Wendy O’Donovan Phillips headshot
Wendy O’Donovan Phillips
Wendy O’Donovan Phillips headshot
Wendy O’Donovan Phillips

Social media is your organization’s open house, happening online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

We surveyed 100 marketing professionals in senior living to discover how social media marketing is used in the industry to attract older adults to communities, why it is important, common processes and best practices.

We have overlayed with your peers’ survey data a few of Big Buzz’s tools and approaches to streamline social media marketing and bolster results. The following is an excerpt of an e-book.

  1. Set goals. Of all our survey respondents, 49% said they set goals pertaining to social media. Over time, all posts should follow a path that aligns with various points in the conversion process as well as high-level business objectives that your organization seeks to reach. This path should make clear what types of posts should appear day by day as well as a call to action and measure for each post type.
  2. Complete research. Review brand standards, gather survey data and review past social media initiatives and analytics to determine what actions increase followership and engagements and which do not. In our study, 75% of respondents said they take this step.
  3. Review brand standards. When asked, “How often does your organization consult a brand standards guide when creating social media posts?” 54% of our respondents said monthly, and 41% said quarterly. Both are a good cadence for refreshing the mind on the organization’s brand pillars when planning social posts. It is entirely appropriate to integrate brand messaging into posts in the Awareness area of the Conversion Process in the Content Path, ensuring that it truly differentiates your organization.
  4. Create the calendar. Most our survey respondents said they develop a new calendar either quarterly or monthly. We recommend quarterly development for organizations posting about four times weekly and monthly development for those posting up to seven times weekly. In fact, 66% of your peers said that they ideate and align as a team on the overall social media marketing strategy.
  5. Create the posts. For each post, ensure that the creation team includes an image or video with alt text to describe visuals for people who have trouble seeing them. Be sure every post includes attention-getting or educational text. Include relevant hashtags every time. In our research, we found only 51% of your peers include calls to action, or CTAs, on all social posts. Recalling that people take action only when we call them to action, it’s imperative every post include a CTA and link.
  6. Distribute posts. Are you posting adequately on the proper social media outlets? Only a strategic marketing plan specific to your organization’s enterprise goals and business objectives can answer that question. To prevent posting across too many channels, expending resources and leaking returns, be sure to have researched which social media outlets your target audience frequent most and focus time and budget there.
  7. Analyze results. Although only 49% of survey respondents included data analysis in the social media process, it’s a critical indicator of success or areas in need of improvement. Social media marketers will measure a dozen or more data points, but your team likely will gain a clear high-level picture by measuring and reporting on just four metrics: reach; engagement rate; click-through-rate, or CTR; and conversion rate.
  8. Optimize and evolve. In analyzing and reporting on results over time, your team will be in good position to replicate more social media efforts that are paying off and improve or retire efforts that are not.

Get your copy of the complete e-book, with more information about the points discussed in this column, here.

Big Buzz is a marketing agency that for more than 15 years has helped senior living marketing and sales teams nurture leads to increase occupancy, grow and scale. The Big Buzz leadership team regularly lectures in front of audiences ranging from 25 to 3,000 attendees, including at Argentum conferences and various LeadingAge chapter meetings. Agency awards and accolades include recognition by the American Marketing Association, the Business Marketing Association, HubSpot Academy Inbound Marketing Certification and Clutch.

Big Buzz CEO Wendy O’Donovan Phillips is the author of the book “Flourish!: The Method Used by Aging Services Organizations for the Ultimate Marketing Results,” has been published in McKnight’s Senior Living, has been a regular contributor to Forbes, and has been quoted in The Washington Post, ABC News and Chicago Tribune.

The opinions expressed in each McKnight’s Senior Living guest column are those of the author and are not necessarily those of McKnight’s Senior Living.

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