Social Media - Planning for Christmas

Kate Tyler
Monday, November 16, 2015

The festive season is fast approaching. But this is no time to let your social media use slip, says expert Kate Tyler – in fact, it presents opportunites for easy, morale-boosting public relations

We may not like hearing the word ‘Christmas’ too early, but already twinkly lights are adorning town centres and silver bells are decorating the shops. Christmas means Santa visits and parties – much more fun than social media, right?

But these are just the things to brighten up your newsfeed online. Read on for four tips for making the most of social media during the festive season; they will make your life easier, too.

PLAN AHEAD

Start by drawing up a calendar of festive events. Make a note of when you are closed, when you are hol

  • Update and publish

ding parties, when Father Christmas is visiting, when you are baking mince pies, and so on. Make sure you include everything you can think of.

Next, take advantage of Facebook’s ‘scheduling’ option and write as many of these posts in advance as you can. Give parents plenty of warning about the important dates.

An hour spent doing this at the start of the month will mean parents feel so much more informed and involved and you don’t have to remember day by day what to tell them about.

Plan ahead to decide who will take pictures and ensure you share the appropriate ones after each event as well.

SAY THANK YOU TO STAFF

The end of the year is a good time to say thank you to your staff for all their hard work over the past year. If you do it online, all your parents can share in the appreciation.

How you do this is setting dependent. For example, small settings could do a ‘12 Days of Christmas’ and share a photo of a different member of staff each day with a message about the contribution they make.

If you are short on time, just one picture of everyone with a big thank you from management will still be appreciated.

END THE YEAR ON A (BLOGGING) HIGH

Why not take a bit of time between Christmas and New Year to reflect?

Many nurseries now are pulling everything together in a blog post, summarising all the exciting things they have been doing at their setting in the build up to Christmas.

If you don’t have a blog, a lon-ger-than-normal post on Facebook will work just as well. Do include lots of pictures.

DON’T FORGET TO PROMOTE

Nurseries must never lose sight of the drive for new families, and Christmas is an important time for this.

There are two things you can do to help promote your nursery to a new audience.

Firstly, be proactive. Choose the most unusual or noteworthy festive event you are planning and note down the key details (who, what, when and why). Invite your local press to try to get some added exposure, especially if there is a charitable or community angle.

Secondly, be reactive. Is one of the Facebook posts doing better than the others? Boost it! Pay a bit extra to show it to other parents in your area - it will be a great way for them to see inside the nursery and the kinds of things you do without them feeling like they are being sold to.

Make sure you take some time out to relax yourself. Let your fans and followers know that you will be taking a break from social media. That way you can properly switch off, put your feet up and have some much-needed rest.

Kate Tyler is managing director of Shake Social, a social media agency for the early years

Tell us about your social media progress using #nwsocial on Twitter

Facebook

The most popular network and the most powerful for nurseries. People can collect 'friends' and companies can collect 'likes' for their profile pages.

Twitter

This real-time service is unrivalled for fast-paced, breaking news. Use hashtags (#) to group conversations together. Tweets are limited to just 140 characters.

Pinterest

A virtual pinboard for all the things you love. Boards are based on different themes, with images 'pinned' on your board linking back to the website they came from.

YouTube

YouTube is now the second largest search engine in the world. Owned by Google, it is immensely popular and affects your online search rankings.

Blogs

A blog (web-log) is an online article or journal that can include text, images and video.

Google+

Although not as widely used as other social networks, Google+ does influence search engine rankings.

LinkedIn

Connects people for professional purposes.

Instagram

With its square format and retro filters, Instagram gives your images a polaroid feel. Only available for use on mobile phones, it is intended to be about recording the moment.

Snapchat

Allows users to create 'snaps' - photos or videos that only last for up to ten seconds once the recipient has opened them.

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