If you’re a child care center owner, you know that every day presents a new challenge. Posting the occasional picture of your center isn’t enough to cultivate an active Instagram following, but often, it’s the only thing you have time for.
If maintaining your school’s Instagram feed isn’t high on your priority list, we completely understand. You have other responsibilities all around you! That’s why we’re here to make it easier.
In this post, we’ll look at some best practices for posting on Instagram, how to rebrand your Instagram (if needed), and common mistakes to avoid.
Instagram Best Practices
Organic content, like photos of your facilities and children in classrooms, will always perform well — parents want to see happy kids doing happy things.
But your Instagram is also part of your digital storefront, and it needs informative, brand-building posts that communicate your value to parents looking for a school.
A good mix of organic and brand-focused content will connect best with your school’s current and future parents. Here’s what to include in that mix:
Highlight Your Differentiators
Your posts need to be informative and communicate your child care center’s individual value.
What does your school offer that others don’t? A new playground? All-organic meals? A camera system that allows parents to check on their kids throughout the day?
When you focus on your differentiators, you set yourself apart from your competition and communicate who you are as a brand.
Share Your ‘Why’
Content that speaks to the “why” of your brand — such as mission statements and founding principles — tells parents and prospects exactly what they can expect from your staff, your curriculum, and your company.
“Why” posts demonstrate to prospects that your business is reliable, and provide much-needed peace of mind to parents who want to know their child is in good hands.
Showcase Your Staff
Staff recognition, such as Teacher of the Month awards and staff birthdays, are also popular among parents. They enjoy connecting with and learning about the people caring for their children.
When you receive exceptional reviews or testimonials from happy parents, post those as branded graphics.
Bringing attention to your five-star reviews generates excitement and enthusiasm for your brand and encourages other parents to leave reviews.
Post About Programs and Events
Finally, don’t forget to post about any upcoming events, from special days like “PJ Day” to programs like “Summer Camp.” Posts about upcoming events remind enrolled students’ parents what’s to come and give prospective parents a valuable glimpse into your school.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
While there are many mistakes schools can make on Instagram, these two are the most common:
Mistake #1: Not Following Visual Branding Guidelines
Your school should have a “brand kit” containing visual guidelines that ensure consistency in your brand’s appearance across all platforms.
This brand kit should include your colors, fonts, and logo. If you don’t have a brand kit, Canva is a great place to start.
Following organized visual guidelines makes your brand instantly identifiable. Your Instagram followers will recognize your content solely based on your brand’s colors and fonts, even if they don’t immediately see your school’s name, no matter what type of content you’re posting.
Easy recognition is a core part of building a strong brand. That’s why it’s so important to create and follow branding guidelines.
Mistake #2: Inconsistent Brand Voice
Your brand voice is how your content sounds to your readers, and it must remain consistent, both on and off social media. Like your visual guidelines, your brand voice is part of your brand kit. It makes your school instantly identifiable.
You need to decide ahead of time what you want your brand to sound like. Are you friendly, casual, passionate, energetic, calm?
Also, defining what you don’t want to sound like is just as important as defining what you do want to sound like. What descriptors do you want to avoid? Snobby, formal, elitist, complicated, better-than, busy, frantic?
Be as clear as possible. Then, refer to those guidelines every time your school produces a piece of content.
Delegating a single person to produce all your school’s written content will help ensure everything sounds like it’s coming from a single source. If this isn’t possible for your school at this time, delegate one person to review all your content prior to publication. That will ensure every piece follows your brand voice and nothing sticks out.
How to Rebrand Your Instagram
If you’ve been inconsistent in the past and want to learn how to rebrand your Instagram, you’ve come to the right place. Follow these best practices to start off strong:
Avoid Mistakes 1 & 2
First, you’ll want to avoid the mistakes we mentioned above. Create a strong, organized, clear branding kit, and be consistent in both your visual branding and your brand voice.
Get Photo Disclaimers
Include a photo release disclaimer as part of your enrollment package for every child. This will allow you to take pictures and videos at your school, post them online, use them in marketing materials, etc. Don’t skip this important step!
Use Video and Stories
Instagram loves video. There’s no way around it. Static content doesn’t gain nearly as much traction as video — Instagram Reels get almost 40% more engagement than other content formats!
Stories, though short-lived, can also be very engaging. We’ve found that most users enjoy looking at Stories more than their standard feed. Because Stories disappear after 24 hours, it’s often a good idea to use the Highlights tool to keep them on your page longer.
Have a Business Account
Create a dedicated Instagram account for your business alone. Don’t mix personal and business-related content together on one account.
Link your business’s Instagram account to your business’s Facebook page. For your profile picture, choose either your logo or a picture of your school, and make sure the account name is identical to what your school is called on Google and anywhere else.
Include an informative bio on your Instagram page, along with a link to your website, your enrollment page, or your Linktree (which should be updated regularly) if you’re sharing content elsewhere.
Reply to Comments
Be sure to reply to comments and interact with your community online. Parents want to know you’ll be responsive when they have questions. Showing them you’re on top of things online gives them peace of mind that you’re also on top of things in school.
Overwhelmed? Outsource Your Social!
We understand the burden of running a business, managing a school, and keeping up with social media platforms, not to mention replying to all your comments, reviews, and questions.
That’s where Rose Marketing Solutions can lighten your load. If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you manage social media, rebrand your Instagram, or anything else, contact us today. We’re happy to look over your digital storefront and see where we can help you maximize your marketing dollars.
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