Senior living communities are not the first thing that comes to mind when someone brings up social media strategy, but harnessing the power of social media can be a powerful tool in helping communities better communicate to its many audiences which range from prospects, residents and their families and even staff prospects.
Recently, Matt Reiners of Eversound interviewed Tracey Harvey, the Regional Vice President of Marketing and Strategic Planning at Cadence Living. During the interview Tracy offered advice on how other communities can improve their grass roots social media strategy.
Tip #1 – Be as Authentic as Possible!
While the example Tracey gives is about in-person connections, being able to transition that into the social media world will do wonders! Being authentic, real people is the key to making connections in the world today. If you can be authentic across all of your company channels, you should have no problem staying true to your roots. Your community is full of stories waiting to be told, sharing them let’s others see the heart and mission of your facility.
Tracey — I think just consistent creative touches go a long way. At a conference years ago I put a smile on everyone’s card in order to leave them with a gift – similar to how you leave a small gift to dinner guests at your house. When we had 50 plus people in a conference room, it was kind of hard to think of what we could leave them and so that’s when I gave them those little smile cards – those little actions can go a long way in making connections.
Tip #2 — Keep your audience engaged!
With social media, everybody has an online presence. The key to being successful on social media is to stand out and differentiate yourself. Whether through storytelling, organic company moments that are postable, anything that you think shows the world why your company is better and more fun than the competition.
Tracey — Organic social media is really important, I think there’s three things that I always pay attention to. Firstly, can we tell a story? So back in the day, you know it was featuring “Ruby Granny” the 87 year old grandmother on a spinning bike. Contests are also fun and I feel like that’s really helped. Social media has helped us have fun and engage the community at large and families to get involved. The number one thing I’d have to say, out of all that, is just what key insights can you provide and educate the public with.
The best way to keep people engaged is to produce fun and interesting content that is organic and true to your company. While doing all of this, realizing that the people who are following you are also looking for insight on the company and the people you work with, your social media team should be able to build an amazing recipe of what a perfect social media campaign looks like for you!
Tip #3– Post what your followers want to see!
The social media world is a lot like the music world. When a band performs, people in the crowd are expecting to hear the hits and fan favorites. But if a band goes up and does nothing but deep cuts and covers, people lose interest and end up not liking the show. When it comes to social media, finding out what your followers want to see is like tuning your instruments and finding your sound. Once you have that dialed in, it’s time to give the people what they want and play the hits!
Tracey — It’s so important to provide information that will be helpful to residents’ loved ones, it’s about building that relationship and offering them education like how to identify signs of dementia, how to engage a loved one that has stopped participating and things. Providing those types of insights to your audience makes you a valuable resource in their minds.
How does your audience tell you what they want to see? Engagement! Looking at social metrics like reactions, comments and shares offer insight into what is resonating with your audience. A monthly review of that period’s social content will be a valuable asset when tuning into what your audience wants to see.
Interested in hearing what else Tracey had to say? Listen to her full interview on working referral sources and driving occupancy here.
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