In 2021, social media marketing is essential for the success of any business, and early childhood education is no exception. A little effort goes a long way on social media, so learn how to get started with posting quality content and start reaching and sharing with your community and beyond.
Whether you’re looking for a way to engage with your community, market your early learning centre and/or increase the awareness of your brand and values, social media could be just the tool for you. Utilise the power of social media to communicate with current families, prospective families and your community. You can showcase what you do and how you do it and position your childcare service as a leader in the early childhood education sector.
Still wondering why on earth you need to be on social media as an early learning service? Here are a few convincing reasons:
- You can attract more families to your centre
- Engage with your current families
- Build a community
- Position yourself as a leader in the sector
- Your competitors are already there
- Build brand awareness for your business and its values
- Gain valuable feedback and manage your own online reputation
Create a social media plan that works
Chances are you know that your centre needs to be on social media, but you signed up and created a page but can’t work out what you should be posting. Fair enough — it can be tricky, especially when you’re managing your social media without a plan.
A simple social media strategy and content plan will help you take control of your social media marketing efforts and get the most from them. A strategy is essentially looking at your business objective and how you can align this with a goal on social media. This is a template for a social media strategy, and there are plenty of them online that will help you make a start.
It can help to start by thinking about what you want to achieve and work backwards from there. For example, if you want people to understand your childcare centre’s approach and values, showcase what you and your educators do. This might be photos of everyone enjoying a recent event at your service. If you want to position yourself as leaders and advocates of quality education and care, post related articles or even write them and share on social media.
Top tips for early childhood social media marketing
Let’s dig deeper into what content you might post to support your early childhood centre’s marketing and community engagement.
Showcase your staff: Your team of educators are a crucial element of your childcare offering, and your prospective families will want to know more about them. Plus, early childhood educators deserve more recognition and should have their hard work and achievements celebrated! Showcase everyone at your early childhood education and care service with Q & A’s and photos to help everyone get to know your team and in turn, get to know your centre.
Promote your centre’s values and mission: Post content that is in line with your centre’s values and mission in the sector. Share quotes about quality care, children’s development and wellbeing, belonging, kindness, community and more. These can be designed alongside your business’s logo quickly and easily using a free online program. Articles from reputable sources can be shared to inform your audience and show them what your organisation is aligned with.
Share exciting updates: Post photos of new equipment, programs, initiatives and achievements. Share your community involvement. Your updates will make those who are already part of your community feel proud and inclined to share with their own circles. Furthermore, you will reach new people who may be impressed with what you are doing and who could be prospective families. Note: always make sure you have permission to share images or photos you have taken or that have been sent to you.
Virtual tours: Not everyone can be bothered putting in the effort to go and physically tour every early learning centre that they would like to. Especially with COVID-19 in mind which means more people are inclined to research online instead of venturing out where possible. Offering virtual tours of your early learning service via social media can give prospective families a closer look at what you do and what your centre has to offer. Plus, video content has a tendency to gain more traction on social media than other content types, so you have a better chance of reaching more people.
Community engagement on social media
Hopefully your quality social media content is engaging and results in comments and messages. Make sure you take the time to respond to questions or acknowledge comments. To save time, you can set up auto-responders for messages. These are custom and can provide answers to commonly asked questions or simply request that queries are redirected to phone or email.
If you have any negative feedback, turn it into a positive by engaging constructively and showcasing your exceptional customer relations skills. If a situation does arise and someone is behaving inappropriately via social media and you can’t resolve it, simply block the person and move on.
Reaching more people on social media
For the most part, social media is free. You can spend money to reach more people by creating ads or ‘boosting’ your posts directly to your chosen target audiences, but this is optional.
In saying that, you can experiment with as little as a few dollars to expand your content’s reach and potentially reach many more people who may be interested in your early childhood education offering. For example, try hitting the ‘boost’ button on one of your more popular Facebook posts as a simple exercise to get started and measure your results by recording how many people are reached and/or engage with your content.
Spend some time getting your social media sorted and reap the rewards for your early childhood education service.