Mom experienced some complications with her hip replacement, and the family is scrambling to find a short-term rehab solution. They talk with the hospital discharge planner and Mom’s doctor, and also with friends who have experience with local facilities.

But if you were sitting around the kitchen table with them, you might notice that they’re looking at their computers and smartphones. Are they visiting Medicare’s Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility Compare? Are they checking out your website? These days, chances are they are going right to your Facebook page.

Today Facebook is so ubiquitous that people check out just about every service and product there, from restaurants to shoes to schools. Because they perceive a Facebook page as a public space, they feel that they will encounter a true picture on your Facebook page of what they or their loved one might experience. They’ll scroll, scroll, scroll to check out your recent posts. They’ll look at your photo albums.

If the decision isn’t as pressing as the need for rehab, and seniors and families can spend more time shopping around, again your Facebook presence could be an important factor! They might check out your new posts over the course of weeks to get a feel for what life in your community would be like.

Then there are long-distance caregivers. When a senior loved one lives at a distance, a well-curated Facebook page with frequent posts can really give the family a sense of their loved one’s life. They are likely to toggle your page as one of their “See First” choices and check back frequently. It can create confidence and peace of mind for these families!

With this in mind, it’s time to test drive your Facebook presence, looking at it from the point of view of a potential or current resident.

Is your page…

Frequently updated? If it’s February and your last post was the Christmas party, that could create the impression that your activities program isn’t very active! Include the “before”—nicely formatted invitations and a link to your calendar—and the “after,” with photos and fun details.

Upbeat? Yes, the people in your community may be dealing with some difficult challenges—but you want to show them meeting those challenges and with the help of your staff and your community culture, enjoying life.

Connected? Give a shout-out to local hospitals, doctors and other businesses in your area with whom you interact. Share their posts on your page with a comment. Tag them and they might share your post, or respond with a nice comment.

Newsy? Sharing local content is the top priority, but you also can establish yourself as a subject matter expert with links to research and news of interest to the people you serve, along with a comment about why you’re sharing it.

Curated? Visitors should get the sense that your staff are on your Facebook page frequently, replying to comments, “liking” (or “loving”) compliments, and dealing appropriately with any negative or irrelevant posts.

Who can do this? We don’t have time!

People today tend to rush to Facebook if they have a complaint, and then there are trolls.

The psychology behind a negative review works against us when it comes to social media. People who are unhappy are more likely to leave a review than someone who had a pleasant experience. This is why reputation management is so important. A review form on your website can help prevent angry customers from marching to social media to complain; removing the reviews section entirely is another option, but this doesn’t allow you to ask your happy families for their positive thoughts. If you’re unsure what route is best for you, contact us to learn more about our reputation management strategies.

What about privacy?

It’s so important—both legally and ethically—to protect the privacy of your residents. Be sure to include a photo permissions form in your move-in packet, or hand it out to current residents if you’re just now making the move to Facebook. Of course, even with photo permissions, it’s vital to educate your staff on what event/resident photos are HIPAA-compliant for social media. It’s also considered good etiquette to let your residents and staff know that photos will be taken, whether it be at your Christmas party or just a regular Tuesday lunch.

Whether you’re struggling to add captions to your photos, find the time to create a content calendar, or even just unsure how to sign up for Facebook, we can help. We’re experienced in creating accounts that you own, but we manage. We can help educate you and your staff about the ins and outs of social media, which can be especially tricky in an industry as sensitive as ours. From reviews to set-up, content management to comment moderation, we’ve got you covered. Contact us for more information!