The Importance of a Facebook Presence for Child Care
Don’t have a Facebook Page for your Child Care program? You are missing out! One of the easiest ways to market your child care program and communicate with current families is right at your fingertips.
No matter how big or small your business is, an internet presence is essential. People use the internet for so much information, when it is convenient for them. Many child care programs and family child care centers do not have a website, but an alternative to creating a website is to make a Facebook page for your program.
Currently, there are over 800 million active Facebook users worldwide. More than 50% of the active users log on to Facebook in any given day. The average user has 130 friends and is connected to 80 Pages, Groups, and Events. (Source: https://www.facebook.com/press/info.php?statistics) Where else can you find someone who talks to over 100 people a day? What better way is there to reach and influence your existing and potential customers?
What should be included your Facebook page:
- Display all of your contact information. Your page information tab should include your address, phone number, email, and website, if applicable. It is important to include all ways for current and potential customers to get in touch with you.
- The Info section also has places to put your Description, Mission, Awards, and Products. This is a great place to sell your program. What makes you special? How do you stand out from other programs?
- Show pictures of your program. Your main profile picture should be that of your logo or an overall picture of your center or house. You can add photo albums to your page also. Examples of albums could be Art Projects, Room Arrangements, Class Parties, Show N Tell Time, Field Trips, etc. It is very important to get parents’ permissions to publish their child’s photo to your Facebook page or website. You can utilize our Permission to Photograph letter (http://www.childcarelounge.com/printform/permission_to_photograph.pdf) or find a Photo Release letter online.
- Wall Postings. Once your Facebook page is up and running, you can begin posting on your Wall. Though there are no rules on how often you should post on Facebook, posting too little can defeat the purpose of a Facebook page, and posting too much can cause your followers to feel bombarded. It is best to probably keep your postings to 3-7 times a week. There are many things you can post to your wall:
- Reminders – Remind parents that tuition is due, that the 4-year-olds are taking a field trip next week, that fundraiser money is due, etc.
- Announcements – Let parents know that you hired a new teacher, that you passed your latest inspection, that you are extending your hours, etc.
- Tips – Provide child care/parenting tips and ideas. Little tidbits and advice can go a long way. Remember that the average Facebook user has 130 friends. If they like the advice you post, they have the option to ‘Share’ it on their wall. This can lead to more exposure to your page. For example, a current parent may share one of your postings. One of their friends has young children and was looking for child care. They may see your post and click on your page, leading them to check out your program.
- Articles – If you find a good article or news story online, share the link on your wall.
Having an active Facebook page is a simple marketing tool that doesn’t take much time to get up and running. Just dedicating a few minutes a day to your page can make a world of difference.
To create a Facebook page for your child care program, you must first be a Facebook user yourself. If you are not on Facebook, you can create your own personal account at https://www.facebook.com/. After you have created your own account, you can then create a page. Facebook has a step-by-step overview of directions on how to create your page. Directions can be found at https://www.facebook.com/pages/learn.php.
After you first have your page published, it is time to start letting people know you have a Facebook page. Ask your friends and family to “Like” your page. Tell your teachers and current parents that your page is now available. Be sure to include the link to your Facebook page on your website and marketing materials.