According to MarketingProfs TIPS FOR THE SOCIAL MARKETER, there are now more than 800 million people using Facebook every day. More than just a way to stay connected to friends and family, today Facebook is an essential tool for businesses in their social and on-line marketing initiatives.
Facebook enables your business to share information with people on a popular, trusted platform where prospects can see “real” people interacting with you and your brand. This creates an entrée for you to build stronger, more interactive relationships with them, which can be nurtured into sales. However, in order to do so, businesses need to make sure they are offering content that is relevant and adds value.
Facebook a Top Media for Seniors… and their Adult Children
For senior living providers who are planning a greater social media presence, the top 4 online activities for people over 60 today are Google, Facebook, Yahoo and YouTube. Facebook leads the pack as the primary social media tool for marketers. According to AARP, roughly a quarter of their members are using Facebook regularly – and that number is on the rise. Equally important, female adult children, who are by far the most active shoppers for senior living and health services for their aging parents, are also very active with social media.
Get the Most out of your Facebook Efforts
Done correctly, Facebook Pages can help your company increase awareness, generate enthusiasm, create loyalty, strengthen inbound marketing, and generate leads. As Marketo, a marketing software company, points out, “The content you create and share is your “make-or-break” component on Facebook. “To get the most out of your Facebook page, your posts appearing on your fans’ newsfeeds is essential.”
This is where “EdgeRank” becomes important. EdgeRank is Facebook’s algorithm that personalizes users’ newsfeeds and inserts posts it thinks will interest them. In simplified terms, if users or their friends) are interacting with your company on a fairly frequent basis, your posts show up; if not, they don’t.
Facebook began rolling out its new timeline format in September 2011 to make it more functional. Understanding the key components of the new, recently re-designed Facebook page can help you to optimize its value as a marketing tool.
What You Should Know About Facebook’s New Timeline
- The “scrapbook” style lets you display key Information about your business and enables you to tell your story and to highlight your company’ strengths.
- Interactions, comments on Fan pages, and “Likes” about your company appear in a user’s timeline. “Likes” will also appear in a box at the top of their page, keeping you prominently “top of mind”.
- The ticker shows a live stream of friends’ activities and conveniently lets users “Like” a page without leaving their own newsfeed. Facebook users can easily see when their friends are interacting with or commenting about your brand and they can do the same.
- The timeline offers more branding and lead-capture options. The large cover image provide substantial “real estate” for your branding, marketing images and calls to action so you can capture the eye of a potential customer and get them on your page Facebook page and website.
Some Final Words of Advice for Senior Living providers
Always keep in mind that Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm rewards pages in the newsfeed based on the number of “interactions” a page receives, i.e. the number of “Likes,” posts, or comments about the page. According to Marketo, to show up in as many users’ top newsfeeds as possible, your content must be fresh, engaging, current and compelling. Then it becomes a cycle; you post content that gets “Likes” and comments, and your future content appears in the newsfeeds of those that “Liked” and commented on earlier content. Visual Content is critical to sharing and maintaining EdgeRank. People love sharing visual content on Facebook, so make sure you are posting items that are visually stimulating!