Some good may come out of the debacle as Facebook doubles down on its efforts to improve security and make it easier for users to keep their information private.

By Susan Saldibar

I know several people who quit Facebook after the Cambridge Analytica debacle. You probably did too. Interestingly enough, however, I just read an article that business is booming for Facebook. Go figure.

I spoke recently with Sean Orchester, VP of Operations for SageAge Strategies (a Senior Housing Forum partner). Sean weighed in on the whole Facebook fiasco. His comments were included in a SageAge article about Facebook and what communities can do to keep it safe and effective. Many feel that, while the breach was not a good thing, some good may come out of it as Facebook doubles down on its efforts to improve security and make it easier for users to keep their information private. Sean feels that’s a good thing. I agree.

What Sean hopes doesn’t happen, however, is that senior living communities get cold feet after the scandals and pull back on their use of Facebook. It’s proven to be one of the most valuable platforms to share stories and engage with current and future residents. That would be a shame.

What Sean hopes will happen, is that communities will take stock of how they are using Facebook, and how to keep their own Facebook clean and up to par with the expectations of residents and their families.

In the SageAge article, Sean has identified three areas in which communities can thrive, while respecting the needs and wants of their audience. They are as follows:

  • Reach your audience in an authentic way – As marketers, we tend to get excited when there’s a new platform on which to share our message, but we have to be careful when it comes to social media. Consumers want to engage on social media, and this creates a unique challenge to be more organic with efforts to reach the target audience on social platforms. For example, blogging provides an ideal way of communicating valuable information to potential customers while also conveying your knowledge and authority on relevant senior living topics, e.g., memory care.

  • Focus on providing value – When a brand’s social media presence creates value, prospective customers will follow, listen and interact. You create value by understanding your prospects’ personas – including their problems, needs, and questions – and communicating relevant solutions that can make their lives easier, more comfortable and more fulfilling. 

And Sean makes a good point about what users want to see. “Users want to have control over what they see on their feeds,” he says. “Ads, regardless of how relevant, are still seen as “something I didn’t ask for.” Value is more important than volume!

Digital (online) advertising continues to be a valuable lead-generation tool when its messaging specifically addresses questions and information that prospects are searching for online. Ideally, digital ads should be used as an appropriate part of an integrated marketing campaign strategy and not as a solo, “all-or-nothing” tactic.

  • Use influencer marketing. Influencer marketing such as blogs, resident and family testimonials, resident satisfaction data and positive reviews are key to capturing attention and getting engagement. Using these influencer tactics in combination with highly targeted, issue-focused digital advertising can create a spike in prospect activity, and a proper long-term strategy can sustain an upward lead generation trend.

The bottom line is “Don’t run away from Facebook,” Sean urges. That would be a mistake. “You need this platform to share the experiences and insight from your community. Keep it vibrant, relevant, respectful and you will continue to reap the benefits while keeping your community and its members safe and comfortable using it.”

The article has a lot more information, plus some interesting stats. You can read it here.

For more information about SageAge you can visit their website.

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