Social media allows businesses to connect and engage with potential customers where they are on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, etc. Everyone wants to establish a strong social media presence, but the most common misconception is that just having a social media account is enough.
No matter your social media marketing goal, it’s important to be strategic about your approach. Think about what you want your social media to convey and how you want to leverage it for your business so that your strategy can help you produce the best results.
Markentum wants to share some simple (yet important) practices you should be using to enhance your senior living community’s social media marketing efforts.
1. ENCOURAGE USERS TO TAKE ACTION
When creating a post for social media, you want to make sure you give your visitors a reason to engage with your brand. So whether you ask a question or encourage users to share the post, your message should have an “ask.”
A great way to encourage visitors to interact with your social media profile is by sharing photos of residents at your community - celebrating, participating in activities, and enjoying their days. When users see someone they know in a post, they will be more likely to leave a comment or share the post on their profile. Describing the different events happening at your community can also prompt questions from users about other activities offered.
Beyond getting users to engage with your social media posts, you also want to include content that encourages users to visit your website and reach out to your team. While social media may not be your biggest lead source, it can still benefit your business. In fact, according to Social Media Examiner, “66% of marketers generate leads from social media after spending only six hours per week on social marketing.”
So, the next time you post for your community, make sure to give the visitors a reason to comment or share!
2. KEEP YOUR ACCOUNT ACTIVE
Part of your social media marketing strategy should be to keep your social media accounts accurate and active. Successfully achieving this means regularly posting new content, commenting back to users, answering questions, sharing relevant and timely information, and ensuring all information is up-to-date.
No one likes being ignored, and the same rule applies on social media; responding to a user makes them feel heard and prioritized. Commenting back to questions not only shows good customer service, but it can also avoid repeat questions, as visitors are likely to refer to comments to find the information they need.
You also want to use your social media profiles to share relevant and timely information regarding your community. For example, “90% of social media users have already connected with a business or brand through their preferred platform,” and they do this so they can stay engaged with the brand. Keep your followers up-to-date by sharing community news, events, and information that impacts current and potential customers.
3. SHARE HIGH-QUALITY PHOTOS & VISUAL CONTENT
Social media users are more likely to engage with visual content over solely written material, so sharing as many photos and videos as possible is vital. Pictures provide a more personal and inside look into your senior living community. After all, you wouldn't buy a house without ever seeing the inside.
A high-quality or high-resolution photo has more pixels per inch (ppi), which creates a higher-quality photograph. Unfortunately, sharing blurry, out-of-focus, or small images creates a poor user experience. Fortunately, most newer smartphones feature high-quality cameras, so you can capture everything happening at your community and share it with the people who matter most.
Refer back to our first point. You want users to take action, and photos are highly shareable content. If you post a fun and engaging image, your audience can help you spread your message.
4. BE PROFESSIONAL AND FRIENDLY
While many of your social media followers may be current residents and their family and friends, your social media profiles should reflect the customer service you would provide to a new visitor. Using a professional and friendly tone of voice is important to help legitimize your page in the eyes of any user.
Appropriate community employees should be added as Facebook Administrators on your social media pages, so they have access to directly respond to comments as the page itself. It is vital to reply to comments as the page so users know the information they are receiving is legitimate and professional. If an employee responds from their personal social media profile, a user may be confused about who the unidentified user is and may not find the information trustworthy.
Responding through a personal account can also open up the risk that the user may find something they dislike on the employee's personal page, so it's best to keep all information coming from one account.
Also, be sure to always manage social media reviews (positive and negative) in a timely manner. It's important to take time to thank those who have left the community a positive review. If you receive negative feedback, it is an opportunity for your community to improve upon the situation that the user has brought to your attention.
When it comes to negative reviews, it can be easy to get defensive. However, the best practice is to thank the individual for making you aware of the issue and asking them to discuss it in more detail offline by emailing or calling the community directly. In most cases, a business cannot remove negative reviews, so it's essential to try and improve the situation as best as possible. If the conversation leads to a positive change, you could follow up the conversation with an ask to consider updating the review.
5. BE CONSISTENT
Your senior living community likely has multiple social media profiles that you manage and share content on. Because of this, you want to make sure you are consistent across all platforms. From the tone of voice used to the aesthetics of your profiles, you want your brand to be recognizable to gain traction among your intended audience.
Beyond your branding, you want to be consistent with your posting. One survey found that “71% of small-to-mid-sized businesses use social media to market themselves, and of those who do so, 52% post at least daily.” While you may not be posting to every social media profile, every day, you want to be consistent for each platform. For example, you might post daily on Facebook and Instagram but only three to four times a week on LinkedIn. Whatever schedule works for your business (and your audience), stick to it.
LET’S GROW TOGETHER
The above tips focus on the same central idea - to treat your social media accounts just as you do your physical business.
- Make sure to provide the users with compelling content, accurately displaying what your senior living community is all about.
- Showcase the community as a whole by using pictures and videos on your social media page.
- Never ignore a comment or question and provide helpful answers and resources to your visitors.
- Use your social media account as a way to portray the professionalism and customer service skills visitors can expect to encounter when they choose to live or work in your senior living community!
If you want to improve your social media marketing but don’t have the team or resources to put your strategy in place, Markentum can help! Contact us for a free evaluation to discover how we can help your senior living community grow.