Why Senior Care and Housing Industries are Missing the Facebook Boat

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Let me ask you a question: As an owner, administrator or executive director of a senior care business or senior retirement community is your business on Facebook? If your answer is no, you may be missing the Facebook boat.

You may not have a business Facebook page for your senior care or community because you lack the time or believe that it does not work. If you are one of these folks I urge you to continue reading this because I will give you 3 very vital reasons why you absolutely need to be on Facebook now before it’s too late!

You Don’t Have Time

Ok. You say that you don’t have time to be on Facebook. I understand that your client’s or residents and their family members come first. I also understand that you are busy with the day-to-day management of your community or home care business.  You just can’t justify spending time on Facebook. But, it may be time to rethink this. Did you know that over 45% of your target audience – adult children ages 45 to 64 years old are actively on Facebook? If you aren’t marketing to these folks, you are missing out on a big opportunity.

You Believe It Doesn’t Work

Another reason you may not have your business on Facebook is that you do not believe that it works. While it is true that Facebook business sites for the senior care and housing industries can be a difficult sale, it is still necessary to be active on them. Why? Not only are your target audiences there, but the family members of your residents or clients can interact and see the wonderful care you are providing their parents or grandparents, or see how great your staff is. They will feel that they are a part of your community or home care company, and see how you can make a difference in their lives. And, you will build your business or community’s credibility. This is a very valuable marketing tool!!

The more the family members engage in your Facebook posts – what I mean by engage is liking, sharing or commenting on your posts – the more people will see it. Imagine a snow ball rolling down a snowy hill. As the snow ball rolls down it gets bigger and bigger and goes faster and faster. That is what happens to your information or “posts” on Facebook. The more interaction you have on your page, the more people like your page, the more people see it. It just keeps on growing and growing. For example, if you have 100 Facebook business page likes, friends of theirs see your posts, and friends of their friends also see your posts, and friends of friends of friends see your posts as well! Wow! That may equal to over 67,000 views! How awesome is that! No advertising campaign can get you that many views! This is powerful!

Your Competition Is on Facebook – And, They Are Probably Way Ahead of
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The last, but most important reason you are missing the boat if you do not have a business Facebook page is that most likely your competition is already there. And, in many cases they have already been there a long time. You know what that means? You have a lot of catching up to do, so you had better get started now!

These are compelling reasons that you need to get a Facebook business page now rather than later! What are you waiting for? If you do not have time to set one up, find out who on your staff is an expert on it. You may be surprised – a receptionist answering your phones may be just the person you are looking for to do this. If you rather would not use your staff members, then hire a consultant, such as Young at Heart Communications, LLC, to do it for you. Either way, you need to get on Facebook now or you will miss the boat! And, the boat most likely is already way, way out to sea so you had better start swimming!

Do you have anything to add or questions? Don’t be shy – ask them now! Thanks!

 

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Make Couth Part of Social Business: Civilized, Cultivated & Cultured!

youngatheartcommunications:

Excellent article on being civilized on social media — a nice reminder of politeness. Thanks!

Originally posted on Newton International:

ccLet me throw out a double “C” word phrase, “Common Courtesy”. Unfortunately, something that is so often lacking in social business development and day to day dealings. Jeff invited me to share some ideas about adding good old common courtesy and couth to day to day social interaction. As it’s one of my favorite topics, I’m thrilled to have another digital space upon which I can wax rhapsodic. I’m sure you’ve read, discussed and shared some of these ideas before, but I never look down my nose at a friendly reminder

To Whom Are You Speaking? Remembering who makes up your audience is tantamount to your eventual success and continued stay in the good graces of your peers and potential clients. If you’re only sharing items that have value to you, solo, you’re going about the idea of social sharing the wrong way. The value of a post lies in…

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youngatheartcommunications:

Excellent article on being civilized on social media — a nice reminder of politeness. Thanks!

Originally posted on Newton International:

ccLet me throw out a double “C” word phrase, “Common Courtesy”. Unfortunately, something that is so often lacking in social business development and day to day dealings. Jeff invited me to share some ideas about adding good old common courtesy and couth to day to day social interaction. As it’s one of my favorite topics, I’m thrilled to have another digital space upon which I can wax rhapsodic. I’m sure you’ve read, discussed and shared some of these ideas before, but I never look down my nose at a friendly reminder

To Whom Are You Speaking? Remembering who makes up your audience is tantamount to your eventual success and continued stay in the good graces of your peers and potential clients. If you’re only sharing items that have value to you, solo, you’re going about the idea of social sharing the wrong way. The value of a post lies in…

View original 570 more words

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Make Marketing Your Business During the Holidays Stress Free!

By Diane R. Castro, CEO, Young at Heart Communications, LLC

As a social media marketing business owner, I absolutely understand that the holidays can be a slow sales period for many, and it may be tempting to stop all your marketing efforts during this time. In very few cases this may be good business sense as it could save money on payroll overhead or other expenses, but this does not apply to marketing. I urge to continue with some sort of marketing activities, whether you are setting goals or posting on social media. Did you know that it can take up to 90 days to see the full results of a marketing campaign? So, if you take the months of November and December off you’ll see the ramifications all the way through March. Ouch!

So, how do you keep motivated during the holidays?  Here are a couple of ideas to keep your marketing efforts going:

1. Offer holiday discounts or things for free to get more customers:  For example, offer a “holiday discount” off your products or services on Facebook.  Or, better yet, offer something free when they “like” your business page. For example, offer a free e-book containing tips and ideas on things related to your business. Facebook has made it very inexpensive to promote a post — so, you can now advertise a post for only $10 and reach a wide audience. Or, you can easily offer a discount coupon or other way to entice customers to buy your products or services.

2. Don’t stop blogging!  Blog a minimum of once a month, but ideally 2-3 times a month is better. If you are short on ideas, invite guest bloggers to post articles on your blog site.  Or, you reach out to an expert in your industry for a guest post or seek out an opportunity for your company to guest post on another blog.  Either way, both will offer excellent link sharing opportunities that will draw attention to your company.  Don’t forget to share your blog on all your social media marketing sites such as LinkedIn, Google+, Youtube, etc. Be creative — find a topic that is related to your business with a holiday slant.

3.  Use holiday parties as networking opportunities! Why not take advantage of the networking opportunities presented there and bring an arsenal of business cards with you so you’ll be prepared. Then, with the cards you collect, follow up with a personalized holiday email; include a reminder about your conversation and a link to your business’s website, and a promise to reconnect after the holidays.  These contacts may result in business for you in 2013.

4. Start planning your marketing strategy for 2013. Let’s be realistic — no matter how you look at it, most businesses typically slow down during the holidays, (unless you are in retail), so use this extra time to set your goals, strategies and activities for the first quarter of 2013 (January, February and March).

Here is a simple way to get started: First, write 1-3 things you want to accomplish by what date — that is a marketing goal. Make sure each goal is a SMART goal — a S-M-A-R-T goals is defined as: S = specific, M =measurable, A = attainable, R = relevant, T = time-based.  Here is an example of a SMART goal: “I will get 3 new customers a month that will pay me $500 each by February 2013.”

Second, write down 2-5 strategies each related to your goals. A Marketing Strategy is how you are going to reach your goals.  Using the example of the SMART goal above, here is an example of a strategy: “Offer 25% discount on all my products/services to new clients.”

Third, write down activities or how you are going to reach your goals. Here is an example of an activity related to the goal and strategy samples above: “Place an ad on Facebook marketing a 25% discount to new liker’s on my business Facebook page.” And, the second activity related to this could be: “Send an email to all existing clients offering 25% off my products/services for repeat customers and/or referrals to new customers.”

Viola! You now have a 2013 Marketing Plan ready to be rolled out right away! 

Don’t forget, the holidays are supposed to be fun and your marketing can reflect this. But, it can also be a way to stay ahead of your competition. Wishing everyone a safe and happy holiday!

Hey, and don’t forget to sign up to get your free E-Book on: “Bring on the Clients! Facebook Made Easy!” to help you get on your way to getting more Facebook likes.

Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest. We promise to like or follow you back. Follow this blog, too for articles on how to make social media marketing work for you!

If you simply do not have the time or staff to help with you with social media marketing I can do it for you or can train you and your staff to do it yourself.
Contact me at diane@youngatheartcommunications.com or (415) 265-7752. Website: www.youngatheartcommunications.com.

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Missing the Mark When it Comes to Social Media? Find out how to Attract More Clients

by Lorin McCann, Social Media Marketing Assistant at Young at Heart Communciations, LLC

If you have read Diane Castro’s blog article entitled, “Why Social Network Marketing Can Be Like Walking My blind Dog,”  you will understand the importance of having a plan when it comes to reaching your target audience. In this article, you’ll learn how to identify your target market using three tools: demographics, psychographics, and geography. Knowing how to use this information will be absolutely essential as you embark upon the mission of reaching your customers.

The best part about all of this is, most of this information is something you automatically recognize! Now, I’m not suggesting you skip the research, but I am saying that marketing comes easily to most Americans. After all, we are marketed to more than any other country in the world.

We’re very good at it. Check it out:

  • Geography

Let’s say your business is called ‘Bob’s Snows Shovels’. You are based in Denver, Colorado where it snows — a lot. The most important factor in determining your target audience is where they live. No matter how old they are, what they listen to on the radio, whether not they go to church or if they are vegan, they are going to need one of those snow shovels for the winter. Understanding if geography is a factor in selling your product or service will help you reach your market faster, and better.

  • Demographics

Demographics is just a big word for things like age, race, gender, economic status, level of education, income level, and employment. Your job is to figure out who wants your goodies!

Age: Are you selling something baby boomers just can’t get enough of? Is Gen X picking up what you’re putting down? Maybe it’s Gen Y and tweens that are all about it. Perhaps your market is a nifty cross-section of each one.

  • Race/Gender: Are your customer predominantly male or female? Are they mostly of a particular race?

Economic Status/Level of Education/: Usually there is a correlation between these two. Knowing how educated and the status and economic lifestyle your market has will tell you a lot about what they want to buy and how they want to be sold to.

Income Level/Employment: What does your market do for a living, and how much money do they make? This will tell you how they spend a majority of their time, and give you a little bit of an idea of their buying power.

  • Psychographics 

Once again, this might sound like an intimidating word, but what it come down is simple:

Personality: Are they social or introverted? Effcient or lazy? Are they happy?  Do they have thick skin, or is your target audience shy and sensitive?

Attitudes: Where do they stand politically? Are they involved in their communities? Are they ‘the grass is always greener type?’ or ‘glass is half empty? ‘Half full?

Values: Are they family oriented? Career-centered? Are things more important to them, or experiences? Are they eco-friendly, or is saving money the first priority? Convenience, or value?

What are their Interests or Hobbies?  and finally…

Lifestyle and Behavior: Hopefully by now you can have a better understanding of your customer’s lifestyle and behavior. You can now tell us where your customer shops, what kind of products they buy, and what they are most likely going to have for dinner tonight and do this weekend.

Now that your noggin is full of all of these useful terms and tools, spend a little bit of time researching the people you think are your customers, and the people you want to have as your target audience. While you’re at it, try organizing what you already know and start using it to bring in more business better.

For more information on how to make social media marketing work for you, please contact me, Lorin McCann at lorin@youngatheartcommunications.com or visit Young at Heart Communications’ Web site at: http://www.youngatheartcommunications.com. Thank you!

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How Social Networking Marketing is Like Sailing on the Open Seas

By Diane R. Castro, CEO of Young at Heart Communications, LLC

A recent experience training a business person on Facebook prompted me to write this blog. It also started me wondering if others have the same concerns or false preconceived notions about Facebook.  Potential clients usually come to me saying, 1) they know they need to be on Facebook because everyone else is, 2) they really do not want to be on it due to privacy issues or other reasons such as the competition stealing their clients and information, or 3) they just have a “block” about being on it.

This got me to start wondering – how common are these concerns? And, if one client has it, how many others have the same concerns but are not voicing them?

Open Your Mind While on the Open Seas

So, you are probably wondering by now how social networking marketing is like sailing on the open seas. First, you need to have an open mind when sailing – you never know what you will encounter stormy weather, other fishes such as sharks (yikes), or even pirates. Second, you need to know what your final destination will be and even track your trip by figuring out the navigation beforehand. The worse thing that you can do is start to sail on the open seas with no pre-planning on where you are going.   Third, even if you encounter sharks, stay calm, stay on your path and figure that they will most likely end of eating little fish and will really not bother you. (After all, aren’t you the big fish in the ocean??)

Privacy, Competition and…Privacy…oh my!

Now, let’s get back to the client. I trained her on social media so she could do her own business Facebook marketing. She had been doing it on her own for a little over 2 months. (Not nearly enough time to get the results one wants). The entire time I was training her, I was educating her on the fact that it would take time to start getting leads – most likely over 3 months – that Facebook is mainly a public relations tool that builds awareness about your products or services, increases your credibility and educates potential clients about your industry, products or services.  She proceeded to tell me that she is concerned that a so-called “competitor” liked her Facebook business page and she was concerned that he/she would steal her clients. She had some other questions and concerns that I easily answered, but the first question is what prompted me to write this blog.

Let’s all face it — competition is all around us in business. Whether you are doing social network marketing, attending a professional event or doing other networking activities, you will most certainly run into someone who is doing what you are doing – and that’s OK. There have been many times that I have collaborated with other social media marketing companies because they specialized in an area that I didn’t – so we ended up referring clients to each other. But, in order to do this you must first have an open mind.

Are there Really Pirates Out There?

I understand that privacy and having others “steal your clients and information” is a big concern when doing social networking marketing. However, I kindly pointed out to her that there is really no way for a competitor to start marketing to her Facebook fans (the people who have liked her business Facebook page) because they would have to friend that person first.  And, if that person did accept the “friend” request, and if that competitor started marketing to them they would most likely either 1) report this as spam or 2) delete or ignore the messages.  Either way it would leave them with no desire to do business with this person.

So, while Facebook and other social media network sites are rather new and people are just getting around to understanding them, let’s open up our minds and realize all the opportunities that Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Twitter will provide you in your business. Sail the social network marketing seas with an open mind, get over your block (fear) and jump in.  And, don’t be afraid of the sharks or the pirates because that is to be expected in sailing (business). Just keep going towards your goal and soon you will reach your destination (success).  In the end you will be glad that you took the trip.

Do you feel the same way my client did? If so, how did you overcome it or not? Please share and comment here. Thanks!

Contact me if you are interested in social media marketing — I will train you to do it yourself, or do it for you. I also write blogs.  Diane Castro, (415) 265-7752, email: diane@youngatheartcommunications.com.  I look forward to working with you and making your business a success!!! Thank you.

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Misconceptions Everywhere

youngatheartcommunications:

Thanks so much for your blog, Arthur. Cheers!

Originally posted on Arthur Catalanello Consulting:

I recently visited a close friend who had relocated from the Rochester, NY area to the Cleveland, OH area.  It was my first trip to Cleveland and my friend was happy to play tour guide with the big venues being the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Progressive Field.  I have to admit that prior to this trip, I pictured Cleveland to be the run-down, rust-belt, dirty, “mistake on the lake,” river-on-fire city that I recall hearing about decades ago.  I couldn’t have been more wrong as I found Cleveland to be a fun, clean, friendly and vibrant city.

While in Cleveland, the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle ran a topical blog post.  The blogger had relocated to Rochester and had some misperceptions about Rochester (as well as Cleveland).  The timing of her blog post couldn’t have been more perfect and my relocated friend found a lot of truth…

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