When running a childcare business, you’ll have a million and one tasks to get through every day. Whilst you may know that social media is an important aspect of your business, it can feel daunting.
That said, how you engage with existing and prospective parents will be paramount to the success of your business.
Here’s how you approach your social media engagement with some tried and tested strategies that really work.
First things first
Before you start, it’s worth doing some groundwork.
First of all, identify your goals. You know you want to boost engagement, but what does engagement look like to you? It may come in the form of:
- Click-throughs to your website
- Mentioned (tagged or untagged)
- Increased followers/audience growth
Get a current snapshot of your data so you can measure success later on.
Secondly, get familiar with your audience, as this will determine the strategies you choose.
One audience type — or persona — might be existing parents; another might be prospective parents. Others might include current staff, potential staff, governing bodies, other local community groups, schools, and so on.
Work out who you really want to be engaging with on your social media so you can target your efforts into that specific audience.
Thirdly, being a childcare business, you need to be very clear on your privacy policies. There are clear safeguarding concerns around consent and sharing information and images on social media, so make sure these are fully understood.
Fourthly, determine the platforms you want to use. Identify where you’re more likely to get engagement from the audience you’re trying to reach. You may consider some of the following:
Engagement Strategies that Work
Now you’ve done the groundwork, you can start to plan out your engagement strategies. Here are 4 of the best for a childcare business:
1. Create and share valuable content
The best thing you can do to build engagement is to create and share the kind of content your audience wants to see.
Some ideas of great shareable content might include:
- Videos of activities such as games, sing-alongs, dances, craft sessions, outdoor play
- Photos of artwork created by the children
- Instructions for games or crafts — make this a downloadable pdf for parents to print out and use at home.
- The lyrics to a special song they’ve been learning at childcare
- Event announcements
- Funny anecdotes or quotes from the children.
- Competitions — ask parents to upload their child’s artwork and the best one gets to be shared on social media the following week.
2. Ask Questions
Use your social media to encourage interaction between you and your audience.
When you post or share your content on social media, follow it with a question to prompt a comment. For example “Here’s what we’ve been singing today. What’s your family’s favourite song at the moment?”
3. Respond to comments and questions
It’s easy to put out content on social media and forget to check whether your followers are engaging with it.
Keep the engagement going by responding to every comment you get. It may seem like a lot of extra admin, but you’ll be rewarded by even more engagement going forward.
4. Join in the conversations that matter
Many businesses make the mistake of using social media to broadcast. Rather than use it as a platform purely to show off who you are (although a bit of this is important too), use it to build relationships and foster a sense of community.
Reach out to fellow childcare providers. Share their content; the chances are they’ll reciprocate and share yours too. Use hashtags that resonate in the childcare industry.
By engaging in the broader conversation beyond your business, you’ll demonstrate to your audience that you’re tapped into what’s important and that you have a strong sense of community.
When you next sit down to post to social media, don’t panic. Follow these strategies, and you’ll see your engagement soar in no time.
Don’t forget to measure success, tweak your strategy and keep going!