Social media continues to reinvent how people of all ages find information. That can mean news, ads, pop culture, world events — did I mention ads? The rise of digital channels, social media included, to predominance within advertising has been a rollercoaster.
At Varsity, we’ve got plenty of experience delivering across traditional and digital channels. What works in one camp won’t get far in another. And that’s fine, because not every tool is right for every job. Targeted social media may do well for a geofenced region, but whether it does better than a well-placed billboard is a never-ending debate.
Today we’re here to share some tips on social media best practices, and help you up your game without upping your budget. In 2024, it can be summed up in one word: quality. But what does quality mean in this context? Length, depth, authenticity and human connection — things that do not lend themselves to social media’s climate of instant results and instant gratification.
Here’s the missing link: social media being the start and not the end to the conversation. With a little strategy and prep, social media can go from reactive, one-off posting to strategic markers within your buyer journey by providing direction toward the quality content that buyers, whether in purchasing modes or on the sidelines, need to read. Where social media opens the conversation through stylish, well-summarized points, let the conversation continue on other owned channels such as your company website and blog.
With all of that said, let’s get into the tips.
- Specificity and SEO Strengths
Google’s algorithms have shifted to heavily value longer-form, knowledge-dense content for SEO rankings. Add to that the continual emphasis on backlinking (places on the open web that link to your content, e.g., this page), and you’ve got two sides of a golden triangle. What connects those dots is practice — writing in-depth, specific content with an emphasis on keyword density. So, users that follow your social media posts to the blog have a good, shareable experience — and on the back-end, those posts are more likely to rank and receive traction from the open web.
Start small, by focusing on a couple of topics within your wheelhouse. Write often, and keep within the lines. As your library grows, between social and owned channels, the results will accumulate through SEO and into further buyer journey stages.
- Stories, Perspectives, People
One of senior living’s greatest strengths is its inherently emotional nature. People care deeply about their options, whether they’re shopping for themselves, a parent, or another relative. And they should care; choosing a community is no small question — or small investment, for that matter.
Because senior living is so deeply rooted in family, care and humanity, let those things work to your benefit. Solicit stories from residents and their families! Get out there and ask what is on your residents’ minds. Using social media, entire campaigns can spring up from your community. Relations to historical events and anniversaries, current events at your community, “resident of the week,” the options are limited only by your imagination and Wi-Fi speed.
- Always Call to Action
Including a CTA on social media to drive traffic is the classic example. But not every post should be designed to drive website traffic. In this climate of “community management” on social, some posts can exist purely to drive conversation. Calls to action may help to drive discussion in the comments, solicit recommendations, or share resources that readers have found. As comments and interactions come in, so will your social performance rise.
- Hacking A/B Testing
This is one more digital marketing staple, with a twist. For paid ad campaigns, A/B testing has been a long-held standard. Create two versions of a post, tweak headlines or body copy, deploy, evaluate, rinse and repeat.
Taking the above suggestions into consideration, you can create parallel versions of the same post, or two different posts within the same campaign structure, and run A/B testing with them — not just to analyze performance, but also to leverage that diversity and get two versions of your content into the world for the price of one. For content that’s more passive or calendar filler, such as holiday staples, now your money’s going twice as far.
And that’s that! We hope that these tips have helped to start some ideas rolling.
Thanks for reading!