As the weather continues to warm up, the Creating Results team to is excited to hit the road for various conferences and shows in the coming months. Up next, we’ll be in Virginia Beach, Virginia, for a keynote address about social media marketing by yours truly at the Coordinated Services Management (CSM) Seminar which will be held April 17-18.
During this keynote, titled Social Silver Surfers: Their Digital Preferences & How to Effectively Engage with Them on Social Media, I’ll be sharing with team members from all of CSM’s communities how senior living industry providers can leverage social media to engage prospects and tell their brands’ stories. Here are a few tips for social media marketing that I’ll be sharing during my presentation.
Social Media Marketing 101: Meet Your Prospects Where They Are
You’ve made the decision to dive headfirst into the social media marketing game. Now what? It may be tempting to try a little bit of everything. And while, in many cases, we encourage our clients to reach out to prospects through various channels, when it comes to connecting with adults ages 55 and over on social, Facebook is your best bet, per our national Social, Silver Surfers study.
Of those who participated in the survey, 92% responded that they use or have tried Facebook. We can officially say that Facebook has become a part of the daily lives of older adults! Survey results show that the same can’t be said for other social media platforms including Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest — at least not yet.
Facebook is a powerful tool for every marketer to have in his or her arsenal, especially in the senior living industry. It can be used for lead acquisition and nurture. If your goal is to acquire prospects, you can run paid campaigns that allow you to target your desired audience based on various demographic specifications, including geography and age.
The real fun comes when nurturing prospects — whether they were acquired through paid campaigns or started following you organically. This is where you can engage with your customers directly, respond to their questions and feedback and give them more information on your brand through storytelling. Speaking of which …
Capture Prospects’ Imaginations with Your Brand’s Story
With Facebook’s ever-changing algorithm, it’s becoming increasingly challenging for advertisers to reach their audiences organically. That’s why creating content that captures your audiences’ attention is more important now than ever.
Social media users from both younger and older generations have become desensitized to the constant spate of advertising that bombards their newsfeeds. But the research shows that consumers struggle to turn away from a good story.
Think of some of the remarkable happenings in your community — how can you re-purpose them into a story that highlights your brand’s mission and shared on social media? Does your community have a resident that goes above and beyond to give back to the community? Maybe you have a resident that’s a bit of a thrill seeker and just accomplished his or her lifelong dream of skydiving. These are the types of stories you should be sharing with your social media audiences to engage them.
Giving Social, Silver Surfers the Content They Want
You can create several types of content to capture your audience’s attention. Each will allow you to tell your brand’s story in its own unique way.
Baby Boomers are just as receptive to video content as younger generations. As such, we always recommend incorporating videos in your social media marketing strategy when possible to showcase your community’s lifestyle. Post videos of residents being active and having fun, and provide a caption to add another layer to the story. You can even go a step further and use Facebook Live to provide a real-time look at a community event. Is the community’s bowling team one strike away from maintaining its undefeated streak? Turn on Facebook Live and let your followers join in on the historic moment!
You don’t only have to rely on video though. Images in general tend to get more engagement from prospects. Why not provide an infographic or some other type of visual that shows prospects the benefits of life at your community and provides them with the information they’re looking for?
You can even take a more back-to-basics approach and engage your followers with text-only posts. Encourage them to comment with questions they have about a certain topic related to senior living, or about a completely unrelated topic (who are you rooting for to win the big game?).
Don’t be afraid to mix it up when it comes to posting on social media. Varying your content will help keep your posts fresh and compelling for your audience.
Don’t Let Your Content Go Unseen
The more people engage with your content, the more priority it will take in your audience’s Facebook newsfeed. There are five main factors that determine the extent to which your brand’s content will be seen on social media:
- Comments: Compelling content garners comments, thus improving your posts rankings in newsfeeds. In addition to storytelling in your posts, we encourage you to include questions and write about timely, relevant topics that interest your prospects and will entice them to add their two cents to your post.
- Reactions: Facebook offers its users the opportunity to express their feelings about a post in a variety of ways. There’s “like,” “love,” “angry” and a few other reactions, each represented by its own emoji. The more positive the reaction, the bigger the boost your post gets. Share those positive stories with your audience and watch those “loves” and “likes” from your audience extend your content’s reach.
- Comment Replies: Replies indicate that your post is inspiring conversation between your audience members. They may even start tagging their friends who don’t follow you to join the conversation, thus organically exposing you to a wider audience.
- Sharing Links Through Messenger: If someone shares your post directly with someone else, it shows that they think the information is relevant to that person. As such, your content will reach an additional, more targeted audience.
- Engagement Through Shares: Your content receives yet another added boost when someone shares your post and people they are connected with engage with it — be it through liking, commenting or other means.
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