Social Media Archives – Varsity Branding

Tag: Social Media

As part of a recent online conference held by Careers to Love PA, LeadingAge PA’s effort to help communities find team members, I conducted a webinar on online reputation management. Here’s a recap of the top-line thoughts I shared. I hope you find these tips helpful in enhancing your community’s image. 

The internet is the first source of information for many consumers. And because so much of what we know and learn about a retirement community is housed online, that means your community’s reputation is largely composed of the information and reviews found on the internet. That’s why having an active online reputation management program is important.

What is Online Reputation Management (ORM)? 

There are conversations happening almost every day online about your community. Some are positive, some are neutral and some are negative. ORM means getting involved in conversations to position your community in the best possible light. It can take many forms, including the management and monitoring of online reviews.

In the end, ORM is about creating balance, counteracting misleading or inaccurate opinions in reviews and allowing your community to put its best digital foot forward.

Effective online reputation management starts with a four-step program.

Step One: Monitor your reviews

The first step in any ORM program is recognizing the importance of reviewing and responding to reviews of your community and then putting into place a process to do those reviews on a regular basis.

There are two ways to conduct those reviews:

  • MANUALLY – You can scour the many different websites that collect reviews on a regular basis. With more than a dozen potential sources out there – including Facebook, Yelp, Foursquare, Caring, Senior Advisor, Zillow and many others – manually reviewing can be very time-consuming.
  • AGGREGATOR TOOLS –The easiest way to track reviews is with an aggregator tool like Reputation.com (which is what Varsity uses). Reputation.com streamlines the process and allows communities to track, manage and respond to reviews from one platform.

What we like about Reputation is that it allows you to set up alerts so that you get an email when new reviews are posted about your community. With one click from the Reputation interface, you can post a response to that review.

Step Two: Respond to your reviews 

If the first step in an effective ORM program is monitoring reviews, the second step – not far behind – is responding to reviews. Unfortunately, it’s a step many communities don’t always take.

The most important reviews any community or brand can respond to are negative reviews. There are two reasons why responding to negative reviews is vitally important:

  1. It allows you to have a one-to-one conversation with a dissatisfied customer and directly address some of their concerns. They might not EXPECT a response from your community, but giving them one could go a long way toward making them less angry and may even prevent them from leaving other negative reviews in the future.
  2. It allows you to tell your side of the story for people who might be reading the reviews. You also want your community to appear compassionate and trustworthy, and a genuinely caring response will accomplish that.

Bottom line: Responding to negative reviews is just good customer service. Addressing the concerns of unsatisfied customers shows that you care for your residents and you care about how your community and its employees are perceived.

Step Three: Solicit positive reviews 

One of the most effective ways to offset negative reviews and boost your community’s online reputation is by actively soliciting positive reviews from satisfied residents, their family members and employees.

To get those positive reviews you need to put a requesting system in place that asks for reviews on a consistent basis.

You should include requests for reviews in emails sent to community members, via signage in key places or casually in face-to-face conversations with happy residents and their family members.

Make sure to ask for honest reviews. Never try to coax reviewers into providing a positive review or submit a review that’s counter to their actual experience. Let potential reviewers know that you value their feedback and will use their input to help make the community a better place.

Step Four: Make changes in response to negative reviews  

Most negative reviews have a kernel of truth to them. The final step in your community’s ORM program is to take a hard look at negative reviews and make actual changes at your community to address those reviews.

Those planned changes can be noted in your community’s response to the review. The changes will also help create a better living environment and reduce the likelihood of similar negative reviews in the future.

At our weekly sales and marketing roundtable, Varsity team members Cory Lorenz, Media Director, and Cara Stefchak, Senior Social Media Strategist, joined us to share their thoughts on social media and digital media use during the pandemic.

Check out the highlights below. Please also join us for our next sales and marketing roundtable next week!

Thoughts on social media from Cara Stefchak: 

Hello, everyone! Last time I joined you, I talked about content creation and brainstorming around what makes good content and best practices. I wanted to keep it more informal this time. I wanted to address some things I saw in last week’s roundtable—activities that I thought would make great social content.

  • Think about how a video tour or other event can be leveraged on social
    • I encourage you to work with whomever is filming and editing to get multiple deliverables out of a project. Engagement falls off at the two-minute mark for Facebook content, and one minute for an Instagram post. Always look at what your video is—how you can slice and dice it in different ways to provide you with legs on social media.
    • Design for sound off. We always encourage people to keep in mind that viewers may have their sound off. If someone is narrating the tour, include captions and include your logo early in the video to help communicate your message.
    • Two minutes is the longer end of things. Really, you have probably just a few seconds to get your audience’s attention. With a community tour, you probably have more leeway, but it’s still a good idea to catch their attention in the first few seconds to get them to hang on a little longer.
    • Question: How do you upload a longer video?
      • Answer: If you upload a video that is longer than one minute to Instagram, it will prompt you to go directly to Instagram TV. It will sense that it is too long for the feed, and that it should go to Instagram TV.
    • Question: Can you add captions to an iPhone video? 
      • Answer: You can’t do Instagram Live or Facebook Live with captions—you have to add them post-filming. Facebook has smart captioning, and it might be able to detect your voice, but I would still go back through and make sure everything is correct.
  • Virtual events make great social content—whether it’s bingo, or happy hour, or having folks share a meal in their room.
    • Always try to remove as many barriers as possible for participation.
      • Prepare for the event in advance (provide the cards, markers, and step-by-step directions for logging on) to make it as user-friendly as possible.
      • Snap a photo of care packages/prizes outside doors, and share on social media channels. Doing so shows that, even though there’s social distancing, your teams are doing their best to keep residents engaged.
    • Question: Do you keep the activity in small groups of 5 or 6 or a bigger group of 30?  
      • Answer: Smaller might be helpful depending on how much participation you anticipate. You can communicate more easily that way and have more back and forth. When you get in those larger Zoom meetings, it’s hard to jump in and speak up. Smaller breakout groups are definitely a nice idea.
    • Tip: It doesn’t have to be: “We need to do something for social content.”

A lot of things you’re already doing. Ask yourself: What activities do we have that could be nice to capture and share out on social? It’s a smart way to show people that life is going on, and life is still great in the community. It’s always nice when you can share a virtual event. It gives an impression of vitality and vibrancy.

  • What virtual events are you doing right now? 
    • We’ve posted some of our activities on Facebook—short programs with people exercising in the courtyard.
    • One community wanted to have a celebrity chef do a cooking demonstration, so they sent ingredients to those who RSVPed. We’re still working on setting it up
  • What moments are coming up that you could build an event around?

September 16 is National Play-Doh Day. Maybe artists can create with Play-Doh. It’s an excuse for something fun. There’s never a shortage of those interesting holidays that you’ve never heard of.

Grandparents Day: What a time to highlight intergenerational connections.

Instead of having grandchildren visit, grandparents can make gifts for grandchildren, and they could be delivered.Grandparents can share advice for grandchildren, and it can be shared on social.

  • Is anyone addressing COVID concerns directly in social content? If so, what response have you gotten?
    • I follow a lot of clients and I haven’t seen much lately.
    • We’ve been sharing our COVID status and policies via Constant Contact. People are sharing how grateful they are that we are taking care of the community. We’ve been COVID-free since June 1.
    • Have you purposely not put that content on social? No, we just haven’t thought about it, but I guess we also haven’t wanted to brag about being COVID-free because that could change tomorrow.
  • Question: A lot of people I know had their Instagram accounts hacked. How can we stop that?
    • Answer: Update your passwords. (Since our personal Instagram is our gateway to community sites, it’s even more important to make that more secure.) Another person said, “I recently had my accounts hacked. There’s a link you can use to report to Facebook that this isn’t you.”

Cory Lorenz presented an Enquire data slide showing recent media trends:

Cory: Social media inquiries are up year to year, and email is up huge. Conversely, direct mail is taking a hit, and out-of-home and paid referrals are way down. We’re curious whether this looks accurate to you for your specific communities. Are you seeing the same trends?

  • Internal referrals are down a little, but we’re working on a new testimonial campaign
  • We’re getting more leads from the internet and email; direct mail has flattened out.
  • We’ve cut way back on direct mail and advertising—it’s expensive in big-city markets. Most of my referrals are coming fromfriends, family and other people who are aware of the community.
  • We are getting more internet advertising referrals, and paid professional referrals are down. Since you can’t have events anymore, that’s one reason direct mail is taking such a hit.

Please join our next roundtable discussion on Thursday, August 27, at noon ET.

For log-in information, please contact DDunham@VarsityBranding.com.

 

 

Many aging services providers use Facebook as a means to engage with their current and future residents, families and supporters of the community. The platform has become a powerful tool for communities and marketers alike. But, after several years of building a quality Facebook presence, providers are now being warned about upcoming changes to how Facebook works, which can and will affect their accounts.

In a January 11, 2018, post to the Facebook blog, Adam Mosseri, head of News Feed at Facebook, announced that changes to the News Feed are being implemented. Says Mosseri, ”With this update, we will also prioritize posts that spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people. To do this, we will predict which posts you might want to interact with your friends about, and show these posts higher in the Feed. These are posts that inspire back-and-forth discussion in the comments…We will also prioritize posts from friends and family over public content…”

Obviously, these changes are going to be felt the most by organizations that operate a Facebook Page as part of their outreach efforts. Facebook expects that Pages will see their reach, video watch time and referral traffic decrease. While people will still see posts from pages they follow, Facebook will prioritize content that prompts conversation and interaction between users.

So, what can you do to ensure that your posts will still be seen by your target audience? Here are our top tips for keeping your content in front of your followers:

  1. Make your content engaging. We can’t stress this enough. The days of just posting a pretty picture or trying to promote an upcoming marketing event are over. Your content needs to elicit a response from your audience. Before you make a post, ask yourself, “Does this post inspire me to leave a comment or share it?” If it doesn’t, then you should go back to the drawing board.
  2. But don’t beg for engagement. Facebook announced that it will algorithmically degrade content that asks for engagement. This means that you shouldn’t end your post with, “Please leave a comment” or “Make sure to Like and share.” Again, your goal is to inspire this behavior organically.
  3. Use a mix of words and media to garner a response. Every post you make should have a picture or video attached. Studies have repeatedly shown that text-only posts receive far less engagement. However, this doesn’t mean that you can ignore the words that go along with the post. The corresponding text needs to be descriptive enough that someone who has no knowledge of the topic being presented could be moved to engage.

Facebook has a history of making changes to its platform that are initially resisted by the user base but, over time, have proven effective, making for a better user experience. We believe this round of changes will be in the same vein, requiring us to adapt to a changing paradigm that will make us smarter and more effective marketers in the future.