Now that the hustle and bustle of back to school season is over, we have finally approached the holiday season. I know for some people the holiday season might not start until Thanksgiving, but for parents and teachers it starts with Halloween, with October through New Years just being one big blur of arts and crafts fun. Things can get chaotic during this time of year, but the one thing to keep in mind from a marketing perspective is that this time of year is gold! Holiday-themed photo ops of adorable little kids and community marketing ideas are endless and can be used throughout the year in all of your marketing collateral, especially on your Facebook pages.
With your Facebook page being one of the first things millennial parents look at before scheduling a tour, you should want your page to be full of life and provide a sense of the fun culture and community that you’ve created. While some of these photo op and community marketing ideas are obvious to some during the chaos, others are too preoccupied dealing with the day to day struggle of cleaning glitter up from everywhere. If you find yourself at a creative block to kick off marketing your school strong this Halloween season, here are five easy, inexpensive community marketing photo op ideas that you can leverage on your child care business Facebook page.
1. Hold a Teacher Costume Contest
Do you allow your teachers and staff to join in on the Halloween fun? If so, it’s a perfect opportunity to drive traffic and engagement to your Facebook page by holding a costume contest for your teachers by taking photos of them in their costumes and posting them on your school’s Facebook page. Let parents vote for their favorite by “liking” their photos and whoever has the most “likes” by the end of the day wins!
Not only will holding a costume contest help get your teachers into the Halloween spirit, but they will also be eager to share that post in hopes of gathering the most “likes” on their photo, in turn exposing your page to more families in your area. Also, your parents will get a kick out of the goofy photos, and potential families who are scrolling your page will especially love seeing the photos so they can get a sense of how you incorporate fun into your culture.
2. Hold a Pumpkin Carving/Decorating Contest
Ask your local pumpkin patch or farmers if they would be willing to donate their leftover pumpkins to your school so you can provide one to each family when during pickup and invite them to enter your pumpkin carving/decorating contest. When handing off pumpkins to your families, be sure to also provide them with a flyer that has all the necessary contest information and rules, and include a special thank you to your generous pumpkin donor to get them the love and exposure they were promised.
You could even ask your pumpkin donor to come to your school to be a part of the judging panel and awards ceremony. By inviting your donor to participate in these events, your providing them with transparency, which will in turn make them feel much more satisfied with their decision to donate to your school and will make them much more likely to do so again.
Make sure to give a shoutout to all of your participants on your Facebook page by posting photos of all the pumpkins entered! And, be sure to post a picture with your amazing donor and all of their beautifully transformed pumpkins to give them a special thank you and shoutout so hopefully your families will circle back to them for all of their pumpkin needs in the future!
3. Host a Halloween Costume Parade
Do you let the children at your school dress up for Halloween? If you do, this leads to an awesome opportunity to hold a costume parade and partner with other local businesses and spread the word about your school.
Create a short route for the kids to walk the sidewalks as parents and passers gush over how cute they look in their little costumes. Ask the local businesses that are on or near your route if they would be interested in donating any Halloween treats or goodies for the children to collect as they walk by, or if your local coffee shop would like to donate hot coffee for parents to stay warm with as they watch the parade. You could even ask your local grocery store or farmers if they could donate pie pumpkins for each of the children to take home – the possibilities are endless.
Partnering with local businesses for your costume parade is another win-win for everyone involved. Your school will get some free advertising by your partnered businesses sharing your event, your families and kids will have a fun, memorable experience and get some festive goodies, and your local businesses will get some extra exposure and love from your parents and the community.
And, I’m sure I don’t even have to tell you how many adorable photos you will be able to get from this event to post on social media! Your local businesses will be happy to share your posts related to the parade since they were a part of it, your parents will share any post showing off their kids cute costume, and any potential parents scrolling your page will be amazed at how much time and energy you put into creating a memorable experience for your families.
4. Hold a Candy drive
Do you have a local homeless shelter or food pantry in your neighborhood that you think would appreciate being a part of the Halloween fun? Because all of your families are out buying candy anyways for their own celebrations and it is fairly inexpensive, you’ll be amazed at the response you get from asking your families to donate a bag or two of unopened candy to give to them.
Be sure to snap a photo of all of the candy you have collected and leverage it on social media. Your subconscious might feel a little uneasy about leveraging your donations for attention on social media, but I assure you that you don’t have to. Keep in mind that any time you post a photo announcing a donation to a charity/organization that you’re not only demonstrating your care for your community, but you’re also helping to shine a light on them as well. Instead of feeling guilty about leveraging your donation on social media, view it as a win-win for both you and the charity you are donating to.
After the candy has been collected, it’s time for you to go drop it off, or instead of you going solo, you can see if you can turn this candy drive into a team-building experience by inviting your staff to join you in dropping off the candy and staying after to volunteer for a few hours. (Again, this will make a great photo op to leverage on social media and help get the word out about your local charity!)
5. Serve Up Some Halloween Treats
What gets people in the holiday spirit more than serving up holiday-themed treats? These treats don’t always have to be full of sugar and junk – thanks to Pinterest, there are endless healthy treat ideas for any holiday!
How about checking out if your local grocery store, pediatrician, or even health-nut mom is interested in helping put together a Halloween treat creating station in your school? The kids can make a fun, healthy holiday treat while being informed of all of the nutritious benefits of the food they are putting into their bodies while learning of the sweet alternatives to indulge in during Halloween besides candy.