A path to creating a rational, workable social marketing strategy
I am in deeply embedded and invested in the world of senior living and I live and die by social media. I recently was a moderator/panelist for a social media strategy panel at the What’s Next Boomer Summit because someone thought I was something of an expert in this area and yet . . .
I feel woefully inadequate.
Here is how bad it is. . .
I have a Google News alert set up to notify me anytime the term “Senior Housing Forum” shows up and a second alert for the term “Steve Moran”. For the term “Senior Housing Forum” it works perfectly. Every time I publish a new article the alert shows up.
On the other hand . . .
It almost never ever catches the term “Steve Moran” (though I do get a fair number of alerts for other Steve Morans). I have no idea why I don’t show up, how to make it show up or if it even matters.
Lots of Conversations
I spend quite a bit of time talking to and listening to senior living providers about social media and it is all over the map:
- I was in a presentation where a senior level executive with a large senior living company told the audience that, while they had some web presence, they didn’t really consider it to be very important.
- Quite a few senior living communities have Facebook pages, but no one really seems to have a sense as to whether it has value.
- Some senior communities use sites like Caring.com, SeniorAdvisor.com, Google Local, A Place For Mom, while others do not.
- Some have individual community sites with their own dedicated URL. Others are a series of sub domains off the corporate websites. There are still a few that have no website at all.
- Most senior living community websites have the same look and feel, making them all but interchangeable with their competitors.
- Some communities are working hard at beefing up their consumer reviews and others pretend review sites don’t even exist, including some communities that have brutal harsh reviews.
- No one seems to have a strong consistent email campaign strategy.
- With the exception of be.group, everyone seems to be floundering, knowing that social media is important but feeling inadequate and not quite knowing how to even begin to figure out what to do or how to develop a comprehensive plan. – Even be.group would tell you that what they are doing is a work in progress and that they are exploring untraveled territory for senior living.
- Even the largest senior living companies have gone through radical, even schizophrenic, gyrations in how they approach social media.
There are hundreds or thousands of books on social media and many successful case studies. What senior living is selling is very unique. It is not a physical product; It is essentially something that never generates repeat buyers. The level of emotional, spiritual and physical energy that goes into a senior living purchase decision is like none other.
Crafting a Plan that Works
I am convinced it is possible for large and small senior living organizations to develop a thoughtful, workable social media strategy that is effective. My friend Bailey Beeken also believes this to be true and is doing something about it. She has just announced the first ever national senior care marketing summit that will be very specifically focused on social media marketing that works for senior living/post-acute care providers. The summit will be take place during the month of November in Chicago. It is a “must attend” event where you can get answers from Social Media experts, some from inside the industry but many from outside our industry. You will be able to walk out of this summit with the tools you need to develop a rational, workable, effective and affordable social media strategy. In keeping with her commitment to make this summit the fit the industry needs she is also conducting a survey on your current marketing efforts, needs and desires. You can access the survey on the front page. Steve Moran
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