I recently spoke at the Fairfax County Office for Children Family Child Care Conference. Like all businesses today, family child care providers need to market online. Parents are shopping for services online and providers without a presence online simply don’t exist. However, these businesses face a special challenge – they serve children and have a great responsibility to protect their privacy online.
This is not an insurmountable challenge. I offer five tips to help these businesses market safe and smart online:
Tip 1: Have a Marketing Plan
In order to gain customer trust, show expertise, and meet potential customers, every business needs to have a marketing plan.
- Define your business goal
- Create your value proposition
- Know your target audience
Tip 2: Plan for Safety
Understand the The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act and adhere to the guidelines. Do not share personal information about children online.
Tip 3: Use images and video .
Visuals make a more lasting impression than words alone. But be careful.
- Make sure you have permission
- No need to be timely
- Consider using stock images
Tip 4: Use Facebook
It’s not much of an exaggeration to say that everyone is on Facebook. For child care businesses, a well-developed personal page may be enough to demonstrate your professionalism online as well as your approach to your work. However, having a business page for your business can be beneficial to letting new customers find you.
Tip 5: Use Other Social Media
It’s not all about Facebook. Every business needs to know where customers are online and connect with people there. The right places to be will change over time as new channels become available and as user preferences change.
- Each channel offers different opportunities
- Different approach needed for each
- The “right” place to be online depends on your target customer