Thinking about how your childcare setting can benefit from the “Have you heard” effect is worthwhile; especially when you consider a recent study by Newstex.com has found that 92% of people trust recommendations from family and friends more than advertising.
Put quite simply, harnessing the power of word of mouth is possibly the most cost effective and efficient way to increase occupancy...So, how do you make it work for you?
#1 Give people reason to talk
Give parents a reason to talk about your setting by providing excellent service, going the extra mile, being flexible, or doing things much better than your competitors. When people like what you do for them, they will be more encouraged to share their recommendation with others.
#2 Start a fire (...not literally)
Parents love sharing discounts and promotions with their friends and family! Create a buzz around a special offer like sibling discount or money off registration fees, but ensure your incentive is clear and easy to understand. Now, use lots of different avenues to put the word out - like newsletters and emails.
#3 Make it easy to share the message
Make it easy for parents to share their recommendations and comments about your setting with other parents – for instance, by social media networks like Facebook. If you already have a website, you can enhance this effect by linking it to as many social platforms as possible.
#4 Build up your audience
Having a close following of parents online will enable your efforts to be supported with their voices. The effect of having a large number of followers on sites like Twitter is especially important when you consider that 81% of people are influenced by their friends’ social media posts (Newstex.com).
#5 Make a good impression
Try your best to ensure that every interaction that people have with your nursery is a positive one, however brief. The experience of every person that steps through your door can have an effect (good or bad) on everyone else that they speak with about your setting.
What do you think of using word of mouth to advertise? Let us know!