When it comes to senior living marketing and Facebook, the only thing constant is change. Even as the social network pushes past its 15th anniversary and towards 2.5 billion users, it constantly tries to make marginal improvements to its user experience and of course that includes senior living marketing.
That makes sense for users, but can be a headache when you are trying to increase engagement for your senior living business Facebook page. A better user experience, for Facebook, often means making it more difficult to get business content in front of your audience. That’s because of a constant stream of algorithm updates designed to show the most interesting content first–and that’s not always brand focused.
Fortunately, it’s a nuisance only to senior living marketers who don’t know what to do. If you know how the newsfeed algorithm that determines what your audiences sees on their Facebook homepage operates, you can design your strategy around it.
Yes, you can beat the Facebook algorithm in a way that actually makes sense for your audience, too. Consider these 4 ways you can succeed in 2019, even as the algorithm continues to orient newsfeeds away from brands and businesses.
1) How Often and When Should You Post?
Facebook punishes businesses that post too often on its platform. At the same time, not posting enough doesn’t give your content a chance to make it in front of your audience. The key, then, is finding the balance between these two extremes.
Under the newest algorithm updates, posting 1-2 times per day makes the most sense. According to most studies, once per day is a good baseline, and you should not go above twice per day to avoid being marked for spam.
When you post also matters. Again, you have to find the balance between posting when your audience is online, but also avoid getting lost in the noise of all others posting at the same time. One recent study found that posting between 1 pm and 3 pm hits that sweet spot, although you can occasionally break out of that pattern to vary your posting times. Depending on your audience, posting after business hours may make sense.
2) What Content Should You Publish for the Best Senior Living Marketing?
Timing, of course, is only part of the equation. The Facebook algorithm prefers content that engages and draws your visitors into a conversation. It’s a chain reaction: once a post gets engagement in the form of likes, shares, or comments, it doesn’t just increase its reach but also tells Facebook that your future posts should see that same attention.
One way to drive towards that engagement is to ask your audience direct questions, starting your posts with words like “Who,” “What”, or “Why”. Another is to not just publish posts, but actively engage with each commenter to start a conversation with each follower who interacts with you.
At the same time, you also have to avoid a few big potential problems for your Facebook content:
- Never directly ask for likes, comments, or shared in your content.
- Avoid duplicating content between posts, instead make sure each post is unique.
- Don’t put links in the content itself, which Facebook interprets as a way to draw users away from the network.
Each of these no-nos will lead to an automatic downgrade by your algorithm.
Finally, some types of content tend to outperform others. For instance, posts with images tend to see 2.3 times more engagement than those without, while the engagement rate for video (6%) is higher than any other type of content.
3) How Can You Leverage Vertical Video for Senior Living Ads and Posts?
Let’s dig into that last point a bit more. Video is your best shot at success in getting your content in front of your senior living audience under Facebook’s 2019 algorithm rules. Just what does that mean, though? Certainly, you can’t simply produce any kind of video and hope for the best.
Vertical video is one opportunity to succeed. As more and more people use their mobile devices to access their favorite social networks, they’ve become used to a different type of video on their screen. According to Facebook, 79% of its users think that this mode is actually more engaging than the traditional landscape alternative. A recent quantitative study found the exact same thing to be true.
The right vertical videos don’t waste any space, despite the unorthodox format. They direct the audience’s eyes to the top and lower parts of the screen on a regular basis. They work especially well with animation and typography, which offers less creative restriction than live-action footage. And of course, this format is made for single-person, authentic POV videos like testimonials or expert reviews.
The creative possibilities are almost endless. If you’re looking to continue succeeding in Facebook’s new algorithm, a vertical video might just be your key.
4) How to Use Facebook Stories for Optimal Success
Finally, you might want to consider branching out beyond the traditional brand post to reach your audience. Facebook stories live outside the newsfeed and are thus not nearly as restricted as the alternative. They allow you to share a stream of pictures and images that stay ‘live’ for 24 hours and then disappear.
Facebook itself forecasts stories to become more dominant than newsfeed posts by the end of this year. That might be ambitious, but not completely outrageous considering the format is growing more rapidly than any social media network. Its more instantaneous format is perfect for in-the-moment content that your audience consumes on an everyday basis and is definitely something you should work into your senior living marketing plan.
Using Facebook stories is simple for senior living marketing once you know how they’re set up. Focus your stories around quick tutorials, tips and tricks, and in-the-moment content about your business. Production value matters much less than authenticity, allowing you to be more spontaneous in how to post and when to post content.
Are You Ready to Build Your 2019 Digital Strategy with the Facebook Algorithm in Mind?
Successful Facebook marketing requires some significant work, but the payoff is immense. The right strategy, accounting for the most recent version of the newsfeed algorithm, still has the potential to outpace your competition and engage your audience.
You just have to know where to start, and that might involve a partner. Learn more about Facebook marketing on our website, or contact us to start the conversation. Let’s work together to make sure your digital marketing strategy is built to succeed in 2019 and beyond.