As your senior living community settles into your digital marketing goals for the year, it’s important to decide whether you want Instagram to be a part of that strategy.
Instagram is a social media platform that allows users to share photos and videos that will eventually create a “visual portfolio” style profile for your brand. Before your team adds Instagram into your digital marketing plan, Markentum wants to help answer two main questions:
- Is it worth your time to focus on Instagram for your senior living community?
- What will it take to achieve success on the Instagram platform?
Once we help answer these questions for your team, we hope your senior living community can get started confidently and see the benefits of this robust social media marketing tool.
Question: Is it Worth Your Time to Focus on Instagram for Your Senior Living Community?
According to GlobalWebIndex’s blog published in late 2019, baby boomers are the fastest-growing age group on Instagram. From that statistic alone, it could be beneficial to join Instagram!
Furthermore, one-fourth of the baby boomers who are using social media are using it to research content that is informative about brands, products, or services online. This means, not only are baby boomers creating a presence on Instagram, but they are also naturally consuming and engaging with content with the goal of being a customer!
These are all exciting numbers and help to qualify Instagram as a viable strategy for a senior living community to consider.
📈 What are the Benefits of Instagram for a Senior Living Community?
With the numbers showing a clear audience on the platform, let’s dive into the areas that you can use an Instagram strategy focused around your senior living community to benefit your brand and lead to growth for your business.
As a senior living community, one of your biggest assets is your brand. Brand consistency is important when creating a strong, reliable online presence for your audience. From your website to your emails to your Instagram profile, every digital effort should share the same tone, values, and purpose.
Since more and more seniors are utilizing social media, Instagram can be an additional place for you to share that voice further and reach new users. In 2017, Pew Research uncovered that 34% of seniors used social media, in comparison to 8% in 2009. We can infer that those numbers will rise even further in 2020, so being present across all platforms will ensure no users are excluded from your brand’s messaging.
Continue to Grow an Engaged Audience
In findings from one study, Pew Research stated that almost 70% of those between the ages of 50 to 64 and 40% of those aged 65+ use at least one social media site. With that being said, it’s valuable to create engaged audiences across as many platforms as you can. By “engaged audience,” we are referring to what is known as a “true following,” meaning users who are in your target market, not a bot or spam profile, and meaningfully engage by commenting and reaching out for information.
If done correctly, a truly loyal following can be created through Instagram, whether it be potential customers, potential hires, or support from other businesses in your community. Remember, Instagram, along with other social media channels, are built on the idea of community, so if you create a community for your followers to gain knowledge and understanding of who you are, they will stick along to see your company’s growth.
Question: What Will it Take to Achieve Success on the Instagram Platform?
At a glance, Instagram may seem as easy as adding another social media icon button to your website, but Instagram does require a dedicated strategy different from other platforms.
At Markentum, we recognize this by making Instagram a separate social media service, while all other social media platforms are covered under our general social media marketing services. We do this because we have determined that a significant differentiating strategy is needed to see growth on this platform in comparison to others.
So, let’s jump into the different aspects you will need to consider to see a return on your time investment on this platform!
Create a Visual Portfolio of Your Senior Living Community
One thing that, without a doubt, makes Instagram a different social media platform than most is the obvious focus around images and videos. Instagram has pushed even the most skilled content creators to get creative and produce higher quality images and overly engaging video content to keep viewers locked in. This is no easy feat to accomplish, and it can be helpful to have an agency, like Markentum, to help establish and collect the content you will need.
Though Instagram does require higher quality visual content, this can be a huge benefit to your senior living community! Selecting senior care or a retirement community is a significant decision, and an adult daughter is not just going to pick your community because of one Twitter post that links to your website. Most seniors or their adult children will want to visit and tour the community before making any final decisions.
“Instagram could be the key to reducing the sales cycle time and helping families come to a decision faster.”
Think about it, with an Instagram account, your community will now have an online profile that showcases photos of your community, video testimonials or tours of your amenities and services, as well as Instagram Stories that can highlight the day-to-day activities going on around your community. Providing all of this content will help to position your community to your audience as trustworthy, transparent, and informative.
When you provide all those things digitally to your audience, it will incentivize them to take the next steps to visit your community in person. This will also help them ask more meaningful questions when on a tour because they will already have an understanding of the services, amenities, activities, and whatever else you promote on your profile.
📱 Video Will Be a Key Piece of Content for Success
Whether it’s through regular posting, Instagram Stories, Live Stories, or IGTV, Instagram has made it very clear that video is the way to maximize your profile on their platform. Both Instagram Stories and IGTV, which are video focused tools, have been added features that Instagram has developed and added in separate releases from the original social media platform launch.
- Instagram Stories provide an area on your profile where you can share all the moments, photos and videos, throughout your day that you wouldn’t necessarily want to keep on your profile considering the high-quality and artistic style that the main profile area should have. Think of the Stories as your day-to-day highlights of your community, as Stories expire to your audience after 24 hours.
- Instagram Live is a type of video that can be created through Instagram Stories. Just as it sounds, you can live stream to your audience, similar to Facebook Live.
- IGTV is a more recent addition to the platform and is the first tool that supports longer video content. Similar to Facebook Watch and YouTube, IGTV is creating a home for long-form video content within the profile. They allow videos up to 10 minutes, and accounts with special permissions can post content up to 60 minutes, leading us to believe the time limit will get longer for average users in upcoming updates.
🤔 THINGS THAT SHOULD BE CONSIDERED BEFORE CHOOSING AN INSTAGRAM STRATEGY
With a new social media platform, there are always things to consider. Here are the top items we feel a senior living community should ask before starting Instagram:
How many high-quality photos or videos do we currently have, and how often will we need to create it?
If your community has already spent money and efforts on quality photos of your community and videos, then you are ready to start Instagram; the more content you already have, the better! We would suggest taking 20-30 new photos and around three to five one-minute videos every month.
How many accounts should we have?
We often find with senior living communities, it is a lot easier to create and maintain one Instagram account that represents all of your locations versus a separate Instagram per community. When you have one corporate account, you have photos and videos from all your communities to utilize instead of each community having to create a variety of content every month.
Can we link to our website in posts?
Instagram does not support links within their captions. Yes, we know, this is an inconvenience, but Instagram wants your photos and videos to speak for themselves. One place you can link to your website is within your profile bio, so make sure to take advantage of this!
Do we have to make our Instagram a business profile?
We recommend setting your Instagram up as a business account, so you can see the analytics for your profile and learn about your users. Also, with a business profile, you are able to sync your Facebook and Instagram together to send Instagram posts and stories to your Facebook profile.
How often should we be on the profile?
It will be important to give attention to your profile. We would recommend having one to two employees who are well-trained on your brand and voice, helping to manage your social media platform. Whether it is answering comments, liking other photos, or following other accounts, involving more people is better to ensure your page appears active online.
Think you might need an Instagram expert to help you take your community’s social media presence to the next level? Let’s discuss whether Instagram is the right choice for your senior living digital marketing efforts. Schedule a free consultation and learn more about how Markentum can help to expand your community’s social mark!