From Facebook, to Instagram, to Twitter, to LinkedIn, most senior living communities are highly committed to maintaining their social media presence to help them engage and connect with leads, residents, families and industry professionals. But if you’ve recently found yourself wondering, “Am I wasting my time?”, don’t worry, you are not alone.
For senior living marketers who are looking to create a social media strategy that’s not a waste of your community’s budget, check out these tips to evaluate and hone your current approach so it meets your business goals.
Decide which platforms to use
The number of times your business posts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram per day or week is irrelevant if your posts do not engage your current audience and attract new followers. To make the most of your posting efforts, develop buyer personas to determine which platforms or channels your target audience prefers, then focus on those platforms and develop a list of measurable goals related to each. Why bother to post to Instagram if your target audience – adult children, seniors or referral sources – don’t use this medium? Also, be sure to remember that the time you spend on social should mirror your marketing budget’s allotment.
Audit your current social media presence
As has been well documented, older adults are gravitating toward social media as a source of news and information as their local news channels shrink. If your senior living community has a presence on social media, as it should, take some time to evaluate what is already online, look over your past metrics reports and identify areas for improvement. Then develop a publishing schedule and content calendar; designate your social media team and who will post when; discuss how you will coordinate content among departments; and decide which team member will keep track of your analytics reports.
Determine your business objectives
Before embarking on any social media strategy, it is crucial to define your business objectives and come up with measurable short and long-term goals to support those specific objectives. These goals could be anything from growing your brand and positioning your company as an industry thought leader, which is best measured using metrics like increased followers and shares, to attracting new customers and nurturing leads, best measured by an increase in website clicks, email queries and newsletter signups.
Create a strategy for each platform
Your strategies and posting frequency for each of your social media platforms will vary according to your metrics. For example, for a consumer-facing platform like Facebook, you might start out posting twice a week with a focus your company’s successes, sharing images, video, news clips, and links to your company’s blog. For a more industry-oriented platform like LinkedIn, you might decide the best use of your time is to post once a week but spend more effort on each post, whether that means writing an original column about an industry issue or reacting to a thought leader’s take.
Check your metrics regularly
To know whether your social efforts are working, keep a close eye on your metrics reports to assess whether you are meeting your business goals. Use popular platforms like Google Analytics and Hootsuite Analytics as well as individual platforms’ built-in analytics systems (Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn all have their own). If you’re running your monthly reports and the results are not what you expected, don’t be too hasty to change tactics. Part of developing an effective social media strategy is creating and nurturing relationships, so your efforts may take time to bear fruit. We recommend checking the trends of your social media channels no less than monthly.
Give us a call if you’d like some support defining and executing a social media strategy that matches your goals and budget. We can be reached at 303.499.9291.