Marketing the old-fashioned way doesn’t work anymore. Your customers – parents – have migrated to the Internet (8 out of 10 consumers research local businesses online so online marketing is now key to running a successful child care business. In our previous post, we discussed online marketing and shared the top 5 online marketing strategies for child care providers.
One of these top 5 strategies is the use of social media to promote your business. In this post, we’ll cover the basics of social media marketing and briefly discuss the 3 most popular social media platforms. In our next blog post, I’ll explain in more details why you should use social media marketing for your child care and preschool program.
What Is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing seeks to draw attention or web traffic through social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, which allow people to create profiles and interact with one another. Social media marketing typically involves creating (or sharing) content that attracts attention and encourages readers to share it with their social networks. This type of marketing is largely driven by (digital) word-of-mouth, which means that messages spread from user to user (for child care, a “user” usually refers to a parent.) This explains the critical importance of creating and sharing content that is relevant and useful to your target audience (i.e. parents). For instance, as a child care provider, you may share early learning activities or parenting tips that parents of young children will find useful and will want to share with their friends.
The 3 Most Popular Social Media Platforms:
- Facebook is the world’s most popular social networking website with over a billion users worldwide. It helps people connect and share with their family and friends online. To use Facebook as part of your social media marketing strategy, you’ll have to create a Facebook Business Fan Page, which is similar to an individual profile but for companies or organizations (fairly quick and simple, just follow Facebook’s instructions.) Make sure to add a beautiful cover photo and profile picture (your logo, if you have one). A key aspect of Facebook is the visual experience so photos and videos tend to get a lot more likes, shares and comments than other kinds of posts.
- Twitter is a micro-blogging network that lets you broadcast your real-time posts, which are limited to 140 characters. Twitter has 230 million active users who share 500 million Tweets a day. The important elements of your Twitter account are your “Handle” or user name (for instance for CareLuLu, our handle is @myCareLuLu), Profile Picture, and Profile Bio (a one or two sentence description of who you are.) To be successful, you’ll need to tweet often (3-5 tweets per day is great), and share useful content for parents and include links, pictures and videos. Twitter is also about engaging with your followers so be sure to retweet, answer questions when possible, and interact with the community and especially your followers as much as possible.
- Pinterest is used to create and share virtual pinboards of the things you discover online. You can think of Pinterest as a digital scrapbook. For instance, if you discover great ideas for classroom artwork projects, new early learning activities, or cool educational toys you want to get for your child care center, you’ll be able to save and organize them on Pinterest. “Pins” (the things you save on Pinterest) are displayed as a picture on a pinboard, which holds collections of different images you add to your account. While Pinterest is the latest in social media marketing trends, it is actually very relevant to child care providers because a lot of their users are moms you’re trying to reach: the most popular age group is 25-34 years old and women account for about 65% of the users.
I hope this gives you a good overview of what social media marketing is. While it can seem daunting before you start, it’s actually not that bad and it can even be fun! Make sure to come back to our blog to learn why you should use social media marketing for your child care and preschool program. In the following weeks, we’ll also have specific posts on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to dig a bit deeper and go over things like how to create a profile for your family child care or preschool, the types of posts parents like to see and share, the best times to post, and more.
What else would you like to know about marketing your child care program?
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!