Home Care Agencies and Facebook – It’s Time to Engage!
Facebook is that happy little medium that has the power to hypnotize users for hours on end. And while it’s the social aspect that initially sucks you in, a lot more goes on between the pages of Facebook than just finding out what your friends had for breakfast or seeing pics of their latest pet antics.
Facebook is a powerful home care marketing tool that’s capable of putting your product or service in front of a captive audience that numbers in the millions. And if you create your business page in a savvy way — using pointed graphics and clear calls to action — you’ll attract an ever wider and wider audience. Here’s how it’s done:
Choose Your Images Wisely
You’ve heard it said — a picture is worth a thousand words. This was never more true than it is in a digital ad. Your images, including your cover photo, need to speak to your product or service. Choose images that are in-focus, that feature interesting compositions, and that don’t violate Facebook’s Terms of Service. You must also take care to select images that are either available in the public domain or that are licensed for sharing. An advanced Google image search that filters results by their licenses is a good place to begin.
If you’re creating a page to advertise your in-home health care agency, for instance, a strong cover image that features a nurse caring for an elderly person in their home is a good choice. Everyone in the photo should appear happy and content. And you can magnify the power of your cover image by adding your company logo and an easy call-to-action. Even something so simple as, “Call for a consultation today.” can be highly effective when paired with a powerful image.
Avoid Click-Bait Ads
Everyone hates click-bait ads — Facebook most of all. In fact, if you’re using blatant click-bait headlines in your marketing content on this social network, Facebook may penalize you by limiting your reach. A click-bait title is one that promises something fantastic that it doesn’t deliver: “This woman answered a knock at her kitchen door. What she saw will make you cry.”
Ads like these are designed specifically to prompt users to click on them. And if enough people click, the ad will be more widely distributed because the algorithm that powers Facebook is programmed to view clicks, likes, shares, and comments as indicators of valuable content — even if it’s anything but. If you use these types of headlines in your ads, they’ll catch up with you eventually, either by irritating the users who fall prey or by coming under scrutiny by Facebook.
Pinpoint Your Audience
One of Facebook’s best marketing features is the freedom it gives you to target your audience down to the most specific detail. You can customize your ads to reach targeted groups like the following:
- Users between the ages of 35 and 75
- Users who listed caring for an aging parent as part of their profile
- Users who live in certain areas of the country or the world
- By pinpointing the exact demographic you’re hoping to reach, you can boost the power of your advertising dollar, which on Facebook, begins with as little as a dollar a day.
Turning to Facebook as a marketing tool instead of as simply a social network may be just what your company needs to blossom and grow. If you haven’t already explored this option, now is the time to give it a whirl. You might be amazed at the results.
Home Care Agencies: 5 Facebook Tips for Better Engagement
Author: Valerie VanBooven RN BSN
The Problem: You are not a Facebook expert.
Most home care agency owners aren’t!
Your expertise is in home care. So when it comes to Facebook, what are the best and easiest practices that you can implement (or assign to someone in your office) that generate engagement, conversations, and LEADS?
Tip 1: Post Content to Your Blog First and THEN Post the link to Facebook
Why? You want consumers in your local area going back to your website again and again so that they SEE your services, your contact information, and your offers. Always post to your “blog” and let that blog post get distributed to Facebook. Don’t post directly to Facebook all the time…no one will be redirected back to your site!
Tip 2: Always Include Photos, the larger the better!
Why? People love photos. Posts WITH interesting or fun photos are always liked, clicked, and commented on more than just text.
Tip 3: Include Educational Articles and Fun, Easy Content
Why? All serious all the time is BORING! Provide some educational content and some fun cute content. After all, senior care doesn’t have to be serious and boring. Mix it up! Show some personality.
Tip 4: Build Up Your Fans by Asking Everyone to “LIKE” Your FB Business Page
Why? Why not? At some point everyone will know someone who is having an elder care issue. Be the connection that helps someone else in your area. Be the source of advice. Be the home care agency they turn to! Make sure you have as many fans as possible on your Facebook Business Page.
Tip 5: Boost Your Posts on Facebook to Your Local Audience
Why? Boosting a post is the same as paying Facebook to make SURE your content is being seen by people in your local area. There’s a really high chance that without BOOSTING (for as little as $5 by the way) most people will never see your important content. It’s a cheap and easy way to make sure your content is being seen.
Home Care Agencies Should Be Using Facebook for Community Outreach, Social Signals, and Generating Leads.
Author: Valerie VanBooven RN BSN
I used to tell Home Care Agency owners that Facebook would not generate leads, but in the last couple of years, the usage of Facebook by all age groups has grown so significantly, that there is no denying the need for a lead generation strategy that involves Facebook. Done correctly, you will see an increase in your bottom line.
Here’s the Why and the HOW!
There is no denying that Google is interested in “social signals” from social media accounts – letting Google know that the CONTENT on your website is not only important, but being read, shared, and commented on.
There is also no better way to share your community involvement and outreach than through Facebook.
Do You Have a Facebook Marketing Strategy for Your Home Care Business? If not, You Should!
Your Facebook marketing strategy shouldn’t live in a vacuum—it needs to be integrated with your overall marketing plan.
What You Need to Get Started
Before you start marketing on Facebook, you should have these things in place:
- A good home care website: Your home care website is the hub of your business and should look professional and show your potential customers how you can solved their elder care problems. All content should be posted on your website’s blog, and then delivered seamlessly to your Facebook Business Page.
- An email marketing delivery service: Email still works. You should have a place to collect email addresses when someone requests more information from your website or from content on your Facebook Business Page. There are many email providers out there to choose from. We prefer Mailchimp.com or CampaignMonitor.com
- An optimized Facebook Page: Before you start marketing your home care business on Facebook, get the basic elements of a good Facebook Page in place.
Once you have completed these three things, you can begin to integrate your Facebook marketing with your overall marketing plan. Can’t do these on your own? We can help.
Here are 4 steps to get your Facebook marketing strategy in place.
What are Your Goals for your Home Care Agency on Facebook?
Any home care business strategy begins with goals. What do you want out of your Facebook Page?
Consider some of these Facebook marketing goals for your home care agency:
- Increase community exposure and awareness for your home care agency. This goal can be difficult to measure, but will come in the form of new “likes” to your FB Business Page. A specific and attainable figure to this goal is 1000 new targeted likes in the next 3 months.
- Create a loyal, engaged community for your home care business. This goal will be measured through your engagement metrics such as the “People Talking About This” figure (PTAT). In order for people to do business with you, they usually want to get to know, like and trust you first. Creating an engaged community can help facilitate that trust.
- Establish authority and showcase your knowledge in your local community. Facebook is a perfect place to showcase your content, articles, blog posts, your in-depth knowledge of your subject matter and show your personality in how your company works.
- Gather leads. Using Facebook as a lead generator is a great goal. Using some type of email opt-in is a great way to gather leads from people who may be interested in your product or service.
- Get sales. Selling directly from Facebook is sometimes a challenge, especially for home care agencies. You can’t push your sales messages on your fans too often (I suggest 10%–20% of your posts, max). But you can track your sales. Make sure you have special links when you post your sales messages. Or set up Google Analytics to track conversions. If you are running Facebook ads, make sure you are tracking the ad conversions.
Whatever goals you set up for yourself and your home care business, make sure you are attaching specific numbers and deadlines with each goal. Also make sure you know how you will measure each one of these metrics.
Do Your Own Research, Or Talk to Someone Who Already Has!
Your Facebook research will include these areas:
- Identify your audience and where they spend their time. If you know your current demographic, you can look at the demographics of any Facebook Page by clicking on the Likes tab to get more information.
- Research your competition and watch what is working for them. Searching for other Pages on Facebook has actually gotten a little more challenging with the new Facebook Graph Search. You can do some basic searching on Facebook, but you are better off using Google to find Facebook Pages.
- Understand the latest techniques. Make sure you know the latest techniques on Facebook that are effective. Keep up with the trends so you know what is working for others.
- No time for research? Consider a service that does it all for you.
Design the Facebook Home Care Experience
Now that you have your goals set up, work backwards from those goals to determine how you will achieve them. Want to get 1000 new fans in the next 3 months? Make sure you either have the activity level or the marketing budget to support that goal.
- Set Up an Editorial Calendar – Having a plan in place for what you will post each week will help you streamline your activity because you can schedule some of the posts, look for good content and be more regular with your posting.
- Set Up an Activity Calendar– The other thing you want to do is plan your activity so you don’t get sucked into the black hole of Facebook by watching too many cat videos. You can schedule your daily activity, weekly activity and monthly activity by using a simple Excel spreadsheet.
Measure Your Progress
Take time to look back at your progress on Facebook so you know if your marketing is working. Understand how Facebook Insights work so you know which posts are working for you. You can sort your posts by Engaged Users to see how many people are interacting with your content in some way (includes likes, shares, comments and link clicks).
Sort by Engaged Users to see which content is interesting to your community. Understand what you should be measuring on Facebook and also track your goals. Take a few breaks throughout the year to assess and tweak your plan when needed. And give yourself a pat on the back for doing what most marketers don’t do—setting up a plan!
Here’s an Example of How LTC Expert Publications is Using Facebook to Teach Home Care Agencies How to Market Online
(July 2016, St. Louis, MO, LTCEP) LTC Expert Publications Takes the Plunge into LIVE Broadcasts for Their Online Marketing Educational Videos. The first official live broadcast will be Wednesday July 27, 2016 at 3pm Eastern/12noon Pacific.
Facebook Live is the best way to interact with viewers in real time. LTCEP can field their burning questions, hear what’s on their mind and check out their Live Reactions to gauge how their broadcast is going.
People love watching video, which is why LTCEP decided to have a dedicated place to watch this engaging content on Facebook. While their current fans will be able to keep up during the live broadcast and in News Feed, the experience will help new followers discover the show as well.
Live lets LTCEP connect with the people who care most. Their followers can receive notifications when they go live so they know to tune in to the broadcasts at just the right time.
In order to tune-in to LTC Marketing University, log in to your own Facebook personal account and “LIKE” the @LTCMarketingU page here: https://www.facebook.com/LTCMarketingU
When a broadcast is starting, all fans who have liked https://www.facebook.com/LTCMarketingU will receive a notification on their device that LTCEP is live!
When the live broadcast ends, the recorded version will be available on https://www.facebook.com/LTCMarketingU within a few minutes.
“We are experimenting with Facebook Live and will also be testing YouTube’s new Live broadcasting as well. We believe that we can reach a bigger audience on Facebook, so that’s where we are starting.” says Valerie VanBooven RN BSN, show host, and co-owner of LTC Expert Publications.
She also adds, “LTCEP is all about helping home care agencies and other senior services find better ways to market themselves online. It’s our job to be on top of marketing technology! Personally, I’m excited about the live broadcast…expect funny, educational, and a fair amount of messing up the first time or two. Staring at camera is a lot harder for me than talking to a large audience that I can SEE. Join us for some crazy fun!”
About LTC Expert Publications
LTCEP’s services make it possible for elder care and senior service providers to dominate the internet and generate leads. They are a full service internet marketing company specializing in the following:
- Website development
- Online Marketing Programs that drive traffic and leads
- Search Engine Optimization
- Google Places Optimization
- Natural Search Engine Results
- Social Media Marketing
- Full content management (blog posting, article marketing, press release marketing)
BONUS SUGGESTIONS BEYOND FACEBOOK!
Here are 6 quick tips on how you can increase your local SEO efforts.
1. Claim Your Google My Business Page
When you search for “HOME CARE” in your area, you will see Google My Business listings at the top of the results (see image below).
To claim your Google My Business page, do a quick search for your home care agency from Google Maps to see if Google has already added your home care agency. If you find a Google My Business listing for your agency, click on ‘Manage This Page’ on the bottom right of the page. You will be asked to sign in with a Google account. If you don’t have a Google account you can set one up easily for free.
Once you have signed in, Google will ask you to verify that you are the business owner by either calling the phone number they have on file or by sending a postcard to the address they have on file with a code you will need to enter for confirmation.
We have found that verifying your address by postcard is the best way to ensure you have the ability to manage your Google My Business page.
If you can’t find a Google My Business page for your home care agency you may need to set one up. To set up your Google My Business page, go to google.com/places and click on ‘Get Started For Free’.
2. Fill Out Google My Business Page Completely and Accurately
Once you have claimed or created your Google My Business page you will want to make sure all of the information is completely filled out and there are no duplicate listings. If you find duplicate listings that you do not own, you will want to report them using the instructions found on Google’s support.
Take the time to make sure that your home care agency name, address, phone number, and website are correct. I’d recommend doing a Google search on your home care agency’s address and use the exact format that Google provides.
Make sure you have added categories that best describe your home care agency (Home Health Care). Add photos, hours of operation and any additional details that would be helpful to customers.
3. Claim + Complete Local Business Directory (Citation) Listings
Claiming and removing duplicate business directory listings sends signals to search engines, helping them increase the degree of certainty they have about your home care business’ contact information.
Here is a list of the top 50 citations that we have found are valuable for home care agencies to claim.
50 Online Local Business Directories/Listings for Local Marketing
- Better Business Bureau
- Angie’s List
- Merchant Circle
- Dex Media
- Discover Our Town
- EZ Local
- Advice Local
- Get Fave
- My Huckleberry
- Magic Yellow
- Map Creator
- Judy’s Book
- Home Advisor
You can ask a service like ours at LTCEP to do this for you (and in most cases for our clients we have already done this), or you can do it yourself. Keep an excel spreadsheet of your work so that you have all of your usernames and passwords for these accounts.
4. Do Keyword Research
Use the RELATED SEARCHES feature at the bottom of each search page to learn how people are searching. When you enter a search for “home care”, look at the results at the bottom of the first page of Google to see what other consumers are searching for.
5. Optimize Your Homepage For A Specific Keyword
When Google crawls your website, it does not see everything the same way we do. Instead of seeing pretty graphics and calls to action, search engines see raw HTML (the stuff that LTC Expert Publications does behind the scenes to make your site look good).
Google breaks down the structure of the HTML to determine what the page is about, and use cues in the content to help them determine if your pages should be served to a user that is searching for “home care in St. Louis”, as an example.
After you have done some keyword research, and have found the keyword with the most opportunity you will want to optimize your homepage for that keyword phrase.
If your site is built on WordPress, you can use the Yoast SEO plugin to check and optimize your content for specific keywords.
6. Add New Fresh Home Care Content Weekly
When it comes to fresh content, you aren’t confined to a single type of content or one area of your website. You can publish new pages in different formats and post them to different sections of your site. If you’re looking for a quick LOCAL SEO tip, try diversifying and adding several types of new content, such as SlideShares, video content, and new landing pages. These assets will lure search crawlers in and boost the number of pages you have indexed in Google and Bing. However, make sure you’re properly adding the right meta information to visual media formats, or else you might not get as much value from what you publish.
Your blog is a great place to start. You can create shareable pieces of content for your blog that constantly ping the search engines. A best practice is to publish at least one piece of content a day and a minimum of once per week.
If you have any questions about LOCAL SEO for Home Care Agencies, please contact us at LTC Expert Publications – 888-404-1513, or fill out our form for help here: http://www.ltcsocialmark.com/contact-us-about-elder-care-marketing/
Valerie’s motto and favorite saying is: “Impact is not created by big budgets, impact is created by innovative marketing ideas!”
Valerie is a Registered Nurse and the author of three books, Aging Answers (2003), The Senior Solution (2007) and Priceless Caregiving (2009). Her adventure in internet marketing began as a self-promotion experiment and ended up becoming a full time marketing consulting business for the elder care market.
Valerie has appeared on national television (Today Show), has hosted her own local radio show, and has been interviewed for dozens of publications and radio shows across the country regarding her business and the business of elder care.
She fast became the foremost authority in driving sales via the internet, seminars, and e-mail for senior service providers and elder care entrepreneurs.While Valerie’s best known for her expertise in marketing, her students share that her biggest impact comes from her ability to make things happen quickly, even on a small budget.
Google Verified Author
Latest posts by Valerie VanBooven RN BSN (see all)
- New Video: Wondering What Our Caregiver Recruiting Program Looks Like? - October 11, 2017
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- Free Webinar Tuesday: Using Video for Home Care Marketing & Lead Generation - September 17, 2017