Creative. Memorable. Engaging. That’s how we all want our senior living community displayed on social media, right?
We’ve compiled a list of tips to help you boost your social media strategy. Save this resource and check on it once in a while to refresh your memory!
Capturing High Quality Images
No matter the size or type of senior living community, it is essential to have high quality posts on your social media platforms whether that entails a highly produced graphic or video, or if a team member snaps an iPhone image.
4 Key Steps for High Quality Images of Your Community
- Setting: If the “portrait” (iPhone) setting is an option, this captures a quality image.
- Lighting: Make sure the background isn’t too bright (like standing in front of a window on a sunny day) and if the subjects are faces, make sure shadows are not casted on their faces.
- Surrounding: Check what’s in the background! If there are objects such as trash bags, drinks, unsightly items, take a moment to move the items before the photo is taken.
- Duplicates: Snap more than one photo, use a vertical and horizontal orientation for options.
Establish a Photo Review Process
In a senior living community, there are many considerations before you hit “Publish” on a new social media post. Consider your residents and their family members before sharing each day’s activity or special snapshot.
Photos posted from your community not only shed light on the care that is being given to your residents, but it can also be the first glimpse that potential residents see when browsing your online platforms.
Because quality care is of utmost importance, it’s equally important for your online presence to display that level of care and attention.
Photo Review Checklist
- Does the resident’s hair, nails and/or grooming look fresh? No bedhead, no food on their outfit, and certainly make sure each resident looks clean and well taken care of.
- What’s in the background? Make sure others in the background look happy, groomed and enjoyable.
- Do your team members look pleasant? Take a look at employees (in the background of photos) to make sure they are presentable.
Memory Care Tip: Before you post a photo of a memory care resident holding baby dolls or an AI pet, keep in mind that while this might be the reality of our community wellness programs, it is sometimes a reminder to family members or strangers that their loved one is declining in health. It is our recommendation to keep these images private and not use these on public platforms.
Examples of High Quality Pictures
Hashtag Do’s and Don’ts
- Start your community name and use consistently – #NameofCommunity
- Use location – #City #State #Region #LocalSlogans
- Use care levels - #SeniorLiving #ActiveAdult #RetirementCommunity #IndependentLiving #AssistedLiving #MemoryCare #PostAcuteCare #CCRC
- Use photo specifics that help describe the photo - #PetTherapy #DanceTherapy #Wellness #LifeEnrichment
- Use holiday hashtags
- Copy and paste the same set of hashtags on every post. Instagram notices this and your posts will be flagged from appearing on hashtag searches.
- Use hashtags on Facebook.
- Use too many on Twitter. Choose your community name hashtag and 1-2 supporting hashtags.
Capture What Your Target Audience Wants To See
From retirement communities to a variety of care levels like assisted living and memory care, future residents and their families are utilizing social media like never before to research potential communities and to stay connected. The content you post could be the difference in welcoming a future resident through your door or not!
Family members, future residents and visitors want to see how the community is enriching lives. What takes place inside your community is your best marketing and promotion.
Have a fun event planned for a holiday? Take pictures of residents and staff enjoying it together. Local choir stopping by to sing for the community? Stop and grab a quick video. Notice a team member taking the time to simply sit and chat with a resident? Take a picture!
There are dozens of big and small moments throughout the week that, if captured and shared, highlight the heart within a community.
- Residents enjoying community amenities
- Seasonal activities (a walk in the garden or getting bundled up by the fire)
- Community involvement (volunteers engaging with residents)
- Group outings (going out to lunch, attending an art show)
- Special holiday events and activities
- Residents in the holiday spirit (dressed up or decorated room and door)
- Staff interacting with residents
- Staff behind the scenes (answering the phone, planning activities, assisting residents)
- Get to Know the Staff campaign
- Get to Know the Residents campaign (share personal stories from residents; advice they would give on a certain topic; favorite childhood memory)
- Community updates
Share To The Right Channel In The Right Way
You snapped the picture…now what? When it comes to social platforms, there’s no shortage of options. The best places for communities to post resident activity includes Facebook and Instagram. If you are recruiting team members or sharing leadership news and updates, be sure to post that content on LinkedIn and Twitter.
2 Steps to Follow Before Scheduling a Post
Double check the image or video.
- Make sure it is good quality, centered, and appropriate
- Avoid posting images that are blurry, have people cut off or not centered, or if objects or humans look unpleasant.
Craft a caption relevant to the image.
- Provide details (describe the event, add the resident name, and make it personal)
- On Instagram, include hashtags relevant to your community, location, and the picture to help searchability.
- Consider if it needs a call to action (CTA) such as “call today” or “click on the link.”
Once you’ve done those, all that you have left to do is hit post!
Social media is your virtual front door. It’s the journal of your community and the marketing machine for new residents.