With over 32,000,000 users in the UK alone (1.65 billion worldwide), Facebook is the most popular social media platform. Because of this we all tend to know the basics, but in order to promote your Early Years setting effectively, it’s worth learning how best to use Facebook for marketing purposes.
To start with, you’ll need to make a Facebook business page. You probably already have a page for your setting, but it’s always useful to get back to basics. Luckily, Facebook guides you through the process, step-by-step, and makes sure to remind you of anything you may have forgotten to add (such as opening times).
Watch out for those pesky cover photos: it can sometimes be tricky to get the right size/arrangement so your cover photo looks professional and not messy. Follow Facebook’s guidelines to make sure yours looks great!
Nowadays, people are much more likely to contact a business via their social media, rather than a ‘contact us’ page on their website, so making sure your setting is available and easily found on Facebook is invaluable. Facebook Business pages are free and simple to create, with a variety of free tools to help you achieve specific goals, such as targeting a certain type of audience. Facebook also makes it easy to create ads from scratch, or from posts on your page, to promote your business.
Pages show all the essential information about your business, such as your address, contact numbers and opening hours. You can also set up your Facebook Messenger inbox to generate automated responses to common questions, saving you some time!
Facebook Insights analyses the audience you’re reaching, helping you to make sure you’re targeting the right people and work out what type of content does well with certain types of people.
Facebook ads can be tailored to suit your needs exactly, but this does mean that it can be quite daunting to start building one.
The ad creation process is made up of three sections:
- Campaign level: This is where you select the ad objective, or overall goal of your campaign. This could be:
Awareness - helping more people to see your organisation by showing your ad to as many people as possible in your target audience.
Consideration - encouraging people to think about your setting and want more information about certain aspects by driving people to any URL you choose, such as your website or a blog post, etc..
Conversions - encouraging people to take a specific action on your business's site, such as registering their interest in an open day or applying for a place for their child.
- Ad set level: This is where you define the audience that you'd like to reach, choose your ad placements, determine a budget and set a schedule. Audience targeting can include a target location, interests (such as parenting groups) or even using your page’s current audience to find like-minded people.
- Ad level: This is where you'll design the ads themselves. You can choose your ad format, upload images and video, and add text, links and more. This is where you really want to take your time to make sure your ad is professional and impressive, so don’t rush it!
In terms of spend, you can set daily or lifetime budgets for your ads. Daily budgets are a set amount per day for as long as your ad is running, bringing in fairly consistent results for the duration. Daily budgets are not firmly capped so may go slightly over or under your set spend in order to get the best results. Lifetime budgets are a set amount for the duration of your ad and are firmly capped so you won’t go over your budget. The lack of a daily limit means that, if the ad is doing particularly well on a particular day, more may be spent than on other days when it isn’t picking up as much traction.
Remember, the purpose of marketing your Early Years setting on Facebook is to show your business to the best of your ability, so make sure those images are crisp and clear (not blurred!), captions are concise, to-the-point and spelled correctly and that all your information is up to date so, when the flood of new page visitors comes in, they’ll find everything they’re looking for!