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How can Social Relationships Help My Nursery?

August 31, 2022
5 minute read

It feels as though the world is full of hardship right now, and the early years sector is no different. With rising costs of living, sky high fuel prices, threats of increasing minimum wage and years of underfunding, the future certainly doesn’t feel rosy. 

But as always, here at The Early Years Company, we like to try and stay focussed on solutions, find the action we can take that could lead us to positive outcomes. So, whilst our outgoings are increasing, we need to ensure our occupancy is at its optimum. How do we do this? One way is through developing social relationships! 

Social media is now a mainstream, normal part of our everyday lives. It’s where we ask for recommendations, find reviews and search a wide variety of topics. And this is true for early years. Parents use social media to find local settings, read parent feedback and reviews and understand what services are available to them. 

According to a Facebook Meta report, the pandemic has led to permanent shifts in the way people build relationships and communicate with brands through social media. 

The stats tell us that people have increased their social media usage by 25% just to keep up with their favourite brands. What’s more, there has been a 56% increase in people being more likely to choose brands that provide them with new experiences online.

If we put our business manager hat on for a moment, we can see that our potential customers are permanently changing the way they engage with brands…..and whether you like it or not, your nursery is a brand. 

So, we should probably not only get on board with these changes, but make a conscious effort to actively take advantage, right?

Of course! 

Now is the time to get focussed on your social media presence and ensure that your setting is getting in front of those families seeking early education and childcare. Building a community of followers, who love what you post, comment on and share your posts can attract to more people to view them – its all about algorithms, but we don’t need to know the science, we just need to do the work! 

So, start this new term with a focus on developing your social relationships by following our top tips; 

  • Get Strategic

We love a strategy plan at EYC and developing a strategic social marketing plan is essential. Ask yourself the following questions: 

  • What is my goal?  Eg…. To increase occupancy by 10% by end of the year
  • Who are my audience?  Eg…. Families with a child under 5 within a 10 mile radius 
  • What is my USP? Eg…Forrest school provision
  • What social media platforms will I use?
  • What are my success measures? 
  • Decide on content. 

Your content needs to be engaging and show off all the things your setting does best. Make sure that the content is relevant and appeals to your families. A mix of activities in nursery, activities to do at home, recipes, ideas, government updates etc can keep your posts interesting and varied. Ensure that your posts are aligned with the values, vision and ethos of your setting and your wider community.  Some ideas for posts include; 

  • Welcome new staff member
  • Nursery events and news
  • Activities
  • Celebration days
  • Industry news
  • Motivational or inspirational quotes
  • Children’s quotes
  • Parents feedback
  • Images of meals and activities in action
  • Test & Measure

Most social media platforms have analytics built into them, to have a look and see what’s working for you. What posts are people sharing or engaging with? Use the data to refine your strategy and do more of what’s bringing you success. 

  • Update your website

A website is an essential piece of the puzzle. Parents will want an easy to navigate website that’s optimised for mobile viewing. They want a quick and accessible way to find answers to their questions and to get the information they need. Its also a great way for you to capture the data you need, such as contact details, in order to arrange a tour of your nursery for them. 

List with Google and other websites such as Daynurseries.com so that when families search for you, you are there in front of them. 

  • Share your content

It’s no good having great posts if no one knows you’re there. Share your posts on local social pages, ask friends and parents to share on their social media too and share other peoples content if its relevant. 

Taking this action will certainly increase your reach, enabling you to share your information with a wider audience on a more strategic level, thus increasing occupancy. 

Of course, social media is only one way to increase your occupancy….if you want to learn more strategies to get more families using your nursery and build your numbers, book onto our Increasing occupancy session on 5th September and find out how you can fill your nursery fast! 

Increasing Occupancy - 5th September - Early Years Leadership

Liked this post? Check out Early Years Leadership: pandemic pressures and future growth | Early Years Leadership

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