Once again, it is all about seizing the opportunities when one recognizes the spike in inquiries during the holidays.Because you know that family members will increase their queries during holiday times, be sure your digital presence is festive, illustrating the enriched lifestyle your community offers. Both your website and your Facebook page should offer appropriate platforms for highlighting your community and how it celebrates and honors the residents’ holidays.
HOLIDAY SPIRIT ON THE WEBSITE
If you have planned ahead for this opportunity, you may possess some family-oriented pictures of residents and their families in your photo library. Whether it is over dinner or cocktails, the merriment of celebrations among multiple generations can portray a story of families who enjoy each other without being burdened by the worries of health and safety. An appropriate picture can often express more than the best copy which attempts to explain that benefit to families; after all, a picture is worth a thousand words! If you are using hero-pictures on your website, consider temporarily exchanging one for a holiday picture. It is even more effective if you have representative family shots throughout all the levels of care/accommodations in your community.
CREATE A FESTIVE SPIRIT
Hopefully, there are some Life Enrichment activities and events to which you can invite the public. If there are none that seem appropriate, create one or two events specifically designed to attract the public. Invite a few Independent Living residents to serve as ambassadors during the event. Holiday Open Houses that include opportunities to view holiday decorations within private homes usually attract guests who may be researching possible new living arrangements. For events that are strictly for residents, be sure to take lots of appealing photos; activities, presentations, performances, and excursions make engaging pictures. Think about what it is you want to make public and click away. A word of caution – be sure that you have required model releases, enabling you to use the pictures in print or digitally.
Holiday images are appropriate for both your website and Facebook. Even though your website can be slightly promotional in nature, the rules are different for Facebook. Approximately 45% of users report their reason for “unfollowing” a site was due to solicitation/promotion. Facebook postings should either entertain or educate.Suggested postings for Facebook include:
- Pictures from life enrichment events and activities
- Holiday decorations around the community
- Family recipes and recipe swaps
- Stories about family traditions
- Holiday gifting ideas
DISPLAY INTERDENOMINATIONAL CELEBRATIONS
Potential residents often worry about whether a community of a particular religious affiliation only accepts those of their particular faith. Holiday time offers an opportunity to highlight interdenominational acceptance at communities with religious affiliations. If a community is predominately Christian, be sure that posted holiday traditions include those of other faiths. The same is true of Jewish or other religious affiliations.
Planning ahead allows a community to have the budget necessary to attract an adult child to research further. Digital and print marketing reinforce the advantages of living in a Life Plan Community (CCRC). Hopefully, thoughtful marketing and the use of advertising dollars result in increased activity. Next week, we’ll discuss the topic of preparing your staff to engage new inquiries.
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About the Author
Patty Scotten is a consultant with Retirement DYNAMICS® and serves as their marketing manager. Patty has over twenty five years’ experience in the senior living industry and has led several communities in preselling expansions or increasing occupancy levels. She graduated from Elon University and holds a Masters Degree from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Patty is licensed as both an assisted living and nursing home administrator.