Web Savvy Senior Living Companies Are Making The Move To Social Media. Are You?
In a recent blog post, Samir Balwani discussed the concept of the “Social Media Hub.” Social media hubs are social websites where content creation, community building and social engagement takes place for companies and organizations. Some pioneering senior living companies are beginning to use their websites as social media hubs (see the list below).
From the Hub, these companies can post informative and helpful social media content in the form of blogs, webinars, discussion forums, video and audio. This content can then be syndicated to outposts like Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Linkedin, Digg, etc. People who view the content on these outposts can then share it with friends, peers, and colleagues (social pollination).
Ultimately, this content drives people back to the hub (your website) where it originated. This creates organic traffic to your site and helps consumers discover you. In this way, the Hub provides companies with a powerful inbound marketing tool and an expanded presence across the internet.
Here’s a list of some senior living companies experimenting with social media to increase awareness, drive traffic, and boost sales:
Living Well is a start-up out of San Francisco that provides high end “at-home” assisted living services to seniors in the Bay Area. They have a full-featured branded online community (powered by carenetworks) complete with community blog, discussion forums, member profiles, calendar, subgroups, photo albums, videos, podcasts and more. They also have outposts with Twitter, Linkedin, and Facebook.
Terrace Communities, based out of Vermont, is a group of seven assisted living facilities located in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Florida. They also have a full-featured carenetworks powered online community, but no outposts.
Ecumen operates a variety of senior housing options and services from senior independent living communities to assisted living and long- term care and at-home and community-based services. They also provide senior housing development, clinical consulting and senior housing management services for organizations outside of Ecumen. They have a blog, YouTube channel, Flikr photo stream, Twitter and Linkedin accounts.
Redstone is a retirement community located in Alhambra, CA. Currently, they only operate a Twitter account.
I was unable to find out much about Marietta from several Google searches, except that they operate retirement communities in the Mid-Ohio Valley. However, they seem to have an online community with some videos and podcasts and an ability to for members to sign in.
Laguna Woods Village is a 55+ age-restricted gated community for the active lifestyle. It is located on 2,100 acres of rolling hillsides just minutes from the Laguna Beach coastline in Orange County, CA. The community is comprised of 12,736 dwellings and is considered to be one of the largest of its type on the West Coast. Laguna Woods Village is home to 18,000 residents averaging 78 years of age. They have a pretty sophisticated website and an active Twitter account, which drives traffic back to their site.
These companies are pioneering the use of social media in the senior living and eldercare markets. Some have taken the social media hub approach, while others are testing the waters with a simple Twitter outpost. In the coming months, we hope to connect with some of these forward thinking companies and learn from them what is working and what is not. We will be posting our findings here. Stay tuned.