions, and the one making the most impact is social media. As per a study, millennial moms favor online platforms and communities to make decisions regarding their children’s growth. This means serious businesses like educational establishments must also get on the social media bandwagon.
Table of Contents
As a childcare center owner, you need to connect with millennial parents via these social media ideas.
1. Old is Gold: Dive into Facebook Marketing
Facebook might seem like a thing for GenX, but it still has an excellent pull for social media users of all age groups. Being the original beacon of posting and organic marketing, Facebook continues to be a space for social media users to share their posts and updates and even stay connected with their friends and families.
Pro Tip: For your childcare marketing plan, start with an interactive home page (if you don’t have it already) where you upload videos and images of your childcare center and its activities. These images can range from events to children’s milestones which will be an incentive for the parents to interact and engage with your Facebook page.
a. Explore Facebook Groups and Communities
Creating Facebook communities or joining the pre-existing ones can help you reach out to a larger audience. Since these groups have members from the industry, the parent community and other important stakeholders, they provide a great platform arfor community messaging.
The interaction not only helps you understand what your audience requires from you and build a solid organic presence, but also expose your business to more people. This is a steady but reliable way to boost your organic presence.
For instance, you can offer your inputs and insights on community questions, add your comments and allow people to witness your thought leadership first hand.
2. Get Started with Instagram (If You Haven’t Already)
While it was incepted as an image-sharing platform, but today, Instagram is more than just a place to share and like pictures. It is a place of business, and your target audience — the millennial parent is more likely to be here. There are three major Instagram techniques you can adopt to mark your presence on the platform.
a. Share Interactive Posts
Parents want to know what their little ones are up to while at their childcare center. Is their baby learning new dance forms? Or is he/she learning a new skill? How are they doing in their classes?
All these questions can be answered by sharing social media posts about new activities at your center. For instance, BabySteps, Hong Kong keeps adding new posts centered around engaging activities like Funky Zumba, showcasing the diversity in talent and pedagogy for young growing minds.
These visuals can be on images, videos, or even carousels. However, videos seem to be more engaging, and parents are more likely to respond and engage with them.
b. Create Reels and Stories
It is easier to upload reels and stories on Instagram, and is in fact, recommended. Since these are more spontaneous, they allow parents and guardians to be a part of the activity virtually, allowing them to witness their child engaging and having fun at home away from home.
In this example, Get Set Go Preschool uses social media to impart value-added lessons to children via reels. Such content is cementing the preschool’s position as an industry leader, thus, building credibility
Some other Instagram story and reel ideas that you can implement are:
- Expert opinions: Have interviews with child care experts, educationists, and medical experts to name a few on Instagram live and use snippets on reels and stories to improve awareness. This is a great example of value-add content that will cement your center’s place as a professional in childcare.
- Annual days and live events: These events are ongoing and are a great source for your social media content, especially reels. You can upload stories right from the preparatory days, behind the scenes, or give snapshots of the ongoing event in your reels. You can encourage parents to share these reels to boost your organic reach.
- Parent testimonial videos: Parents are more likely to listen to other parents. If you get the testimonials and permission to publish them on your platform, go for it! They can help you boost your referral frequency substantially!
Spread the Word about Your Center: Templates for Parent Referrals
c. Have a Social Media Takeover: Collaborate with an Influencer
Influencers have the power to bring people together. What if they bring their followers to you? This is the power of influencer collaboration and, when done right, can amplify your awareness amongst the parent community.
Social media takeover is one of example where influencers connect with the brands, take over their social media account for some time (usually a day) and share content on their behalf.
By employing this method, you open doors for your center’s content to reach a vast follower network, greatly enhancing your childcare marketing success.
3. Don’t Rule Out LinkedIn Marketing
LinkedIn marketing is primarily defined for B2B businesses. However, your childcare business requires exposure to the professional dynamics of the industry as well.
Having a LinkedIn presence may not directly impact your enrollment frequency, but it can create a funnel up to that.
For instance, having a presence on LinkedIn is crucial if you want to attract quality talent. If you have an experienced and expert staff, you are more likely to have a great culture at your center. This will, in turn, boost the experience for the tiny tots and help you build credibility.
Moreover, professionals who are also parents and always on the lookout for a reliable center for their children. These folks are most likely to be on LinkedIn for their professional network. A consistent presence on the platform will enhance your reach and these busy parents can also consider your childcare center for their young ones.
This is a gold star for your childcare marketing efforts!
Pro tip: Post on LinkedIn thrice a week to keep the algorithm aware of your presence. A strong LinkedIn profile can even rank on Google search results which can directly boost enrollment for your business!
Here are a few ways you can get to the right audience on LinkedIn:
- Invest in thought leadership content: Since you are in the business of child care and welfare, it is important to create serious value-add content that can benefit your readers, in this case, parents. Content touching upon education, child safety, child psychology, well-being, etc., is very likely to be welcomed.
Establish connections with leaders in child development: LinkedIn allows you to connect with leaders in the child development space. You can collaborate with them on value-added content opinions and use their experience and knowledge to set your presence as a serious industry member.
4. Invest in Ads to get the Ball Rolling
Advertising is a platform-agnostic tip that is vital for your childcare marketing strategies, and you should implement it while setting up your social media calendar.
While organic marketing is a steady and sustainable way to build your marketing cadre, sometimes ad helps kickstart the effort more effectively. It gives you the launchpad to reach out to more audiences in less time.
However, it is important to have a good amount of quality content pre-existing on your social media handles. While ads can direct your target audience to your profile, only quality content can keep them engaged.
Pro tip: Start with a small budget with a hyperfocus target audience and geography. While investing money in ads is necessary, optimizing your spending is even more critical.
Harness the Power of Ads for Your Childcare Center
Some Extra Ideas to Prep for Your Next Month Social Media Calendar
These are some extra hacks that will jazz up your social media efforts and amplify your childcare marketing efforts.
1. Use Polls
Be it Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter, polls always pique curiosities and unearth opinions and even facts. Using polls as a part of your social media strategy can help you get fresh ideas for content, work as a feedback form directed towards improving the nitty-gritty of the educational system, or simply give an inside scoop into your target audiences’ minds.
2. Encourage User-Generated Content
User-generated content has a much greater impact when it comes to reach. Akin to a word-of-mouth publicity, having user-generated content allows you to connect with the network of your network and gain popularity at a much higher rate.
Encourage parents and guardians to create and share content and tag you in the same. This can be in the form of video testimonials, something that their child learned at the childcare center and implemented at home, and so much more.
You can also leverage your groups and communities to share this message and encourage their efforts with incentives and recognition. Apart from user-generated content, you can also ask them to share and engage with your posts with their social circle to boost your digital presence.
Child Safety on Social Media
Childcare center marketing needs to abide by certain safety regulations. Child safety should be a top priority when managing a childcare center’s social media presence.
Here are some important pointers to keep in mind:
- Consent and Permissions: Do not forget to obtain written consent from parents or legal guardians before posting any photos or videos of children. Communicate the purpose and scope of your social media usage, and allow parents to opt-out if they’re uncomfortable.
- Avoid Personal Information: Never share personal information such as full names, addresses, phone numbers, or any other identifying details of the children in your care. Stick to using first names or initials.
- Location Tagging: Avoid tagging the exact location of your daycare center or any other specific location that can reveal the children’s whereabouts.
- Monitor Comments: Regularly monitor comments and messages on your posts. Remove any inappropriate or potentially harmful content promptly.
- Educate Your Staff: Train your staff on the importance of child safety on social media. Make sure they understand and follow the guidelines for posting content.
- Conduct Regular Audits: Review your social media content to ensure it aligns with your child’s safety guidelines. Remove any outdated or potentially sensitive posts. It is also essential to regularly review and adjust your social media account’s privacy settings to ensure that posts are only visible to the intended audience.
- Report Abuse: Understand reporting and blocking features on social media platforms. Report any abuse, harassment, or unauthorized use of your content.
- Regular Communication: Keep parents and guardians informed about your social media practices and policies. Encourage open dialogue and address any concerns they may have.
Build Your Childcare Center as a Brand
Nothing trumps quality service and strong customer experience. However, we will be amiss if we don’t ask you to focus on your childcare marketing strategies and build yourself a strong brand.
The trifecta of service, solution, and branding can help you build a good word in the community and bring in the much-needed enrollment you need to expand your business.
If you implement these marketing strategies for your childcare center you are likely to be busy managing the influx of new students and other operative responsibilities, why not consider Illumine to do the heavy lifting for you?
Why stop at social media?
Upgrade your center’s overall quality with Illumine.
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