how to communicate with family in senior living homeFor adult children or other family members, making the decision to have their loved ones join a senior living community – and then going through the difficult selection process of which community — can be overwhelming and challenging.

An often-overlooked part of a social media strategy is how to use social media platforms to communicate, invite interaction and stay connected with these adult children or other family members. When done correctly, it’s also possible the loved ones of your residents may connect with others who have residents in your community.

As you work to create a welcoming and comfortable community for your residents, also work to foster an active online community that loved ones of your residents can be part of 24/7. By using social media to show all the things that make your community great, family members can be comforted that their senior loved ones are in the right place.

With this in mind, here are some ideas for you to consider:

Try Out Different Platforms

Adults who regularly use social media platforms spend their time on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, etc. Each one has its pros and cons for a senior living community looking to make connections with its residents and loved ones who live elsewhere. You may find it worthwhile to set up a profile on each platform and see where you get the most interaction and feedback. Research shows even seniors use social media to stay connected to the lives of their children and grandchildren, connect with old friends, and join groups related to their interests. Once you figure out where your clients spend their social media time, you can focus your efforts there.

Create an Internal Social Media Strategy

Social media engagement in the form of likes, comments, and replies helps to show your posts to more of your followers. In order to get your valuable message across to everyone, you want to reach, create a company strategy. Your plan could include assigning one staff member to be responsible for your social media posting or hire a trusted digital marketing agency for this role. Make sure your posts sound authentic and have a consistent voice that represents your community well.

Consider the best time of day to post, and even which day of the week you’re likely to get residents and family members to notice and appreciate what you’re sharing. Find ways to encourage interaction, such as asking questions or inviting readers to share an experience. And make sure to consider adding a paid social media component to your strategy whether it be boosting Facebook posts, Instagram or Facebook ads, etc. to expand your overall reach.

Show Your Community’s Personality

Post about the facilities and events that make your community unique, and show loved ones the quality of life their seniors are enjoying. You can post photos of the grounds or public spaces where seniors enjoy activities. You don’t have to be a professional photographer, but have a discerning eye on the quality of photos you post to put your best face forward. It’s helpful for clients to see photos of community activities, hobbies, or success stories. It shows you care about your seniors and that you want them to enjoy every day at your facility. And remember: when posting photos and names, always respect the privacy of residents and be sure they’re willing to be included on your page.

Make Announcements

Have you ever needed to spread the word, and fast? Calling clientele one-by-one is too time-consuming. Social media helps you get out important information at once, such as a change in office hours or a response to a weather event. Aim for consistent high engagement on your posts so more followers will see the ones that really matter. You can use the power of social media to help residents and families stay informed about events and activities in your senior living community.

Respond Sincerely

Once you’ve figured out when and where to post about your community, respond to comments quickly and often. Make sure your social media team watches for notifications to answer any posted questions or engage in conversation with commenters. Simple likes are useful, but residents and loved ones will feel more valued if their comments are met with sincere and thoughtful responses. Your social media pages can become a place of real community for residents and loved ones, somewhere they can bond over shared experiences that help children and caregivers feel comforted. And don’t forget some of your social posts may be shared by loved ones which may lead to potential new residents!