Working with over 300 communities across the country, we’ve been diligent in monitoring the changes that are happening rapidly — daily — during this quickly shifting marketplace. We’re all feeling the effects of the “new normal” on community operations, sales and marketing. Trust that this is a marathon, not a sprint. But quick action is needed. We’ve been working around the clock to help our communities pivot to the right methods to sustain business, and we’re sharing a few tips with you here.
Residents, prospects, and their families are looking to the senior living communities for information, guidance and reassurance during this time — making senior living marketing not just essential,
Your community’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic will build the foundation for the trust that residents, prospects and their families will have in your community going forward. This is also an opportunity to make key connections and share positive, uplifting messages during an uncertain and increasingly isolated time.
Business is not as usual, so your marketing shouldn’t be either. Here are seven key tips we’ve gathered at GlynnDevins that will help you proactively steer your community’s marketing efforts and facilitate positive, agile communication during the COVID-19 pandemic:
Adjust Your Digital Messaging.
1. Focus on Lead-Nurturing Content.
Shift from any lead-generating content to experience-related and educational content. Nurturing-focused pieces provide vital information to residents and their loved ones, such as how to stay in touch during social distancing, how your community is prepared to handle emergencies, or at-home activities that seniors can enjoy while in isolation.
If you already have blog posts planned, consider how you can adjust the content to be suitable for today’s climate.
For example, were you going to have a blog post promoting an upcoming holiday event at your community? You can take the content you were going to use, remove all mentions of visiting the community, and turn it into an educational piece on how to celebrate the holiday during social distancing.
2. Shift Your Review Channel Focus.
The functionality of Google My Business has been limited due to COVID-19. Did you know that Google My Business currently isn’t allowing consumers to leave reviews or engage in any Q&A with senior living communities?
If you haven’t already, shift your focus to one of the other major review platforms, such as Yelp or Facebook. According to Facebook, one in three of Facebook’s over two billion users use the platform to look for recommendations and reviews — a number likely to grow as Facebook is experiencing new records in usage almost every day due to COVID-19.
3. Review your Assets.
What assets can you use that you already have at your disposal? Now is a great time to review any physical collateral you have and consider transferring it to a digital medium. While you may not be able to physically hand them out, you can still share these materials digitally.
This content performs well across multiple channels to ensure that you’re still nurturing individuals who have expressed interest in your community but can’t come tour in this climate.
Create Virtual Highlights Via Social Media.
4. Pin Positive and Informative Posts.
Pinning informative and positive posts to your social media pages is a great way to ensure you’re making a positive first impression on visitors and that content is accessible to users searching for updates.
Some examples of pin-worthy posts include:
- Educational material
- Public service announcements
- Heartwarming stories
- Updates on protocol and rules about visits
Learn how to pin a Facebook post here.
5. Go Live.
Live broadcasting channels are a great resource for real-time, virtual connection. While visitors aren’t allowed on campus, you can use Facebook Live to bring families and loved ones into the activities that your residents are engaging in; this will help everyone feel connected.
Here are two tips for using Facebook Live:
- Engage with your audience — actively respond to comments during your broadcast
to foster connection and communication.
- Inform your audience beforehand — schedule your broadcast ahead of time to build the anticipation and encourage participation.
Learn how to use Facebook Live here.
Streamline Your Communication.
6. Standardize Messaging.
Messaging platforms like Facebook Messenger are a great way to immediately connect with your audience. Take the time to put together standard responses to family members reaching out about your community’s protocol, and keep it consistently updated as circumstances change.
This will allow you to efficiently engage and maintain an open channel of communication,
while still ensuring consistent and current messaging is being shared.
You may also need to prepare for the onslaught of increased messaging that is coming your way. Facebook’s Vice President of Analytics Alex Schultz and Vice President of Engineering Jay Parikh recently reported that “in many of the countries hit hardest by the virus, total messaging has increased more than 50% over the last month.”
7. Provide a Sales Template.
To assist your sales and marketing team, consider writing a template for them to inform new leads that tours and appointments will be held virtually for the foreseeable future.
This will help prevent the need to turn away in-person visitors. It will also encourage new leads
to engage with your community virtually, so you can still nurture your relationship during
You can find even more tips for sales counselors during the COVID-19 pandemic here.
As you adjust your marketing tactics to suit the needs of your community, residents, and their family members and loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic, remember that open communication and digital engagement are crucial in fostering connection during social distancing. Your messaging and visibility are more important now than ever.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for additional assistance and guidance.
For more information on COVID-19, how to protect yourself, or what you should do if you think you are sick, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.