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7 Social Tactics to Embrace in 2016

You’ve created a strong Facebook presence. Engagement is running high. Likes, shares and positive reviews fill your page. Now you’re looking to expand your efforts and generate even more ROI. But how?

Here are 7 recommendations for 2016:

  1. Speed up your social response time.
    It’s no secret that the amount of time it takes your community to respond to a question, comment or review on social media reflects directly on your community. Faster response time generally leads to a better overall consumer experience. This year, make it your goal to respond to all social requests within an hour or two, and determine a plan for how your team will handle incoming social communication.

Facebook has added badges that show users which pages respond quickly and consistently to private messages. Learn how to get a Very responsive message badge here. Learn more about Facebook response rates here.

Helpful tip: Dedicate at least one associate to be part of your social response team, responsible for lead nurturing and one-to-one communication. Social monitoring and listening tools can help by alerting you of conversations taking place about your community.

  1. Get found on social.
    Increasingly, consumers are performing searches directly on social when seeking information about services or businesses. This is partly because they want to see and read what others have to say about the place of business, rather than what the organization has to say about themselves.

The evolving search capabilities on social provide even more ways for your community to get found by your target audiences, so you can begin having a dialogue. In addition to gaining a first impression by Googling your community, consumers can also get an everyday glimpse into your community by reading comments and reviews, seeing candid photos, and watching videos that have been added to your social channels.

Helpful tip: Adjust your SEO strategy to include not only how to get found on major search engines, but also how to get found on social. Strategically using hashtags in social posts will allow users to quickly navigate and sort content by topics relevant to their search.

  1. Dedicate a portion of your budget to social display.
    Social platforms offer hyper-targeted opportunities to reach your audience with minimal ad spend. Consider dedicating a portion of this year’s paid media budget to social display, such as Facebook ads and remarketing opportunities. You’ve already invested time and resources in creating content. Now it’s time to amplify that content to an even larger audience, generating more impressions and conversions for each message.

Helpful tip: Start with a small investment and test a variety of ad types and messages. An agency like GlynnDevins can provide recommendations as you determine ad spend, messaging and CTAs. If you’re not familiar with social display, consult with a media planner, just as you would with traditional print ads.

  1. Promote your events on Facebook.
    Are you hosting lead-generating events in 2016? Consider extending an invitation to your Facebook fans (and perhaps even run a social ad to promote the event to a larger targeted audience). Those who sign up via Facebook will receive reminders as your event approaches. They also have the opportunity to invite their friends and share on their Facebook page for their followers to see.

Helpful tip: All you need to create an event on Facebook is the event name, photo (for best results, use a 1920 x 1080 pixel image), location, date/time, event URL and event description.

  1. Tailor video content for social.
    Over the past few years, we’ve been in the process of shifting videos from the broadcast format, such as TV, to online videos. Not too long ago, you could create a video and post it to your YouTube channel and share it on your blog, Facebook page and website in the same format and message. Now many marketers are designing video specifically for each channel. When developing your video strategy, don’t forget to plan for how you intend to use and share video on social and what format you’ll need.

Helpful tip: In all channels, focus on storytelling. Use shorter formats on social. And keep an eye on live video streaming, which seems to be gaining popularity.

  1. Identify social influencers and engage with them.
    Positive experiences with your community lead to referrals (both online and offline). Leverage these good, great and extraordinary experiences by asking people to leave positive reviews on your Facebook page. Identify potential influencers and establish a mutually beneficial relationship with them. For example, if you know of a local blogger on health and wellness with a large social following, build a relationship with him by sharing story ideas in an effort to get your messages in front of his audience. Remember: Third-party perspective speaks much louder than yours.

Getting started: Make a list of 10 bloggers, reporters and social influencers within your target market who share a similar audience. Include their social handles and contact information. Connect with them and develop a strategy to increase engagement over time.

  1. Humanize your brand and harness the power of storytelling.
    The human factor trumps all the strategies above. People relate best to other people. Social continues to allow organizations the opportunity to speak in an authentic, personal, empathetic, casual and conversational way. Whenever possible, focus on humanizing your brand to create a more honest online experience for your organization and your audience.

Use social to tell your story well – with words, photos, videos and infographics. Tell your story in a way that resonates with your audience and helps them make an informed decision about who you are and what your organization stands for.

Helpful tip: It’s okay to communicate and engage on social via your own personal profiles. Responding to a resident or family member only adds to your credibility and authenticity. Encourage others within your organization to do the same.

One thing is for sure in 2016: Social media use will continue to increase among seniors and their children. In fact, Scarborough data referencing the top 25 markets shows that Facebook is the second-most-visited website among seniors 70+, behind Google. If you’re a beginner and testing the social media waters, don’t get discouraged. You have an opportunity to be a leader in social when it comes to senior living. Start with the basics and dedicate time to learn, explore and add to your efforts each week as you continue to build your social channels.

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