Social Media Marketing is an important and often overlooked component of marketing strategies for both new and well-established senior living communities. In this article, we’ll share 3 reasons why your senior living marketing team should consider how social media marketing can help increase occupancy.
The Numbers Don’t Lie
I had a college roommate who was very successful selling books door-to-door during the summertime. I’ll never forget asking him about the secret to his success. His answer was simply “I just went where the people are.”
You probably get where I’m going here as it relates to social media. You absolutely must not overlook social media for your senior living community because social media is “where the people are”….in other words, it’s where your potential new customers are spending a significant amount of their time.
Digitally savvy social seniors? Yes indeed. Let’s take a quick look at some numbers:
According to a recent Pew Research study, the two most used social media platforms for 65+ year olds are Facebook and YouTube. Usage percentages show 41% use Facebook and 40% use YouTube followed by Pinterest (16%), Instagram (10%) and LinkedIn (9%). The same Pew Research study shows that for adult-child influencers aged 50-64, Facebook and YouTube also lead the pack with usage numbers even higher for YouTube at 68% and Facebook at 65% with other platforms coming in at 25% or less.
Keep an Eye on Your Senior Living Competition
When is the last time you searched Facebook or YouTube to see what your main competitors are doing? Chances are, you’ll find they have a presence and are active on social media — especially Facebook.
Think about the masses of people mentioned above that are using social media – both seniors and adult-child influencers. As they are spending time on social channels, they are seeing your competitors posts and ads. They are also searching on their social channels for senior living communities which makes your presence there extremely important.
One of the first things we do to help senior living customers is audit their social media accounts and do a competitive analysis. This lays the foundation to prepare a strategic plan for how to use social media to connect with and engage potential new customers…and even build relationships with other facilities for referral partnerships.
What is Google My Business?
You may be surprised to see my third point is Google My Business (GMB).
If you’re wondering what exactly is GMB, it allows businesses with physical locations to manage how they appear on Google Search and Maps. To date, GMB has helped 150 million local businesses connect with people who are looking for them.
If you do a Google search with your city name + retirement community, you’ll likely see a box with 3-4 listings like below. These are the local companies almighty Google feels are the most relevant to your search. And yes, since Google only shows 3-4 listings, the real estate to garner the attention of your audience is finite.
GMB is often referred to as “Local Search” for obvious reasons. Local search results stand out in a highly visible box/panel, making it easy for customers to visit your website, see your phone number, find your physical location via maps, etc. Keep in mind that when prospective customers search locally (using city, state, etc. keywords), the potential for them to be considering a purchase is logically higher, i.e., you definitely want to be listed in the top 3-4 positions.
You could definitely argue that GMB isn’t technically social media, but here is why I included it. In April 2019, Google’s social media platform called Google+ assumed room temperature (RIP Google+). Since then, we have seen Google adding social-like functions and tools in their GMB profiles like Welcome Offers, Follow Tabs in Google Maps and Google Post Tools. It’s clear to us that Google has shifted their former social media energy toward their ultimate search strength and GMB.
One more thing. As we’ve done this with many prospective clients over the years, they often like to point out that some businesses listed in GMB results are “not really competition”. We would argue that if they are listed in GMB local search, they are certainly your online competition.
Improve Your Local Ranking on Google My Business
Does your business appear in GMB results for all-important geo-targeted searches? For some clients, we’ve seen in excess of 60% of new residents coming directly from GMB when our experts have executed their local strategy. Our digital advertising experts can help your senior living marketing team with a GMB digital strategy, just reach out to us for a free consultation by calling 855-473-6582. Be sure to ask for our senior living community case study.