How can senior living communities get better at producing Social Media content that “gets into the hearts and souls” of their followers?

By Susan Saldibar

A question for us all: How can senior living communities get better at producing Social Media content that “gets into the hearts and souls” of their followers?

According to Jason McCloud, VP of digital marketing at Sage Age, the answer is deceivingly simple. We’re often asked, “What drives the most social engagement on senior living pages? Resident-focused content.”

But what does that mean? “It’s more than just a buzzword,” says Jason. “It’s learning to think and build a narrative around the people who populate your senior living community and their loved ones.” Makes a lot of sense. But how can communities re-wire their traditional social media programs to be more “resident-focused”?

Jason has outlined best practices in each key category of social media so you can see exactly the kind of focused content that has been proven to attract residents and their families.

Keep your post content (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.) fresh and relevant.

To unleash the power of your social brand, you need to increase engagement (likes, comments, shares, reviews). That means featuring as much resident-focused content as possible. “For example, nothing beats a post like celebrating a resident’s 90th birthday,” says Jason. “Celebrating your residents’ lives and their stories is what families and prospects want to see,” he adds. 

Here are some topics for posts to consider:

    • Outings & Community Events
    • Holiday Events
    • Resident Stories
    • Resident Celebrations (Birthdays, Veterans, Volunteers, etc.)
    • FB Themed Posts (#ThrowbackThursday, #FactFriday, etc.)

Just as important as building your topic line-up is developing a resident-focused engagement style that draws your target audience to your brand.

Here are Jason’s suggested engagement tactics:

    • Ask questions (from their perspective)
    • Use Call-to-Actions, “CTAs” (keep these informative, not salesy)
    • Post daily to stay in front of your audience
    • Use targeted advertising 

Monthly blogs can be interesting and boost SEO.

Blogs are an important piece of any successful Social Media campaign. And this is where many senior living communities drift off course. Simply producing a string of “commercials” thinly disguised as blogs doesn’t work anymore. Readers are smart. They will quickly sense the underlying advertisement and click away. In addition to driving the SEO machine, an informative blog will do the following: 

  • Engage the reader with useful and interesting content from their perspective.
  • Enhance your brand and your positioning as a “go to” resource.
  • Provide you with a growing library of information to post to Social Media.
  • Provide a solid resource for residents and families to access on your website. 

The beauty of having this information posted to Social Media, according to Jason, is that it creates a give-and-take relationship between the community and the prospective resident. “Having a short description of the blog with a link pulls them to your website to finish reading the article,” says Jason. “But more importantly, now they’ve found your services, amenities, background, employee information and how to contact your community when they’re interested in pursuing.”

Note that Jason’s sample blog topics below reflect the needs of the residents and their families. They do not directly promote your community.

  • 5 Surprising Benefits of Walking (Independent Living)
  • Assisted Living or Home Care? (Assisted Living)
  • Understanding Different Forms of Dementia (Memory Care)
  • Preparing for a Joint Replacement (Rehab/Respite Care)

Don’t forget to promote community events!

Jason suggests using the Facebook “Event” tool to add your community events to Facebook. It’s a free way to publicize events, such as:  

  • Open Houses
  • Grand Openings
  • Holiday Parties
  • Family Gatherings or Cookouts
  • Community Educational Events

So, getting into the “hearts and souls” of your target clients through truly resident-focused Social Media programs makes a lot of sense. But how you approach it is critical. “Understand your audience, provide content that helps them in each stage of their decision process,” says Jason. “Think like them, talk like them. Be authentic.”

Find out more about creating a truly resident-focused Social Media program here

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