Of course they do. Social media, like Facebook and Twitter, delivers real-time “news” straight to your news feed, keeping us informed on trending and interesting stories based on our preferences — all on our favorite mobile devices. In fact, social might be where you first saw this news article.
Another reason it’s so appealing is that we can participate in the newscasts or stories by sharing, commenting and liking, which lends to a more active experience and connects us with others interested in the subject matter. The entertaining and informative content, combined with the interactive experience and connectedness, is why so many participate in social every day.
Here’s the latest data regarding social media news consumption from a Pew Research Center report:
- 62% of adults get news from social media
- 44% of all adults in the U.S. get news on Facebook
- Twitter has a smaller user base than Facebook, but 59% of those users go to Twitter for news
- Those 65+ use Facebook and LinkedIn for news
- Facebook, Instagram and YouTube users usually get news passively. This means that posts pop up while they’re catching up with friends and family, and scrolling through their feed. Twitter, LinkedIn and Reddit users get news actively, which means that they go to the social channels specifically to search for the news.
- Unsurprisingly, social media news users also frequently visit news websites and apps to get news.
In addition to the latest Pew Research report, we already know that 90% of our primary target audience ($75,000+ HHI, 65+) use the internet. 71% of online seniors go online daily, and approximately 50% of this audience uses social media, with Facebook leading the pack.
How can senior living organizations become a bigger part of this growing phenomenon of social news consumption?
- Start by following your favorite news outlets via Facebook and Twitter, e.g., local TV stations, national news publications, senior living trade media like Senior Housing News. Learn what types of stories they share and how they visually tell them on social.
- Get bloggers and reporters to cover your stories, including tweeting, sharing and broadcasting them via social. One way to do this is to work with a media relations strategist to help craft your story in an appealing way to entice bloggers and journalists to want to share your best stories.
- Think of social media as a hub (or newsroom) and owned channel for publishing, distribution and sharing efforts. Try to post a news story about your community on social at least once a week, in addition to other social content. Or, even better, share a story that a reporter or blogger is telling about your organization. Social publishing and live broadcasting provide endless opportunities to share the many interesting stories within senior living communities.
- Dedicate time and resources to uncover stories at your community that other seniors and families would find interesting and that support your overall brand. Then become a digital storyteller. Use video, photos and images to show and tell your story. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and experiment with new and different storytelling methods.
- Lead by example and engage with stories about your community or the field of senior living through Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other channels. Encourage your staff, residents and family members to join in the conversation, too. Remember social media is all about being social.
- Dedicate a portion of your traditional media budget to paid boosts on social. This will get your stories in front of an even larger targeted audience, who want to consume news on social.
We anticipate the impact of social media will only increase, so now is a great time to evaluate your social channels and further evolve your strategy.