Many homecare businesses don’t understand the importance of social media to their marketing efforts. Many don’t understand what social media really is at all??that it’s meant to be (well) social and not a constant sales pitch.
Putting yourself in charge of social media when you don’t know what you’re doing is like driving a Ferrari (stick shift) at the Indianapolis 500 when you are only used to taking public transit. Your efforts will crash and burn, and cost time and money in the process. Social media communication, like that iconic racing car, is best left up to the professionals.
The problem we at corecubed see when businesses try to handle social media themselves is that they confuse social media with self?promotion. They try to hammer home what they offer, but their attempts at social media never get the traction they hope for, and they don’t understand why. Social media matters. Doing it well matters even more.
Don’t just take my word that social media matters to your business. Ninety?two percent of marketers surveyed said social media is important for their business, and 97 percent said they use social media in their overall marketing strategy, according to a 2014 study by Adweek.
corecubed also knows what drives social media and its users. Strategic social media engages clients and referral sources. It brings customers to your website where they can learn more about what you do and what you offer. It can distinguish you in a cluttered field.
Not too long ago, seniors stayed away from the virtual world. No more. A 2014 survey by the Pew Research Center found 59 percent of seniors age 65 and older are now online. Overall, 86 percent of the adult population uses the Internet. The percentage of affluent and well?educated seniors who use the internet is even higher: Among those with an annual household income of $75,000 or more, 90 percent go online—that’s higher than the overall adult population!
Facebook seems to be the most popular social media channel among seniors, with 49 percent of seniors who go online using the site, according to a 2012 marketing report, Digital Seniors, by Forrester Research.
Unfortunately for both many businesses and their potential clients, the information superhighway can be awfully confusing and congested. That’s where social media comes in.
Social media channels, such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter, provide an off ramp, if you will, for your audience to slow down, get some breathing space, and take in the scenery of what your homecare and aging services business can offer. It’s better than any billboard, because it doesn’t go by in a whir. Check out some examples of what corecubed has to offer in Facebook and YouTube.
Social media, if done well, stays with your audience. It gets them talking, or thinking, or sharing. It drives clients and referral sources to your website or business, rather than right by them.
Since I am here at the annual Aging in America conference, I am taking advantage of the American Society on Aging’s presentation focused on technology or social media. Driving Leads and Sales in the Longevity Marketplace focuses on “what innovative companies and entrepreneurs are doing to stand out, acquire customers and drive sales” using digital and social media.
If you didn’t have a chance to make this year’s conference, (and it has been a great one) think about attending one in the future. In the meantime, let corecubed help. Not only do we provide original written content to compliment social media, we extend its life. We repurpose original content in a variety of ways and take search engine optimization, SEO, into account. So, for example if a potential client Googles “homecare agency in X,Y,Z town,” your business has a better chance of being at the top of the results list. We use strategy. We use as many channels as possible. And it’s all focused on informing about issues that relate to homecare and aging care.
We handle all aspects of social media so you don’t have to get up to speed. Consider corecubed your autopilot button when it comes to managing social media for your business.
If you are in the homecare, healthcare, and aging services field, consider this a public service announcement you can’t afford to ignore.
The more you know about aging—the related physical, spiritual, emotional, and financial issues—the better you can run your business and serve your clients. As we prepare for a growing number of Americans entering retirement age—those Baby Boomers will swell the ranks soon—we need to develop a broader understanding of the impact an aging society has on all businesses, products, and services.
And there’s no better place to learn about it all than at upcoming American Society of Aging’s 2015 Aging in America Conference in Chicago, March 23-27. I encourage you to make the time to attend, either this year, or to mark your calendar for next year’s conference. It’s not too late to register and you can register on site. You don’t have to be an ASA member to attend (though I encourage that, too) but members do receive a discounted rate.
Along with Sam Smith from AXXESS, I’ll present a session exploring some of these issues in depth and look at the future of home care in America and what we, as a nation, are doing about it or should be doing about it. I’m particularly excited about this year’s opening session featuring a presentation, “Maturity Re-imagined” presented by Ken Dychtwald, PhD, President and CEO, Age Wave and Chair-Elect, ASA Board of Directors.
Conferences such as these help our industry prepare for an aging and changing future. Even if you know how to run your homecare business now, do you know what you’ll need 5, 10, 20 years from now to be successful and to address the needs of those folks that may differ from your clients of today?
The ASA conference brings together top industry thought leaders to address these and other pertinent questions:
What problems are happening in our field today that we need to address?
What are the future trends that will affect our industry?
How can we take advantage of opportunities to best serve our clients?
I always find that even for those of us who keep abreast of these topics on a daily basis, there’s always something new to learn from not only the conference presentations themselves, but also from networking with other conference participants, sharing ideas and battle plans.
That’s why each year I attend numerous conferences in the aging care and related fields, and why you should, too.
Today’s seniors aren’t yesterday’s seniors and they won’t be tomorrow’s. The more you know and keep learning about aging and homecare services, the more you’ll be able to adapt to this dynamic demographic that continues to grow and change. Staying stagnant means becoming yesterday’s news.
Our experts at corecubed specialize in aging care marketing. We can help your homecare and aging services business stay current and at the forefront of our field. We can help identify and bridge your knowledge gaps and provide an action plan for addressing the issues your business faces now, and in the future. We can help you know more and do more. To learn more about our various marketing services, contact us today.
Public service announcement complete. Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.
While it may be easy to fall into complacency when your business is thriving, in today’s crowded aging care market, it’s important to always stay on your toes and stand over and above the competition. And the only way to do that is to KNOW your competition.
Think of the aging care industry as a chess match. One strategic and innovative move from your opponent and you could easily fall behind. It’s crucial to stay a step ahead and understand their strategy as well as you do your own.
That’s where a competitive analysis comes in; and keep in mind, there are a number of methods for analyzing your competitors, so it may take several attempts to gain the insight you need. A couple of options to try include:
- Identify what makes an aging care business successful, and then rate your competitors’ abilities to meet those factors. Be sure to include your own agency!
- Compare strengths and weaknesses in a variety of areas: scope of services offered, pricing, certifications, accreditations, customer reviews, technologies used, service area covered, niche, brand, website, collateral, presence in community, etc.
Either way, the competitive analysis should answer the following questions:
- What products or services do each of your competitors offer?
- What is the quality of those products or services?
- What are their primary and secondary service areas?
- What is your competitors’ market share? How many customers do they have?
- What are their competitive advantages and disadvantages?
- How do they/will they react to your market penetration?
- What barriers does your competition face? (Lack of quality personnel, changing technologies, operational costs, etc.)
As new businesses continue to enter the senior care market at a rapid rate, it’s more important than ever to assess the competitive landscape on a regular basis. Experts recommend conducting and/or updating a competitive analysis at least once per year. Be sure to also include secondary competitors who are not exactly like your business, but who compete regularly for your clientele. For instance, include assisted living facilities among your competition, and vice versa.
You may be thinking, “I’m already overloaded and running on fumes; I can’t afford to spend time on this when I need to run my agency!” But the hard truth is, you can’t afford NOT to if you want to grow your business. Truly differentiating your business from the competition is the key to success. This downloadable tool from Market Home Care can help you discern your agency’s niche so that you stand out from the crowd.
The experts at corecubed specialize in aging care marketing, with years of experience in strategic analysis and planning, helping aging care businesses just like yours to thrive and grow well beyond their expectations. Let us do the work for you, so you can concentrate on what you do best: run your agency!