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How to supercharge your children’s activity social media content

Published on 30th July 2020 by Tessa Robinson

What is Social Media?

It is the umbrella name for websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking. Remember the offline definitions and associations of the words SOCIAL and NETWORKING at all times and that will help.

Do you ever go to networking events or parties where you don’t know everyone? Ever been stuck talking to someone at one of these who has banged on about themselves endlessly? Did you make a polite escape as fast as you could? Well, that’s what people will do to you on social media if you self-promote all the time! There are a lot of children’s activity providers out there doing nothing but self-promote on social media and they are missing a trick.

Remember, social media is supposed to be just that… SOCIAL! Optimize your profile to serve as your business card, so you can focus on the fun, helpful and social part instead in your communications. Use your cover picture to promote new classes, holiday camps and events or pin a post.

Who are your customer personas?

children’s activity social mediaCustomer personas (sometimes called buyer personas) are detailed representations of segments within your target audience. You can think of them as your businesses ‘imaginary friends.’ Make sure you have worked out at least two or three of your personas based on target clients and keep them in mind ALWAYS when talking to your audience in any marketing communications. Think of the sort of parents whose children come to your classes – and then think of your ideal customer.

When you are planning and writing your social media content, always ask yourself if your personas would find this post interesting/ informative / funny/ something they can relate to.

Planning your social media content

Ideally plan out your content a month in advance – or a week ahead minimum. Unplanned, ad-hoc content usually doesn’t end in great results.  Ideally have a plan for the year/ quarter and then refine it before the start of each month so you keep on track and don’t miss out on great content opportunities. I recommend scheduling some of your content. There are lots of tools for this such as Buffer and Content Cal if you want to plan across different platforms. If you are just focusing on Facebook content though, I would recommend using Facebook’s own Creator Studio.

What’s Facebook Creator Studio?

Creator Studio lets creators and publishers manage posts, insights and messages from all of your Facebook pages in one place. It’s basically a free dashboard for business owners, social media managers and content creators to manage Facebook pages and Instagram accounts. It is your one-stop shop for social media analytics, scheduling and community management. It brings together all the tools you require to effectively post, manage, monetise and measure content across all your Facebook pages and Instagram.

Find out more about Creator Studio here: Creator Studio (facebook.com)

If you are a Franchisor – or running a business which has different pages for different locations managed by the relevant class leaders, you should be the ‘owner’ of all your franchisee Facebook pages with the Franchisees/ class leaders as Admins or Editors. You will then have access to all the different branch pages should something happen such as a franchisee going AWOL or needing time off suddenly for family or sickness reasons.

Types of social media posts to keep your followers engaged

What you really want to avoid is having one promotion and “selling” type post after another. This will result in low engagement and even a high unfollow rate. Nobody likes to be sold to constantly face-to-face and this is no different online! What you want your social media posts to do is to increase your brand awareness and take your customers on a journey from getting to know you, to liking you and then finally trusting you/ your business. It is only when this final stage has been reached that they are likely to consider a purchase.

You can always repurpose and reshare content so see what you can adapt from Facebook posts to Instagram to Facebook for example and look at what you posted a year ago or more and repost. People will have forgotten about it by now and you will have new follower who will be seeing it for the first time anyway.

Informative posts

Examples include articles with tips or a blog on activities to do with children in hot/ rainy weather. Type of articles and posts that get people to Know, Like and Trust you. This makes them want to follow you and to recommend your posts to their friends by tagging them into something they think would be useful or even sharing the post onto their feed. ‘How to guides’ and ‘quick win’ demonstration videos often go down well too and encourage tags and shares. You could also share useful resources and tools.

Inspirational/ valuable posts

children’s activity social media

This could be something like an interview with a successful local sports star if you run a sports club, a success story, someone who has faced a challenge relevant to your audience. A local person who has won an award or a ‘one day in the life of … series’

Ask a question

For example: Ask for recommendation/ testimonials. Get opinions on current events (be careful not to get into a political debate), ask your fan’s what their ‘favourite’ is out of a range of choices. Ask lifestyle questions/ ‘if you could’ ‘what was your first …’ and other similar open-ended questions that encourage people to engage on your post. You can also do polls and surveys.

Company News/ Stories

You can share recent service/ product offerings, you could share photos from past events and of class leaders/ franchisees, tell people about your accomplishments as a business/ business owner and tell stories about your company and its business. Why/ how did you start it, who were your first customers, favourite moments, best testimonials, video etc.

Show your expertise, gain trust

Share a time and/ or money saving tips – create and share infographics (use a tool like Canva). Or you could review a relevant product or service. Talk about common mistakes people make. For more details information and guidance write blog articles and share those across your social media. Live and videos are a very powerful way of sharing your expertise so try to get over being camera shy. Practise doing lives whilst restricting your audience (in privacy settings) on your personal page to ‘only me’ or just record on your phone.

Lives are meant to be fairly relaxed and people often respond more warmly to ‘raw’ and ‘real’ video footage than something overly formal and polished. That said to be aware of your surroundings and make sure you look presentable obviously and try to do it somewhere without too much background noise or chance of interruption (think of THAT BBC reporter guy with his kids bursting into the room!) and with decent light.

With a bit of practice, you’ll soon feel more confident going live on Facebook and/ or Instagram and you will expand your reach whilst building trust. Parents will appreciate being able to find out more about you and getting a taste of your teaching/ entertaining style before booking places for their children.

Fun posts

children’s activity social mediaIf you can make people laugh, the chances are you can make them like you, although you do of course have to be careful. I would personally avoid black humour or anything remotely political or potentially controversial – better reserved for your personal page when you know your audience better.

Things you can do as social media posts include: posting a funny photo or video, share a “fill the blank” post, post a meme or funny gif (again you know if this would be appropriate for your audience), post fun facts or share funny/ embarrassing stories from your experience as a children’s activity provider (not revealing any personal details without permission obviously).

The Real People behind your brand

Few things build up the know/ like/ trust factor than being authentic and transparent in your social media posts. This is why it is never a good idea to try to pretend to be someone you are not on social media. People will see through it and not find it engaging. So don’t be afraid to reveal who YOU really are AND let your audience get to know the team behind the business. The more they know you, the more loyal they will feel toward you if they are existing customers and the more likely they are to reach that point of trust to purchase if they are prospects.

YOU: Tell people about your goals as a business and as an individual. Let people know how you got started, what you did before, what you wanted to be as a child. Talk about your hobbies and passions and if/ how they relate to the activities you run for children now. Share stories about how you learnt the hard way BUT can help them avoid making the same mistakes you did.

People are nosey by nature and so tell them about your daily routine, your good and bad habits. Talk about your failures – or failings – and what you’ve learnt from them. Let people know what you do to relax after a busy period at work. Talk about your favourite business event/ where you like to go on holiday to unwind. Discuss your values as a person and how these are reflected in your business.

Be real, be passionate about your business and your customers and most of all enjoy it! Social media constantly evolves and so will your content. Every day is a learning journey. If you make a mistake or a post bombs, don’t worry, no one cares – move on and keep on testing, reflecting and refining – you’ll have better social media content and more engagement in no time if you do these things right – and consistently.

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Felicity Sandford is Founder of Amazing Futures Ltd, a digital marketing agency specialising in children’s activities and services. They offer both outsourced marketing management and bespoke training in a range of digital marketing areas, including social media, website content management, blog writing, email marketing and CRM.

Felicity is one of the judges of the 2021 Club Hub children’s activity awards and is also the Social Media Manager for ICAP – Institute of Children’s Activity Providers.

She runs Amazing Futures with Louise Taor, an Email Marketing Consultant who also has heaps of experience in the children’s activity sector. Follow them on Instagram @amazingfuturesdigital

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