10 Jan 2019

Social media growth in recent years is reason enough to use it for marketing senior living communities. These platforms are simply a way to reach a lot of people.

But you want to be smart about it, avoiding posts that generate ill will and worse publicity. Following these simple social media guidelines can help:

Create the content on your own website and link to it on social media. You retain ownership of your original posts this way. You’ll also drive potential customers back to your site, where you can tell them more.

Most social media platforms have a visual element, so use photos or short videos in your posts. If you don’t have visuals available, you can get good ones for free on Pixabay, Unsplash and Pexels.

Make sure your posts look good on mobile devices. They’re what most Americans use to view social media.

Post when your audience is online. Social media use generally peaks in the morning, lunchtime and late afternoon, though it varies by social media platform. To find out when your followers log in most, test content at different times of the day.

Review all content before posting to make sure it’s clear, error-free and always on brand.

These types of posts usually work best:

  • Happy residents: Photos of people doing things in your communities are great advertising. Have your digital-savvy residents post the photo themselves and tag the community’s page. It will introduce you to their entire network.
  • Virtual tours: Use high-quality photos or videos to show off your properties and amenities, especially images featuring spring blooms, fall colors and holiday decorations.
  • Tips and advice: Transitioning to a senior community can be stressful. Posts that offer helpful advice can endear you to residents, their families and future prospects.
  • Celebrations and memories: With residents’ approval, spotlight them when they win awards, celebrate milestone birthdays or refer new neighbors. You can also share their personal memories about historical and life events, such as how they remember the moon landing.
  • Meet the staff – You’ve got a great staff. Spotlight individual members to let prospects know they’ll be in good hands.
  • Community events – If your community has a craft show, a visit from a local historian or school choir performance, chronicle it on your social media platforms. Again, it’s positive news and those guests may share the post with their friends.

Other types of posts are best avoided:

  • Off-Topic: Keep your community’s social media efforts on brand. Don’t post memes, animal clips or other content that has nothing to do with your community. Adorable animal videos taken by your residents, on the other hand, are great.
  • Funny Stuff: Humor posts, even something seemingly harmless, can be misinterpreted. Run a prospective post by colleagues before putting it online. Even better, play it straight.
  • Rants: Don’t use your social pages to be negative, even for common complaints about traffic or taxes. Be positive and solution-oriented.

The Bottom Line

Is social media effective? Yes! It can amplify positive messages about your community, generating prospects and higher conversion rates. The secret is to keep your posts on-brand, positive and life-affirming.