Effective social media marketing matters.
For this blog, I am sharing with you the expertise of two social media marketers. Their responses to the questions below can help make your social media marketing program even more effective.
“Millennials, who are the majority of the current preschool parents, are heavily influenced by social media and use social media regularly. Even before touring a school, parents go online to check reviews, websites, and social media for schools they are considering,” says Maria Jose Morla, Director of Branding of Miami-based KLA Schools. Maria Jose keeps a close eye on social media for all KLA Schools, and has found families investigating preschools typically rely first on word of mouth, then 53% on online reviews, and 25% on social media.
There is measurable value in effective social media marketing.
“There is a near consensus that social media marketing is valuable, because it allows companies to directly engage with their customers, build brand presence, and ultimately sell more services and products,” per Nicole Waliczek, Founder and Owner of Guardian Marketing, LLC., and a social media marketing specialist with experience in early care and education. “Social media, if done correctly, can generate and nurture leads, create relatable images and messaging to build trust, and bring a sense of community.”
Which social media platforms perform better?
MJM – “You have to know your target market in order to decide the best platform to reach them. Facebook and Instagram remain the best social media platforms for brand awareness and to market your business. According to Forbes, social media usage among millennials in 2021 was Facebook: 75%, YouTube: 72%, and Instagram: 58%. Since Instagram is more visual and is an app on your phone, it is the best platform to use for brand awareness, as well as to market your brand if you are targeting millennials.”
NW – “97% of marketers are using social media to promote their business. More than half of these marketers plan to increase their use of the following social media platforms: blogging, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest.”
What are keys to create more effective social media posts?
- Share engaging content that is aligned with your brand image and values.
- Use quality pictures, always remember quality over quantity – make sure the pictures you are sharing portray the quality your school offers. Some examples are: pictures are clear and not pixelated, check to see there’s nothing concerning in the background of the picture, for children appearing in the post make sure you have permission to include them.
- Make sure the copy of the post explains the picture or graphic you are sharing and has a call to action that motivates parents (or your visitors) to take some type of action!
- Share hashtags that are relatable to the industry as well as specific to the post.
- Add location to your posts to increase reach.
- Catchy, engaging videos, especially short 15-30 second clips, perform well on social media.
- Another great tactic is boosting the post that performs better organically since you know your target already likes that post.
- If you decide to do a campaign on Facebook and Instagram, run it for at least 7-10 days, the time you will need to get the campaign analytics.
- Understand your audience. Think to yourself “What is this person coming to my SM account for and talk to them, engage with them! Companies who know their target audiences well create content that enhances their brand and engages their core audience.
- Provide useful content. Thoughtfully create content that your audience will find useful and shareable. You have only three seconds to grab their attention- so title that video and content well! Make the post relatable and something that people recognize about your brand.
- Stay relevant. Post frequently and be sure to create a variety of content so that you have different things that appeal to all segments of your audience. Find the balance between staying true to your brand and engaging your audience.
For Facebook here are some success tips…
- A compelling brand image for your profile photo, and an appealing description (profile) of your center
- All relevant contact information (website, address, phone number
- A search-friendly username (@Username), which is usually your center’s brand name. This is how parents can find your center on Facebook.
- For content, use videos – short, high-quality video of a special event or learning activity at your center or a quick tour of one of your classrooms.
- For images, share photos of children’s work or showcase your healthy lunch selections
- For text posts, a question, such as, “What Thanksgiving craft do you remember making as a child?” (For me, it’s the hand-print turkey!)
- Use stories that are photos or short videos that appear at the top of the news feed that can be viewed up to two times then disappear after 24 hours.
- For link posts, link to content from your center’s website, such as your latest blog, safety protocols, or other helpful websites.
To make your Instagram posts more effective, do this…
- Always have content relevant to your audience’s interests.
- Use hashtags that are relatable to your industry and to the post at hand. Hashtags are a great way to build an online community and increase engagement with your audience. Some great examples of hashtags for a childcare center are #learning #schoolsname #artisfun #dance #learnthroughplay #curriculum #newteacher
What are three things to avoid in social media marketing?
- Don’t post things not aligned to your brand.
- Don’t interact with brands or accounts that are not aligned to your values.
- Don’t have an inactive account, regularly pursue how to engage with your followers.
- Don’t be so Me-me-me-me-me! Bring value to your audience- give them tangible things to mentally digest or to try, and keep the conversation going. Although you are a brand and a company, they do not want to just hear about you.
- Don’t be a “Suzy Seller”. No one likes to feel like they just been exposed to a sales pitch they did not request. Instead, follow the 5-3-2 rule:
5: should be curation – sharing others’ content
3: should be creation – relevant content you’ve produced yourself
2: should be humanization – personal, fun, and relaxed content that humanizes your brand.
- Double-check your spelling and grammar. Your social media profiles, like your website, are your virtual shop windows. Making a mistake in your content – either a simple typo or a full-blown grammar gaff – can look as though you are not living up to your brand as an early education provider. Proofread before posting.