Small businesses often take pride in being community fixtures. Success or failure (the very fate of the business) is tied to their neighborhood. Sometimes this reputation is achieved organically, but can be enhanced with print ads, thoughtfully placed flyers, and billboards. However, outdoor marketing can be expensive, and assisted living facilities always operate on a tight budget. No matter the size or scope of your facility, there are marketing options that are both cost-effective and extremely efficient.
In the past, word of mouth, strong name recognition in the local area, and personal referrals were enough to fill beds and keep facilities afloat…but if you rely solely on the old-school means of advertising, you are placing a false ceiling on your business’ potential.
The key to marketing these days is to make the Internet and social media tools into what you want them to be. The Internet is malleable and with a plethora of new marketing techniques, assisted living facility operators can craft a promotional plan to suit their specific needs.
It’s up to you to color your social media presence with your community’s personality. It’s up to you to connect people to your facility through the Internet, so that your marketing is cost effective and organic.
Reframe your approach to marketing. It can be as simple as a very informative website. The key is to position the the things you want to highlight thoughtfully. For instance, your facility may have a schedule of daily, monthly, or yearly events. You already have the document of the schedule, why not post it on your website? Residents are getting super excited about the event you’ve booked for next month? Share it! Let your website showcase the significant events happening at your assisted living community. it gives prospective residents and their families peace of mind that you provide a home, not just housing. Prospective residents (and, crucially, their families) want to see all of your offerings in one, easily accessible place.
Your website, blog, and social media portfolio should serve as sources for this type information. Professionally designed and frequently updated web pages are essential. You can use social media or a search engine to find a professional to develop your website and any profiles related to your business, or you can attempt to build your web presence yourself through easy-to-use site builders like SquareSpace or WordPress. Either way, it’s crucial for your website to have an eye on search engine optimization, essentially using keywords in your content so that your site can be found easily by visitors.
Purchasing Google AdWords can be a great investment in this regard too–you want your site to appear at the top of search results. Additionally, getting listed with online directories like Care.com and APlaceforMom can also help you gain traction. These are trusted sources, and can bolster the profile of your assisted living facility.
Don’t think social media is only for the tech savvy…get ahead of the game.
Forward-thinking facilities will use use social media to their advantage. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are terrific for sharing photos and promoting events, and these platforms easily connect your facility (including individual caregivers and administrators) to your residents’ loved ones. LinkedIn is a fantastic way to interact with other long-term professionals in your area and to look for potential employees if you experience turnover or are opening a new facility. You can get first-hand advice, workshop new business ideas, and stay abreast of new developments in the assisted living industry.
Your Internet presence can provide new and open avenues for communication about and across your assisted living facility. Your prospective residents want to start the conversation, all you have to do is introduce yourself through a variety of Internet tools, right at your fingertips!
Don’t forget the CRM!
When the leads do come in, make sure you have a CRM tool to put them in and ensure you are following up effectively and efficiently. It’s crucial to have all the leads in a single location so anyone can access them when needed, and even better, when they can easily be added a resident. ALIS has a Prospect module focused on managing prospects and also has the ability to add residents at the click of a button…see it here.