Facebook groups offer incredible marketing opportunities–not to mention a chance to better get to know your residents and provide for their needs. Starting a Facebook group for your senior living community will allow members of the community to come together for discussions, information, and more. Have you taken advantage of all of the features offered by Facebook?
Why Start a Facebook Group
Are you thinking about starting a Facebook group for your senior living community? There are several reasons to consider moving forward, including:
The ability to make announcements to a large percentage of your community at the same time.
Social media makes your residents more accessible than ever. When you send messages out via a Facebook group, you’re able to share information with residents quickly, in real time. This is a great way to share news about upcoming events, let residents know about emergencies or other challenges caused due to the weather, or simply to communicate policy changes to a large percentage of the community at once.
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Increased communication between residents.
Some people struggle to make connections within a new community. They may lack critical information about upcoming events or opportunities, or they might not know how to take advantage of services offered throughout the community. Facebook groups, on the other hand, allow residents to more easily develop relationships and communicate with one another.
How to Start a Facebook Group
In the top of your Facebook dashboard, click on the down arrow. This should give you the option to create a “new group.” Under the new group link, create a name for your community group. Ideally, this group should clearly identify your senior living community. Write a group description that lets residents know what the group is about. Some things to consider:
What rules will govern your Facebook group?
You might, for example, want to create a rule about what type of language can be used, or you might want to indicate that group members can’t use the space to buy, sell, and trade items–or, conversely, you might want to allow exactly that! Consider how you want to shape and develop your Facebook group and what behaviors you want to encourage. The rules may change over time, but the foundation you set now will help shape the way your residents interact through your group.
Do you want the group to be open, closed, or secret?
In an open group, anyone can choose to join at any time. In a closed group, they must be approved by a moderator. In a secret group, you’ll have to send out requests to potential members, since they won’t be able to find it on their own. A secret group cannot be found by a general search on Facebook. A closed group, on the other hand, can be seen, but non-members won’t be able to see any members’ posts or comments within the group. Open groups have posts that can be seen by anyone.
How will you control membership in the group?
Do you want, for example, to remove residents from the group once they no longer live in the community? Will you allow seniors’ family members to request membership, or is membership limited only to members of your senior living community? What about seniors who are thinking about moving into your community? Can they join the Facebook group to learn more or to make connections, or will you wait until they are actually members of the community? You will also want to consider how you want to invite new members of your senior living community to join the Facebook group: do you want to send them a request when they sign their contract, for example, or do you want to wait until move-in day?
Who will moderate the group?
In any online group, the potential exists for things to get out of hand. Fortunately, your moderators have the ability to delete posts and comments that aren’t in keeping with your group rules. You may also choose to remove members from the group if they fail to follow your guidelines.
Once you’ve created your group, invite existing members of your senior living community to join it. This may be easier if you are already friends on Facebook, but it can also be done without being friends with members. Then, start posting! Create a few general topics and encourage community members to start the conversation. Encourage community members to start conversations of their own. With any luck, your Facebook group will take off!
The Benefits of Starting a Facebook Group for Your Senior Living Community
Starting a Facebook group has plenty of advantages for any business, and your senior living community is no exception. Consider:
Starting a Facebook group allows you to learn more about your target demographic.
You’ll learn more about the needs of your community members, and you’ll be able to meet those needs more effectively. You’ll get a better feel for what services you need to offer to your community members. Not only that, but you will also get a better idea of what really sets your community apart, which can later be used as part of your marketing materials.
Your Facebook group shows you care.
It allows you to interact with your community members on a regular basis and answer their needs, which in turn shows that you care. As you interact more often with community members, you’re able to build relationships, which can in turn make seniors happier with their place in your community.
It will deepen residents’ relationships with one another.
Not only will they be able to get to know one another better, they’ll be able to answer each other’s questions and help take care of one another. A private Facebook group is a great opportunity for community outreach and development–something that can significantly improve seniors’ satisfaction.
Are you considering creating a Facebook group for your senior living community? Do you need help promoting it and integrating it with your other marketing activities? Give us a call today at (844) 408-4081 to see how we design a full marketing campaign that integrates with your Facebook community.