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senior living social media infographic

Senior Living Social Media Marketing: Instagram, LinkedIn, & More

This month, we’ve done a series on senior living social media marketing. In case you missed any articles and want to catch up, here are the links:

While YouTube and Facebook tend to be the most popular social media channels with Baby Boomers (the usage breakdown is 70% and 68% respectively, according to Statista), we predict that Instagram (which is owned by Facebook) will grow quickly in popularity among Boomers. So, we wanted to share some ideas for Instagram and what communities should keep in mind as they experiment with this social media channel.

Then, we’re going to chat about LinkedIn. Nope, it’s not a social channel that you’ll use to attract prospective residents. But it can be a great platform for attracting prospective employees while solidifying your brand’s narrative.

Let’s get to it!

Instagram for senior living communities

First, some impressive stats. As Instagram notes . . .

  • 60% of people say they discover new products on Instagram.
  • 200 million+ Instagrammers visit at least one business profile daily.
  • 1/3 of the most viewed stories are from businesses.

Second, let’s talk images. Because that’s what Instagram is ALL about: pictures. In fact, 995 photos are uploaded on Instagram every second.

If you want to have any sort of success with this platform, you need to take great pics and post them regularly.

What sorts of pics should your community post? Have at it, we say! Think people (residents and staff), nature, animals, people, grounds, food, people, different areas of the community at different times of day/different seasons, holidays, events, and oh did we mention PEOPLE? :)

You get the idea. Instagram (IG) is all about capturing moments, and no doubt your community offers up many, many moments every single day. Use IG as a way to truly communicate your community’s essence. You want prospects to be able to browse through your IG feed and picture themselves in your community—or not—Instagram could also serve as a great way to help people disqualify themselves as well.

In a previous post about Facebook tips, we mentioned that you should encourage your entire staff to take pics as they go about their days. To make it easy, set up a Dropbox where people can add pics directly from their phones. Not all photos will make the cut, but it’s great to have options and to get people in the habit of taking and sharing pics.

Pro Tips:

  • Make sure you have a business profile for your community (rather than a personal profile). Business profiles, like business pages on Facebook, have added functionality baked in.
  • Make sure you have a complete bio and a link to your website. Keep in mind that you can’t include links within posts.
  • Be smart about hashtags. Hashtags are the way people share specific content with a wider audience—and the way people find the content. Less is actually more, however. Search Engine Journal reports, “Using more hashtags actually decreases the average engagement rate. It’s likely better to use fewer hashtags (no more than 5) than to use too many. Ultimately, when it comes to hashtags, it’s not about quantity. It’s about relevance.”
  • Take advantage of Instagram features, like IGTV. IGTV is for long-form videos (no more than 60 minutes when uploaded from the web and no more than 15 minutes when uploaded from mobile; go here for specs and here for how to upload). THIS is how you can repurpose your awesome YouTube videos. Talk about a bigger bang for your buck, right?

LinkedIn for senior living communities

As for LinkedIn, only 24% of Boomers use it, which makes sense since it’s a professional networking site. Most older adults are phasing out of full-time work rather than networking and looking for new jobs. That said, even though LinkedIn isn’t a platform you’d use to engage with prospects, it is a platform you’d use to engage with current employees AND prospective employees.

And great employees make for a great senior living community, right?

Pro Tips:

  • Make sure you create a company page. Individuals have personal profiles. Businesses need to create a company page. Just like Instagram business profiles, your LinkedIn company page will have more features. Make sure you have up-to-date imagery and brand narratives about your community. Be sure to talk about the community from an employee perspective as well.
  • Keep your company page up to date. We see too many communities with outdated company pages. While you might not be as active on LinkedIn as you are on Facebook or Instagram, you should still post updates. Sharing blog content is an easy way to do this.
  • Make sure employees follow the company page. If community employees have a presence on LinkedIn (i.e., they have a personal profile), encourage them to follow the company page. And encourage them to list their position with your company on their personal profiles.
  • Make sure key personnel have current personal profiles. For visibility purposes, you want to make sure the C-suite and managers have updated personal LinkedIn profiles that include their current position with your company. (If you have a company page and an employee lists it in the work history, LinkedIn will automatically “pull” the company logo from your business page—this is incredibly important from a consistent branding perspective.)

Don’t rule out other platforms for senior living social media marketing.

Plenty of other social media platforms exist—and popular ones too, relatively speaking, like Twitter and Pinterest. When it comes to social media, you need to think strategically. What’s going to give you the biggest bang for your marketing buck? Right now, that’s probably YouTube and Facebook, so we’d recommend focusing on those first. But absolutely mix in one or two more (and even more than that if you have the staff and budget).

Also keep in mind that what works for your target audience today might not work five years from now. For example, while TikTok is currently a young person’s playground, it might not stay that way. Remember, when Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook, it was geared toward college kids. Today’s college kids are using other platforms, like IG, Snapchat, and TikTok while their parents and grandparents play on Facebook.

Bottom line: Things are fluid, and senior living marketing teams need to remain nimble and be willing to pivot to new platforms when the time is right.

Creating high converting content ideas for Facebook

Senior Living Social Media Marketing: High-Converting Content Ideas for Facebook

For the last couple of posts on our blog, we’ve been taking a deeper dive into senior living social media marketing. In case you missed them, here are the links:

In our experience, social media is one of the least understood marketing vehicles in our industry. Sure, we all “get” Facebook, at least from a personal perspective. But these platforms can provide an excellent way to reach prospects and engage with current residents and their families.

So, let’s turn our attention to content ideas for another social media platform popular with older adults: Facebook.

1. Share videos.

According to Social Media Today, video posts on Facebook generate more engagement (59% more!) than other types of posts. The same article offers up several other worthwhile tips. First, focus on shorter videos (90 seconds or less). Provide captions that entice people to watch. Make sure your video has a compelling thumbnail.

  • Pro tip: Try “boosting” posts with videos. This is a form of Facebook advertising that lets you take an existing organic post that you then share with a wider target demo for a budget you set. Boosted posts can give you a good idea regarding which types of videos perform best (for example, a people-focused video vs. a tour video). Pay attention to video metrics (Facebook offers deep analytics known as Insights).

2. Experiment with Facebook Live.

Facebook Live takes videos to a whole new level because you’re sharing video footage in real time as it’s happening. (Thus, the word “Live.”) This isn’t some gimmick, either. Facebook Live works. In fact, HubSpot reports that Facebook lives generate 10 times more engagement than traditional videos.

You might wonder, “Well why should I bother with traditional videos at all then?” Two reasons.

First, you should be creating traditional videos for YouTube since, as we reported in a previous article, YouTube is currently the top social media platform with the Boomer generation (78%). You can’t ignore that stat! If you’re creating videos for YouTube, you’ll get a much bigger banger for your buck if you share that video content across other platforms, like Facebook.

Second, not everyone is comfortable doing something live. Not to mention, Facebook Live videos are often less polished than traditional videos. (Think shaky cameras or people going off “script” or videos simply going longer.)

Like everything else with senior living social media marketing, you want to have a smart strategy in place. And this strategy should include a mix of traditional videos and Facebook Live.

3. Post images.

Facebook is a visual medium. As people scroll through their feed, they’re much more likely to stop on a captivating image rather than a block of text. In our next blog post, we’ll be talking about Instagram, which is ALL about images. The image suggestions we make in that post will most definitely apply to Facebook.

Here’s the overarching theme when it comes to Facebook images.

People, people, people. Think residents and their families. Staff members. Crowds from events like an author visit or Mother’s Day luncheon.

Spaces within your community. The pub, the salon, different room styles, dining areas (inside and out), fitness centers, views from various vantage points.

  • Pro tip: Always include captions, which can help provide context.

4. Share testimonials.

Got a great review, comment from a resident, or sweet anecdote in a letter or email? Share it on Facebook (ideally with a pic for added visual interest).

  • Pro tip: Whenever possible, include a picture of the person who gave the testimonial. And don’t just think in terms of residents and families. Testimonials from staff members can be great to share as well. And, of course, video testimonials are great as well.

5. Post important/relevant announcements.

Facebook can be a great way to get the word out about breaking news or important announcements. During the pandemic, many businesses communicated with people via social media (both through Facebook Live and “static” announcements).

For example, if your community is in the path of a hurricane, Facebook can be an excellent way to provide updates for families who are watching from afar and can’t get through to loved ones due to sketchy cell service and downed power lines.

  • Pro tip: For shorter announcements that you want to stand out, use Facebook’s colorful background feature. It essentially turns your status update into a larger picture-type post (with bigger text and a colorful background—this makes it eye-catching). (Here’s how to do it.)

6. Share content from your community’s other digital assets.

Share your senior living blog posts on Facebook. (Write an engaging caption.) Share resources that followers will find helpful, like a guide for how to downsize a home. Share links to your podcasts. This is the cornerstone of effective senior living social media marketing.

  • Pro tip: Make sure you pay attention to the analytics so that you can measure results. For example, if you share a link to a recent blog post, how much engagement did that Facebook post get (likes, clicks, comments)? And most importantly, how many people clicked FROM Facebook to your blog post? The goal is to get a better feel for what types of content get people to click so that you can post more of it.

7. Share content from relevant and reputable third-party sources.

For example, during the pandemic, linking to CDC and/or state guidelines made sense. Or you could share links to articles where your community or someone from your community is featured.

  • Pro tip: Before sharing third-party content, always ask yourself if it will serve/help your target audience. Always check links. Always make sure you’re sharing accurate, properly vetted info. Avoid content that’s highly polarizing (such as political memes).