Social media for care homes
Social media for care homes has become one of the easiest, most cost effective to promote your business and, with a diversity of users, it is possible to reach many more people than a traditional offline marketing campaign would. Whilst your business plan will already be in place for the coming year, it is important to make sure that you have included a strategy on social media.
Social media may seem like a minefield, but it is an important source of connection with your local community and your residents’ families who have the potential to be your greatest online promoters. The key to success is to start small, perhaps with just one social media platform, and keep it manageable by allocating time in your day to updating and monitoring your profile and your competitors. Whether you choose Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram, these pointers will help you set up a social media presence and help to enhance any offline campaigns you have planned in a low cost and low effort manner.
Recommendations and low-cost promotion on social media
Residents and their families and friends have the potential to be your biggest promoters and recommendations are invaluable when creating an online presence. Recommendations and positive feedback will provide potential residents and their families with valuable information on how your business works and what they could expect for their family member if they were to live in the home. Often it is residents’ families, rather than the resident themselves, who choose the home and they may not be familiar with the area and your home.
Therefore, positive feedback and recommendations will be sought out by the family to inform them when making a decision. Additionally, social media has become increasingly used within older generations, therefore there is a much higher chance that they will also consult social media when searching for a home. In this way having a profile for people to leave positive feedback, recommendations and stories of events and experiences at the home will leave a positive impression on searching for a care home. This is also an extremely low cost and low effort way of promoting your home on a near constant basis. .
Engagement in the local community
Social media is a great way to communicate any upcoming events and updates to your local community. It can also provide positive engagement for your residents with the wider community which will help them to integrate with their new surroundings and feel much more comfortable and at home. Care homes that communicate what they are doing on social media demonstrate the events that they hold and the type of activities that residents and prospects can enjoy. Additionally, posting these events on social media allows you to reach a much wider audience than you may have before which will help to increase attendance and revenue.
Competitor and market information
Social media is a great way to get information on your competitors and the market in your area without having to use too much effort. It is easy to see what other homes in the area are doing to maximise their revenue and also to identify areas where you may be able to promote something different that you offer which sets you apart. It is also a great way to demonstrate that you are able to offer advice and knowledge within your sector, without promoting your home specifically, which will help you to be viewed as an expert in your field. This in turn will increase the likelihood of recommendations and positive feedback.
Responding to customer comments and feedback
In this age, consumers are increasingly turning towards the internet for recommendations and reviews on services and products. The same applies for care facilities, especially for family members who may not know the area and are therefore largely reliant on the internet for their research. Whilst the CQC rating is important, people also value the opinions of residents and their family members who actually use the services you provide regularly. Therefore, their reviews and recommendations online are invaluable, and this is something that you should be using to advertise your home on social media. Positive reviews from service users are infinitely more effective for your reputation than anything you can say about your home yourself. Equally, bad reviews or comments can have as great, if not more, of an impact than positive reviews, but social media affords you the ability to respond to any negative feedback and address any concerns raised.