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Best Practices for Marketing Senior Living Communities Online

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Meeting Seniors “Where They Are”

In today’s digital world, more and more people are using the information available online to research companies, engage with brands and aid in their decision-making process. Although information gathering is instant in this digital space, the decision-making journey may take weeks, months or even years. This is especially true with big decisions that can be emotional or cause significant life changes, such as selecting a senior living facility for yourself or a loved one. For this reason, it is critical that you are willing to meet potential residents and families wherever they may be in their decision-making process.

Why you should be meeting seniors online

Social media and other online channels provide an excellent opportunity for you to showcase your senior living design, facility, staff, programs and more to a wide audience of both seniors and their families. A Pew Research Study found that up to 59 percent of seniors aged 65 and up use the Internet, with 71 percent of those using it every day. This time spent on the Internet is often spent browsing and researching, comparing and reading reviews. According to BrightLocal, 97 percent of people read online reviews for local businesses in 2017. In this same study, 73 percent said that positive reviews make them trust a local business more. And when it comes to long-term care for a loved one, there is nothing more important than trust.

How to meet seniors where they are online

The opportunities to build trust by leveraging social media and online reviews with residents and families may seem a little daunting to some senior living communities. After all, how can you be sure that disgruntled residents or employees don’t tarnish your reputation online? To best meet seniors and their families “where they are” and build trust with your facility, there are a few best practices for marketing senior living communities online:

  • Be present on more than one platform. To meet seniors wherever they may be in their decision-making process online, your senior living community must be present in more than just one space. This means moving beyond your senior living facility’s website to also include social media platforms such as Facebook®, which is the one of the most trusted review sites, according to BrightLocal.
  • Engage with potential residents and families during their research process. One of the best things about social media is the opportunity it creates to engage with individuals in an instant. Social media posts and direct messages allow you to move past a traditional contact form on your website, and respond to questions and feedback instantaneously.
  • Show off your facility. Facebook can provide a great platform for marketing senior living communities online through sharing your favorite resident stories, photos of your facility and updates on programs and amenities that you offer to residents. Remember, though, to get permission from anyone featured in your posts, whether they be employees, residents or family members.
  • Make the most of your resources. Facebook is an excellent free resource to provide information to seniors online. According to Pew Research Center, 62 percent of online adults aged 65 and older use Facebook. Include basic information in your senior living facility profile such as your phone number, address and website for a complete resource for seniors and families who are in the decision-making process.
  • Hear seniors out. Online reviews, either through Google® or a social network like Facebook, are the perfect place to turn when looking for senior’s feedback on your senior living community, programming and more. Use these reviews as a sort of checklist when looking for changes to implement in your facility.

Let us help you meet seniors where they are

Is your senior living design an area of concern when marketing your senior living community online? Community Living Solutions can work with you in the master planning of your facility design to evaluate your current situation and provide solutions. Contact us or call (920) 969-9344 for a full market assessment to help determine your future facility design and programming needs.