Social media—of all the things on a busy childcare center director’s to-do list, is it really that important? Well…yes! Research shows that 75% of parents use social media, often for parenting-related information and support. Social media can be a crucial part of marketing your center to new families and building great, trusting relationships with current ones. If you’re short on time or don’t know where start, here are three key social media strategies to help you focus and get the most impact out of the least amount of effort:
1. Use social media to showcase your center.
You know your childcare center is a happy place full of high-quality early learning and exceptional care, so show it! Share stories, news, pictures, videos, crafts, projects, field trips, and events. Aim to share content just once or twice a week and your social media will be current and lively.
Of course, only post photos and videos of the children at your center after getting written permission from their parents. Luckily, most parents—88%, in fact—report being comfortable having another caregiver share content about their child on social media.
2. Use social media smartly and focus on a few key platforms.
Research also identifies the social media sites most used by parents: Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter, with Facebook, where 75% of parents log in daily, being the most heavily used, Targeting just one or a few social media platforms can be the best use of your time. Some content can also be easily transferred or shared from one platform to another (for example, auto-posting from Facebook to Twitter).
If you need some help figuring out the basics of how to set up social media accounts and what all the different terms mean, check out this excellent overview.
3. Use social media to reinforce your reputation as early learning experts.
Social media tips meant for any small business can be adapted to the unique world of childcare. Social media can help your center be seen as an expert source of information and one that those in the community will look to for trusted childcare services and advice. Encourage parent discussion on your social media accounts to make your content dynamic and visible. Ask questions such as, “What kind of event would you like to see next at the center?” and engage with answers by posting a response to any replies. You don’t have to create all your own content to be seen as an expert—share (or retweet, etc.) informative posts from early learning sources you respect as a professional.