Meme what you say and say what you meme!

By Steve Moran

A couple of weeks ago I was at a conference where Jim Medicena, the guy who ran President Obama’s 2012 campaign, talked about how they used social media to get Obama elected. I know social media has almost become old hat . . . as in . . . “Yeah, we are using social media. We even have a full time person doing social media.”  

I bet, though, it is an on-going disappointment.  

I bet you are using it because that is what all the cool companies are doing.

I bet you think everyone else must be smarter at the social media thing and getting better results than you are.

I know what you are doing. Facebook pages for your communities, maybe Facebook ads, Google ads, tweeting events and other stuff.  Pinterest and well, hmm . . . be honest. At the end of the day, a Senior Housing Forum partner, and APFM, newspaper ads, and direct mail are still doing a better job than social media.

The Social Media Twist

There were two things that the Obama Campaign did that were brilliant in every single way . . . and likely what won them the 2012 election.

  1. They collected lots of data on their volunteers, their voters, their habits. My guess is that if you could get access to their “secret files,” particularly if you are a Democrat, you would be astonished about how much they know about you and your life. They could then use this data to know exactly what messages would work and what wouldn’t.

    I think the data thing is something that is all but untapped in our industry. We know next to nothing about our prospects or how to find our prospects before they have an immediate need. We hardly know what moves people into prospect mode and only a little about what finally triggers the buy decision. Figuring this out is really tough.

  2. Based in part on what they learned from that data, they went on to give their already supporters permission to and tools to invite their friends to also support and vote for Obama. This was a huge eye opener for me. This is something we could do by just rethinking our social media strategy a tiny bit.  

How It Might Work

Most consumers of senior living really like what they are buying. They would be willing to recommend it to their friends and family if asked. They might even be willing to recommend it more willingly if they were given the tools to do so in fun subtle way.   

Imagine for a moment that you took this picture




And turned in into a meme like this:



Then you ask residents, team members, families and vendors to share it with friends. All of a sudden you have done two important things:

  1. Started to reframe what it means to live in a senior living community.

  2. Sent a powerful message that your community is the cool place for elders to experience the next chapters in their lives.

You don’t even have to have graphic art skills to create memes. I made the one above using a free meme creation site on the web. There are dozens of them. Just google meme creator.  

If you try it, I would love to hear how it goes.