Your senior living community is great, and you want everyone to know. That includes current community members, prospective new residents, and the adult-child decision makers around those prospective new residents. Reaching this diverse audience requires a multifaceted marketing plan that’s responsive to the constant changes in our lives. Sounds like a big ask, right?
Actually, it’s not. The solution can be found in one simple tool: social media.
If you’re marketing a senior living community, you may have dismissed social media marketing because your target audience is “too old.” But think again! Forty-five percent of people 65 and over report using at least one social media site.1 The goal of a successful marketing strategy is meeting your leads where they are and speaking directly to them. And increasingly, seniors are on social media.
With social media, your digital marketing strategy doesn’t have to be limited to advertising. There’s still power in organic social media.
A senior living community is more than a business. You’re providing quality of life, a sense of safety, and a comfortable environment. For residents, your community is home. Focusing on boosting leads and increasing occupancy is an essential advertising tactic. But engaging and celebrating already thriving residents is just as important. That’s why social media is a cost-effective and powerful way to create a community that appeals to prospective new residents.
Where should you create that community? By far the number one social media platform for connecting with seniors is Facebook. More than half of seniors say they’ve used Facebook.2 So if you don’t have an online presence there, you’re missing an opportunity to connect. Use Facebook to share resident stories, highlight activities, share news, communicate information, and engage digitally.
Pro tip: When a user engages with your organic content, treat them like a warm lead. Use retargeted ads to share testimonials and useful resources. (More on the power of testimonials later!) If they’ve engaged with your free content, you’ll know that new resident lead already has a vested interest in what you’re offering and your advertising dollars will go further.
Connecting With Seniors’ Family Members
While connecting with seniors is essential to increasing your pool of new resident leads, you can’t forget another crucial demographic: the family members and caregivers who either make the decisions or work alongside seniors to help them evaluate their choices. These decision makers need to be just as confident in your community as their family member is.
Use social media to reassure adult-child decision makers of the high level of care, top-notch amenities, engaging daily activities, and the constant professionalism of the staff. Create brand stories and hashtags like #SeniorCare or #SeniorLiving. Provide downloadable non-sales oriented resources on relevant topics like how to navigate Medicare, easing the transition from home to senior community, or dealing with the emotions around the aging of a close family member.
Resident testimonials are a powerful conversion tool to reach family members. Authentic reviews are universally one of the best ways to convince customers to make a purchase, and this translates nicely to senior living communities. Ninety-one percent of customers say they read at least one review3 before buying a product. Make sure you claim and monitor your Google Business Profile, as it’s a powerful tool for customer reviews and contributes to your overall SEO.
The reviews you share on social media should be engaging, and you should add and update them regularly. Testimonials can be written with a photo of the reviewer, videos of residents talking about how much they love living in the community, or even informal comments left on your page by residents and their families.
Pro tip: Respond directly to each and every review. Mostly favorable comments are preferred, but don’t discount the occasional less-than-stellar post. Negative reviews are an opportunity to show how you respond to your residents’ concerns and address issues in a timely and compassionate manner.
Building Your Brand
Social media provides a unique opportunity to increase brand awareness. Where else can you target incredibly specific demographics with one of the most effective advertising methods available? Of course, we’re talking about video.
About 65% of the general population watch videos online.4 Given the popularity of video, that number isn’t surprising. But when you break this statistic down by age, you find that 54% of seniors watch video online with entertainment and utility as their primary motivators. There’s a reason YouTube is the second most visited site on the internet!5 And not only that, YouTube feeds into your overall Google rankings, so maintaining quality content on your YouTube channel helps your overall SEO strategies.
For your videos, provide examples of the active lifestyle enjoyed by residents of your community. Interview outstanding employees as they talk about their areas of expertise and why their job is meaningful to them. Give prospective residents a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into making your community a great place to live. Maybe that’s setting up for a big event or the bustling kitchen of the communal dining room.
Pictures and words on a brochure are great, but they only go so far. With video, new resident leads can more easily picture themselves as residents.
Pro tip: Always include closed captions since the majority of videos are watched without sound!
If you haven’t been using social media to promote your senior living community, you’re missing out on the perfect opportunity to create community, connect with families, and build your brand. But it’s not just enough to create social media accounts and channels for your community. To get the most out of your social media campaigns, determine which platform is the best fit for the specific message and target segment of your audience.
Interested in developing effective social media campaigns but not sure where to start? Dreamscape Marketing can help. Call us today at 888.307.7304 to schedule a strategy session.