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Community-Building in the 21st Century: Social Media and Digital Marketing

by Margaret Teller
January/February 2012
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/community-building-in-the-21st-century-social-media-and-digital-marketing/5020390/

One of the greatest challenges for any child care program has always been attracting new families and maintaining or increasing enrollment. This task becomes even more daunting as additional competition enters the market or when economic factors such as increasing unemployment, fuel, and food costs cause parents to scramble for less-expensive child care options. The recent economic downturn has forced many providers to tighten their budgets, scale back their operations, or worse, close their doors.

The good news is that there are some cost-effective marketing strategies that child care operators can embrace. If deployed carefully, with a well thought out strategy, these tactics can provide solid results for little to no investment. At the Children’s Workshop, a provider of child care and quality early childhood education in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, we recently developed a creative marketing program that combines social media, family engagement (e.g., customer relations), and community involvement initiatives. Our efforts have strengthened our reputation and trust within the communities we serve.

Marketing Philosophy

Before we could design a marketing strategy, we needed to better understand our organization’s philosophy and goals. Did we simply want to boost enrollments? Was our primary goal to be the first name anyone in town ...

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