10 Tips for Facebook Networking Success
When you are running a daycare business and have room to expand or accept new kids, you may start wondering where to find your next clients. You know social media is a great way to get the word out and find new clients, but which one is best? Facebook tends to be the go-to for local businesses. They allow you to create and join groups as well as word of mouth.
When you advertise your services on Facebook, you want to make a clear description of what you offer. You want to create either a page or a group (or both) based around your business and you want to be active, get reviews and really converse with your clients and followers.
Create a Facebook Business Page
The first step will be to create a business page. This is how you are found and keep in touch with your customers. The page is the best way to reach others. They are free, public and easy to control. You want to make sure to fill out every section, and provide contact information so potential customers can get ahold of you.
Create a Clear Description of What You Offer
When you start, you want to be clear about what type of daycare you offer. If you provide snacks, meals or if they bring their own mention that. Provide them with a description of all safety precautions you provide and what certifications you have. If you offer daycare services for people on government subsidized child care, mention you accept it.
Make sure you let them know the hours you are open as well as the number of children you watch and child to adult ratio, if you have more than one adult. If you keep the kids on a schedule, include that information as well. Think from the perspective of a potential client and consider what information you would want before choosing a daycare provider and provide as much information as you can in the description.
Facebook pages give you a small description and larger description, make sure to use both. Use the small description section as a kind of elevator pitch and the larger description to provide as much detail as you can.
Once you have created the page, make sure to create a beginning post with the detailed information and click the top right of the post in order to pin it to the top, that way you will have the important information pinned and always shown.
Get Reviews and Recommendations
Facebook pages now allow you to review and recommend a company. Talk to the people whom you have already babysat for to give you a public review. Facebook pushes that more people are likely to view your page if you have good reviews.
If you are a brand new business, you may not have paying customers from a daycare but you may have babysat for others. They will work just as well, as long as they come from people who have actually entrusted their kids to you.
Word of mouth also works to help. If you have a couple parents who have had you babysit and someone else on their newsfeed is looking, they could recommend your services and point them to your page.
Learn how to make your daycare stand out here.
Stay Active on Your Page
Make sure you engage with your followers. You do not want it to be nonstop advertising. Post a mix of personal (recipe, real life, life hacks or other things that your potential customers may want to see). If you try several different types of posts, you will find that the engagement is higher with some than others. When you have enough different posts, you will know what types to stick with more than others.
Make sure to also keep updates on closures or other important information for customers as well. You do want to make sure you keep them in the loop, but business shouldn’t be all you post either.
Anytime someone responds, make sure you engage with them. Even if you simply like or love the comment and don’t reply, you still want them to know you read every comment and are responsive.
Creating a Private Group
Groups are also great ways to get more engagement. Groups can be public or private, most people opt for private. If you create a group, you can ask more personal questions and use the group to get to know your clients better- and let them get to know you better.
In order to get more participation, play games. Games can be fun and keep people entertained. Contests work well with getting people to add friends. You can also post news and any special events going on in your daycare.
Pages are necessities but groups are more private and intimate. Using both (and connecting them) is better than just using a group or a page. Use the page to reach out and gain new clients and a group for private things- schedule changes and special activities.
Other Tips and Tricks
Word of mouth works well for gaining new clients. Offer an incentive for happy clients to recommend your services to their friends or family who is looking for a new daycare.
Using direct, paid advertising on Facebook can be hit or miss. You need to make sure your ad stands out. It would be best to film a video ad- and be energetic. That will make your ad stand out from the other ads that pop up on newsfeeds.
Do not set a budget too high unless you know you can cover it, or other ads that were similar have proved to be successful. You want to make money, not waste money advertising on Facebook. You also don’t want to blow your entire advertising budget on one website.
Use video and pictures. More people are likely to pay attention to your post if you use either pictures or video than just words. Pictures need to be bright, interesting and really stand out and videos should be made energetically and with music that will perk the listener up.
Facebook is probably one of the best ways to advertise to gain a following and new clients out of all the social media sites. It lets you offer services directly to people local to your area and allows you to target specific people. It also allows you to stay connected to your regular customers in ways that other social media may not.
You do not have limitations on how long your posts can be. You can post pictures, videos and text. You can start a blog on your professional site and share the blogs.
What Other Social Sites Work Well?
One of the other major sites to use is Instagram. Take pictures of your daycare set up, if any parents give permission, take pictures of kids playing and doing special activities (but make sure to get a consent form for social media posts).
NextDoor also offers very direct, local advertising and lets you register your business on the site. NextDoor is a very local site where you have to register in your own neighborhood and can only communicate with close neighbors.
Twitter is great for short, brief alerts and sharing blog posts from your website.
How Else Can You Reach Potential Clients?
You can reach other potential clients organically through word of mouth. You could try coming up with a one month reduction if someone refers a friend and they sign up with you.
You could advertise through radio or TV- they may not be used as much, but find the stations that are played in local doctor’s offices (especially OB/GYNs or pediatricians) and if you can, advertise on those channels. People still listen to the radio while driving and in some workplaces, so that is another viable idea.
Advertise in the local classifieds section of the newspaper as well as online classifieds. Craigslist and other similar sites can also help find clients.
Please note: This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult a legal expert to address your specific needs.
To learn more on how to start your own daycare checkout my startup course and documents here.