Tips for home care agencies to maximize the impact of their social media, courtesy of the home care marketing experts at corecubed.
In spite of the social media marketing revolution that has been raging now for years, there are still a number of people, especially in the aging care industry, who shy away from marketing their agencies on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. And on one level, their hesitation is understandable. With so many social media sites, who has time to maintain them all?
Yet, the benefits of social media marketing definitely outweigh any negatives. Social SEO, meaning the posts you create on your social media platforms, plays an important part in how your website ranks in online searches. So, what’s the best strategy to ensure you’re utilizing social media to the fullest?
Know the Basics of Social Media
There are some key questions to ask yourself before you hit the “post” button:
1. Is the content I’m about to post helpful to my target audience? Or is it simply self-promoting? Think about what families and referral sources might need help with and share information on that: how to manage difficult behaviors in dementia, fall prevention tips, safe bathing techniques, etc. A good mix of content should include content that lives on your own website, content shared from trusted industry sites, and local community news such as agency, employee, or community partner achievements and relevant community events.
2. Do the visuals I use draw a person in and compel a person to read further? Images of seniors, families and caregivers that depict positive interaction, restored ability and healthy aging are important to use as they communicate what using your services can help a person to achieve.
3. Is there a way to link the post back to the agency’s website? In a post about Alzheimer’s, provide a link to the services area of your website that explains the specialized dementia care you provide, or to a blog post with additional helpful information on dementia.
4. Am I utilizing the agency’s social media account to its fullest capacity? For instance, is all of the agency’s contact information (phone number, website, location, hours of operation, etc.) provided, as well as additional valuable information you have the ability to add such as your business philosophy and frequently asked questions? Am I responding quickly and effectively to questions and comments (both positive and negative)? Is the agency logo and any awards/recognition seals displayed on the accounts, including Home Care Pulse certifications and awards, Better Business Bureau, local chamber of commerce affiliations and national organization affiliations such as HCAOA and NAHC? Be sure to specify what visitors can or cannot post on your business page, and turn on the profanity filter to strong.
Tie in your brand.
All social media accounts should have the look and message of your overall brand, including your logo and tagline. Consider using the same image used on your website’s home page for your social media cover image. Branding your social media posts from time to time allows Google to link your brand with particular keywords in your posts. For instance, a post that reads, “Washington Home Care loves providing the senior home care solutions Snohomish County families trust!” includes the brand name (Washington Home Care) along with a few important keywords that a home care agency would want to be associated with (senior, home care, Snohomish County). Keywords can also be strategically used when responding to reviews of your agency.
Link to your social media sites from your website.
The majority of websites these days include the company’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media icons, allowing users to easily click through to become followers. And there’s a reason! Whenever Google’s spiders crawl your agency’s website, they will pick up on any social media links and immediately connect those social profiles with your agency. Posts from those accounts will be attributed to your website and help you rank for specific keywords that show up frequently in your posts.
Consider the use of ads and post boosting.
Social media sites like Facebook are places for people to collect and share good information, not necessarily a place where buying decisions are made, so using ads and boosting posts that lead new people back to your website where they find valuable resources is key. Your goal is to get people to become aware of your brand as a well-respected provider of both quality care and helpful information so that when a care need does arise, you are top of mind.
Stick with it.
As with search engine optimization (SEO), social media is never a once-in-awhile, instantly-rewarding activity. It’s an exercise in persistence, as well as trial and error. Post regularly and consistently, analyzing which posts are getting the best responses, and developing a plan around what works best.
Make sure that your agency’s social media accounts follow other company and community pages – those of referral partners, local churches, local government, local community groups and the chamber of commerce, etc. Comment on and “like” community posts and share information relevant to your audience. Your social media relationship with other companies should mirror your real-life relationships, where you help each other, congratulate each other on successes, share each other’s information, etc.
Speaking of a Plan…
Diving in headfirst isn’t necessarily the best way to get results, especially if you’re not seasoned in the ever-evolving world of social media strategy. These tips can help you get started:
Plan your social media posts in a weekly or monthly calendar to help give your posts the traction they need, and to help you stay on track with consistent posting.
Determine which keywords you want associated with your agency. Are most people finding you by searching for “Snohomish County home care” or “senior help at home Snohomish”? Be sure to include these keywords and phrases when you post – as naturally as possible, without trying to stuff them into every post.
Consider Facebook ads to extend your reach within social media.
Partner with an industry expert who is proficient in the most up-to-date techniques for maximizing social media’s reach, and who can create and implement a social media plan to incorporate into your overall sales and marketing strategy.
Executed correctly, and monitored and revised as needed over time, a social media plan can be a crucial component of your agency’s reach and reputation. Step up your social game plan and help your agency advance to the next level.
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