Facebook is the world’s most popular social networking website with over a billion users worldwide. If you’re not using it to reach prospective parents and engage with currently enrolled families, you’re missing out. The benefits of using Facebook are countless for all businesses, but as discussed in our earlier blog post, it’s especially true for child care and preschool programs because of your target audience: mothers with children under 5 are the most active users of social media.
Now I know that as a child care provider, you’re extremely busy and getting started on Facebook may seem like a daunting task. Here’s the good news: it’s not! In this post, I’ll cover the basics of Facebook for child care marketing (how to get started) and discuss specific issues for child care providers (what to share, privacy, etc.)
Facebook 101 – How To Get Started
- First, you’ll have to create a Facebook Business Page, which is similar to an individual profile but for companies or organizations. It’s fairly quick and simple, you can just follow Facebook’s instructions here. Please note that to create a Facebook page for your child care or preschool program, you must have a personal Facebook profile. If you are not on Facebook yet, you can create your own personal account at www.facebook.com.
- Use a beautiful profile picture and a nice cover photo. The profile picture should be your logo if you have one, and the cover photo could be an overall picture of your center or house, or a group photo of your students, if you have permission (see the privacy section below.) Once you’ve published your page, invite your friends, teachers and currently enrolled parents to “Like” your Facebook page. If you have a website or any marketing materials (business cards, flyers, etc.), make sure to include the link to your Facebook page.
- Make sure to include your contact information. Your page should serve as a way for prospective parents to learn about you and, hopefully, contact you. This means that you should include at the very least your phone number, and preferably your email, website (if you have one), and address (a street name is enough for family child care providers who don’t want to share their exact address.)
- Have a great description of you and your child care program. In the Info section, you can include a Description, Mission, and even Awards! This is where you should impress prospective parents. What makes you and your program special? Do you have a lot of experience, a graduate degree in early childhood education, or top-notch facilities and amenities? Are you accredited or do you have a top rating in your State Rating and Improvement System? If so, definitely mention it!
What Should Child Care Programs Share on Facebook?
One of the most common worries from child care providers about Facebook is: “What am I going to post?” The good news is that there are a lot of things you can share!
- Photos and videos tend to drive more engagement (get more likes, shares and comments) than other kinds of posts. That’s because people are naturally visual and Facebook caters perfectly to this fact. With that in mind, it’s good to share photos of your child care program to show parents what you’re all about. This could be photos of children engaging in learning experiences, images of your facilities, or projects created by the children. Another time to share photos is when you have special events such as a 4th of July celebration, Christmas party or Halloween. Parents love to see their children participating in these fun learning activities!
- Privacy is key for child care programs on Facebook so it is important to pay careful attention to what you share to ensure that you respect the privacy of your children, staff, and families. This is especially true with photos that people love to share and see: once online, photos can be there for anyone to see. It’s therefore critical to get written parent permission to publish photos of their children on Facebook. If you don’t have one, you can find a sample consent form here. Another way to ensure the privacy of your children is to set up a private page (accessible to members only, such as staff and currently enrolled families) and a public page for prospective parents where you can post photos of your facilities, and more general content (see examples below.)
- Parents love parenting and early childhood education tips and advice. Chances are you probably already spend time researching early learning activities, and reading parenting articles. If you find something interesting, make sure to share it! Parents love to get useful tips and advice so they’ll be grateful to you, and may even share it with their friends which will broaden your exposure. To get an idea of what I’m talking about, check out the posts here.
Now I’d love to hear from you! Do you have a Facebook page for your child care or preschool program? If not, why? If it is because you thought Facebook was too complicated, I hope this post will help! If you already have a page, what do you share that isn’t covered in this post?
What is CareLuLu?
CareLuLu helps child care providers and preschools fill their openings while helping parents find the perfect early learning environment for their children. Founded by parents with experience in marketing & technology, CareLuLu is an interactive platform that makes it easy for both parents and child care providers to find each other. Click here to list your child care program and get enrollments!