Once the domain of teens and young adults, social media is now widely accepted by older adults and has become a part of their regular lives. According to a 2022 Gallup poll, 69% of all US adults aged 55 and older have a Facebook account, and 60% use it daily or weekly.
What’s the takeaway from this data for senior living sales and marketing professionals? Not only are your prospects utilizing Facebook in a big way, but so are their adult children. Here’s how to capitalize on seniors using Facebook by making it a part of your senior living marketing plan.
5 tips for implementing Facebook into your senior living marketing plan
Why focus on Facebook and not other social media avenues?
In that same Gallup poll, we see that only 13% of adults 55 and older children are utilizing Twitter daily or weekly, and only 21% are on Instagram daily or weekly. Dani Merlino, Grow Your Occupancy’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing, shared this story:
“My sweet Gram is on Facebook despite her account being hacked about 15 times now! When I start to talk to her about other social media platforms, her eyes glaze over and she thinks it’s all nonsense. Facebook was the first platform she dared to try and it’s going to be the last. It took her four years to figure out how to post and to understand that when she was commenting on my pictures the rest of the world could also see her comments (which led to some fun conversations). Between Facebook and television that’s about as much technology as she can handle for the day. She knows how to use it to get neighborhood gossip. Why fix something that isn’t broken by adding more social media platforms?”
How to capitalize on the 60% regularly using Facebook
Older adults are definitely using Facebook, so how do you use that to your senior living community’s advantage? Engage with them! Respond to their comments on Facebook. It will make them feel special that they were heard and acknowledged.
Tailor your posts to be most enticing to them by post pictures instead of long written content. When you do post written content, be sure it is meaningful and relevant to them.
Make Facebook fun and engaging by holding regular giveaways! Your prime audience loves freebies. Getting the freebie into their hands also creates prime opportunities to either visit them at their home or invite them into your community.
Consider Facebook ads. You don’t need to be a paid ads wiz to do this. Facebook allows you to easily boost most posts, within a budget of your choosing. Plus, you get to pick the call to action like a phone call, initiating a chat, or a visit to your website.
How to make your Facebook ads relevant
Merlino shares: “I once worked with a digital advertising agency that designed an ad for one of my communities in a rural setting. The ad read, “Luxurious community with a 5 Star feel. Enjoy our fine dining.” It is a 40-bed community out in the middle of the country, surrounded by farmland. Our typical prospects were not interested in a luxurious community and fine dining.”
What’s the takeaway from this story? Know what is important to the demographic you’re marketing to. In that story, that community’s residents were interested in a small-town feel, with home cooked meals and all the comforts of country living. Your Facebook ads should be realistic and not misleading. Be wary of using stock photos: do they really look like your residents? Do they portray the lifestyle your ideal prospects are seeking? Consider using images of your actual residents (with their permission) for your Facebook ads.
Targeting options for Facebook ads
Facebook considers ads for senior living communities to be in the Housing Special Ad Category, therefore the ad targeting options like age and gender are not available. Facebook does target housing ads to users within a 10 mile radius of the community so they definitely are worthwhile, especially considering you can set your budget per ad as low a few dollars and still have a high likelihood of getting a few clicks.
Be strategic about including Facebook posts into your marketing plan
Let your short-term sales goals inform your marketing strategy, including a schedule of Facebook posts that reach the ideal prospects. For example:
Do you have a glut of independent living studio apartments? Plan out 5 meaningful Facebook posts per week that include pictures of actual residents participating in activities and partaking in your community’s nice amenities. Boost one of them as an ad each week.
Do the approaching winter months mean the likelihood of frigid temperatures and severe weather? Utilize resident testimonials to showcase the benefits of worry-free and maintenance-free living.
In today’s world where more people are on Facebook than are receiving the daily newspaper, and you can advertise on Facebook for a minute fraction of a print ad, don’t count out Facebook as a key part of your senior living community marketing strategy.
Ready to take your senior living occupancy growth success to a new level by incorporating Facebook into your senior living marketing plan? Grow Your Occupancy provides the sales coaching, accountability, onboarding, playbook, and marketing expertise essential to your senior living sales and marketing success. Learn more about Grow Your Occupancy here. Or book your free 30-minute consultation today.