Are you ready to improve your senior living community’s social media presence in 2020? Would you like an easy-to-follow checklist to guide your efforts so that you can reach your residents and prospects with clarity and confidence?
I’m sharing five achievable social media recommendations to include in your marketing plan, followed by a daily, weekly and monthly checklist to keep you successful on social media with ease. (Did you read our Part 1 of this series: “Prepare your senior living community’s social media for 2020”? Get more tips or start there.)
Always be consistent in your posting rhythm. For example, it’s not advised to post daily for a week followed by a week of silence. Both your fans / followers and social media algorithms prefer receiving information at a consistent cadence. The average senior living community should plan to post at least twice a week, somewhat evenly spaced out if possible. (Feel free to post five to seven days a week if you have enough time and relevant content to share, but it’s not likely you’ll need to post more frequently than that.)
It’s also important that your brand’s “voice” is consistent. Every brand has its own voice. (Think about the difference between the voice of Subaru and Tesla.) Limit the amount of people managing your social media to one to two people who are well-versed in your brand and community. Typically, more people (unless well-trained) will introduce variances in voice and tone, resulting in choppy and unclear messaging.
Provide a human face, and establish trust
Finding good photos to share on social media is a challenge for most social media managers, but don’t let concern for making posts perfect or professional stop you from getting active on social. People want to see the “face behind the brand.” Seeing photos of staff, residents, family and community members at your community increases engagement on your posts (making them more visible to others) and establishes trust. Of course, feel free to share flyers and graphics about upcoming events and happenings, but aim for a majority of your posts to show real-life happenings at your community.
With more and more brands and people on Facebook (more than 2 billion!) reaching fans on the channel increasingly is more difficult. Try boosting occasional posts so that they get in front of more of your fans / followers or potential residents and their families.
Boosting doesn’t require a huge budget, either. You successfully can boost a post for as little as $5 total, to get hundreds of extra eyeballs over a few days.
A great place to start would be as little as $25 / month, spread out over five different posts. Just be sure that you target the post toward people living in your area, of a relevant age range or other demographic factors relevant to your audience.
Especially if your community is active on Instagram or Twitter, be sure that you are using strategic hashtags. Doing so will help increase your posts’ visibility as well as provide clarity to fans on what each post is about.
Aim for one to two hashtags at the end of a tweet, or five to eight hashtags at the end of an Instagram post (or in the first comment). You’ll likely want to use hashtags that describe or are relevant to that specific post, along with a branded hashtag and a hashtag for your city or location. (Bonus: Tag your location in your posts, too.) Be careful not to overload your posts with hashtags and handles, though, or your message could get lost.
You can use hashtags on Facebook, but they aren’t as beneficial or widely used there.
Respond, and engage fans
Social media is a two-way street. It’s not just a megaphone for you to market to people.
With that in mind, make sure that you respond to all comments and messages that you receive within a timely manner. (Within a day, ideally.) Thank fans / followers for their praise, answer questions or politely handle any concerns.
Even better: Continue the conversation with loyal or interested fans. Don’t end a potentially relationship-building conversation with a dead-end response. Instead, respond to the fan and follow up by a question that helps continue the dialogue.
▢ Did you post on social media yesterday or today?
▢ Did your post include a photo or video that was new and engaging?
▢ Did you use five to eight hashtags in your Instagram post, or one to two hashtags in your tweet, to attract a broader audience?
▢ Did you respond to all social media comments and messages?
▢ Did you boost any important or high-performing posts?
▢ Did you try a new post type (such as a slideshow, poll, video or carousel) to keep your posts fresh and interesting?
▢ Did you review your social media results of the past month to further refine and improve your social media strategy? (Pay attention to best- and worst-performing posts, engagement rates and changes in audience size.)
▢ Did you take a peek at what competitors are doing and review industry trends to stay on top of the ever-changing landscape?
There is so much more to social media, but these recommendations are a wonderful place to start. Following each step will ensure that your community is well-represented and ready to engage fans and prospects on social media. Here’s to a successful 2020!