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Using Social Media in ECCE settings

Using Social Media in Early Learning & Care Settings

September 1, 2020

Before COVID-19, Early Years and School Age Childcare settings were using digital media quite a lot to communicate with parents and families. The pandemic has ensured that many more settings are embracing digital! Following on our previous articles on the same topic, here are a few tips for you:

 

Understand your audience

Know as much as possible about your audience. While a lot of it may come from your general market knowledge, there are monitoring tools that can help you understand what your audience is interested in. Your choices will depend on your audience and their preferences like social media channel, the time they spend on it etc. Are you using digital media to communicate with parents, to generate new business or to document children’s learning and development? 

 

Goal setting

With the constant changes in the various channels and people’s preferences, we suggest you have periodic goals for your social media. For example, if you are only starting up, the goal can be ‘to spread the word and get comfortable with your chosen channel’ and you can work on increasing awareness/audience. Then you can decide on how often you are going to use social media.

Based on the stage at which your marketing efforts are at, you can focus on goal setting and tracking for the following:

  • Awareness – increase awareness among families.
  • Engagement – create interesting content that your audience will engage with.
  • Conversion – convince your audience about the value of the service you are providing. 

 

Choose your platform/channel

It is important to keep yourself updated on the best platforms to use for your audience type. Once you have defined your audience and goals, you can choose the platform/channel you want to focus on. Or, you can create a presence across all of the most popular channels with a focus on where you feel your audiences are more active. For example, LinkedIn is good for Business to Business (B2B) (where your audience/customers are other businesses), while Facebook works well for Business to Customers (B2C) (where your audience is other customers).

 

Get creative

To standout amidst all the content out there, it always helps to be creative and consistent with what you post. Consider what type of subject matter will best interest your audience and try to create content around it. For example, if you are a sessional preschool setting, you can try to post helpful tips for parents of pre-schoolers. If you review your insights, you will understand the type of posts that get better engagement. This can help you decide the type of content to focus on.

 

Hashtags

Hashtags are word tagging used by many social media platforms to help users search for particular content. Therefore, using hashtags in your posts helps you gain more visibility. Instagram is the platform where most hashtags are used. You can try up to 30 hashtags – ones that work for you and the sector while tweets need only one or two hashtags. Here is an interesting article on hashtags if you would like to research further on it.

 

Time and Frequency

Depending on the content you produce, the channel you use and your level of audience engagement,  the time and frequency with which you post may vary. This tendency is also dependant on the trends at any given point. This is an interesting take on the trends of 2020.

 

GDPR

Read up on the consents required around the content you post on your social media. Ensure that you have the needed consents while posting photos of the children attending your setting. Certain consents come with a valid period; ensure you have a system in place to remove such content after the period is over.

Metrics

Metrics are the end of the loop to bring you back to understanding your audience and reviewing your strategy. At every stage, see what works for you in terms of content, time, hashtags etc. Every channel has an ‘insight’ section to help you understand what worked best for you. To understand a bit more about metrics, you can refer here.

 

Mindfulness

Check your facts before you post. If there is a controversy, try not to participate. Avoid memes (an image or a video, that is intended to be humourous, that is shared rapidly on social media) and any content that could create a divide. It is important to have a sustained voice of positivity and calm.

 

To conclude, social media is the new age story telling and telling our own story has been human nature since we can remember. The struggle in the modern age is the abundance of stories and our need to be heard better in the clutter. The trends and channels keep evolving based on their studies of our behavioural patterns from time to time. The constant emphasis has been on content and quality. So, put on your creative hats on, and go on with the ‘story of your journey’.

 

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