Think social media marketing is best reserved for Millennial and Generation Z consumers? You may want to re-think that sentiment.
While younger Americans are certainly active on social platforms, that doesn't mean their forefathers aren't. In fact, Baby Boomers actually spend about 27 hours online every week—with a whopping 15 percent spending more than 11 hours on Facebook alone.
Another 60 percent of Boomers say they're looking for promotions on social media, a quarter are actively following brands on social right this very moment, and 14 percent say they interact with brands at least once a month.
Though they might not be digital natives, the numbers are pretty clear: Today's seniors are more social-savvy than most of us give them credit for.
Leveraging the Senior Social Scene
Though the senior presence on social media certainly rivals that of today's younger generations, that doesn't mean the two groups use social platforms in the same way. Even more importantly, it doesn't mean our same Millennial-targeted tactics will work when marketing senior living communities and other Boomer-aimed products via social media.
The truth is seniors use social media for every different reasons and in very different ways than their more youthful counterparts—and understanding these nuances is crucial if you want to reach these consumers, connect with them and, ultimately, convert them into paying customers and advocates for your brand.
Here are the few keys to success we've found when marketing senior living communities via social media:
Know where to focus your efforts.
With seniors, not all social media is created equal. In fact, this generation overwhelmingly prefers Facebook over every other social platform out there. A shocking 84 percent of all Baby Boomers have Facebook accounts, while Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and other up-and-comers aren't even a blip on their radar. Seniors' second-favorite social site? Surprisingly, it' Google's video-sharing platform, YouTube.
It's important to take these stats into account when planning your campaigns. Don't waste time and resources on platforms that don't even stand a chance. Focus your efforts on Facebook and YouTube, and really hone in on your metrics to make those as effective and profitable as possible.
Understand their approach.
While most Millennials follow brands on social media for entertainment, Boomers are looking for more substance; they want promotions, deals and information that empowers them. Seniors are also what many marketing experts call "lurkers." Though 14 percent regularly interact with brands on social media, they're way more likely to hover passively in the background, clicking on ads, reading articles and taking in data without ever chiming in and making themselves known.
So while asking questions, posting controversial content or sharing funny memes may get Gen Z followers to like and comment, donâ€™t expect it to do the same for your senior audience. In fact, your most successful posts may have no interactions at all!
Know what seniors (and their loved ones) are looking for when they find your brand on social media, and try to put yourself in their shoes. What questions do they have? What are their concerns and worries? Are they scared of the costs? Or how well their family member will be cared for? Of how their medical conditions will be handled?
Remember, seniors donâ't want entertainment. Address these concerns head-on, and give them information, data and real value with your social posts and ads. Share links and resources that guide them in their decision-making, and work to empower them, educate them and make choosing a senior living facility easier and more manageable.
Marketing senior living communities is all about building trust—trust that you'll care for someone's loved one and trust that you will make a senior's life happy, healthy and safe. Create that trust by being authentic, real and honest on your social accounts.
Interact directly with your followers; answer their questions and respond to their requests quickly and politely. Show photos and videos of real-life residents, share reviews and testimonials, and introduce staff members and management. The main goal? To give followers a glimpse at what life at your facility is really like—and what sort of life it can offer the seniors who live there.
Supplement with paid ads.
Organic social media efforts will only get you so far. If you really want to ensure your message reaches the right audience, then supplement your organic campaigns with paid ones. Facebook and YouTube both offer robust advertising platforms, each with pretty detailed targeting options.
You can target ads by age, gender, geographic area and even interests--but just be sure to tailor your messaging for those exact audiences you choose. Try out video, image and text ads, and you can even use some of Facebook's more advanced tools like lead generation forms and call-to-action buttons to enhance your results. As your campaigns run, monitor your metrics and make tweaks along the way. This will help you hone in on a winning strategy.
Get More Help Marketing Senior Living Communities
Marketing senior living communities is more difficult than many facilities bargain for. Not only are you trying to reach and resonate with seniors themselves, but you also want to touch their loved ones—family members who are concerned, worried and sometimes even scared.
It takes a balanced approach—one that's most persuasive and informational, targeted and authentic. Social media can help significantly in these efforts, but only if it's used properly.
Want help using social media to generate leads for your facility? Contact Outlet Creative Group today. We're experts in marketing senior living communities, and we can help.