Connecting with family caregivers through engaging content
We are continuing our series exploring the keys to success in social media for healthcare providers, specifically senior care, home health, palliative care and hospice. Our first post examined the “7 deadly sins” of social media. While the first post focused on what not to do, subsequent posts take a closer look at each “sin” and provide recommendations for approaching social media strategically. So far, we’ve covered the importance of planning and selecting the appropriate social media channels to reach and engage family caregivers.
In this post, we explore the types of content that will resonate with family caregivers. Keep in mind how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting people you’re communicating with. It’s added an incredible amount of stress for caregivers. And, as we learned through our research with people who are caring for older loved ones during COVID-19, their expectations of providers have changed. Understand what’s important to them now and convey how your organization is available to help.
Too much content focused on you
Don’t post content just to post content. Within your plan, you’ve already documented the types of content you want to share on social media. Post information your followers would value, such as resources for caregivers, tips for caring for a loved one at home, how hospice helps patients and their family, or factors to consider when it’s time to think about a senior living community for a loved one, and so on. Demonstrate your knowledge and expertise through informative content.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t share news about your organization. It’s a balance. In the early days of social media marketing, the 80/20 rule was the golden rule. This means that 80% of your content should benefit your target audience while the other 20% can be self-promotional. That ratio might not work for all brands. Tanya Hall, CEO of Greenleaf Book Group, says it’s best to strive for the balance that’s right for your brand and your social media strategy. “There isn’t one single perfect percentage that will be a magic potion to boost your social media presence overnight,” she said. “Each brand and each company has a different voice, message, goals and an overall different approach to strategy.”
Some important content about you that you need to be communicating could include specific precautions your team is taking to minimize risk during COVID-19.
Forms of content to inform and engage
In our last post about selecting the right social media platforms to reach your target audience, we recommended focusing your time and attention on three – Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Aside from the fact that family healthcare decision makers and family caregivers, often females age 45+, are using Facebook regularly, that platform works well for all forms of content – text, images, videos and live videos. Supplement images and video content on Instagram and YouTube.
Video content is a must. The phrase, “content is king,” has been replaced by “video content is king.” According to Social Media Today, “Video marketing remains the best performing digital content type, driving more views, more engagement and more response than any other social posting option.” Statistics prove that social video content generates 1,200% more shares than text and image content combined.
Videos are engaging and easy to recall. With technology today, videos don’t have to cost a lot of money to produce. Smartphone cameras shoot great video. To allay fears from patients and families about your staff going into their homes, shoot smartphone video showing how your staff prepares themselves and their patients with personal protective equipment for every visit.
Also consider creating a series of videos with practical tips to help family caregivers care for their loved one at home, such as safely moving a person in bed, moving a person from the bed to a chair or vice versa, bathing, suggestions of household items that can help a person who is fidgeting, and so on.
Other types of content that can engage followers include:
- Resources, such as newsletter articles, tips or how-tos, or other educational information
- Articles from trade or consumer publications
- Content from your website, such as blog posts or upcoming events
As you’re creating a library of content, be sure you have quality photos to complement written copy.
Building a community with your content
In addition to posting content on Facebook, consider creating a group or multiple groups. One group could be for family caregivers. In addition to sharing information with the group, members of the group can share tips and offer support to one another.
Creating groups or communities around your content was listed as one of the top social media trends for 2020 in Smart Insights. “Those brands that are seeing more engagement from their followers are doing so by building communities around their content.”
Neal Schaffer, a social media strategist, noted that along with creating a group or community, “You also need to create content that gets them talking, encourages conversations and cultivates that feeling of community. Doing so can keep people engaged with your brand but also bring in new leads and customers while also adding a human, personalized element to your brand.”
Creating content and sharing it on your social media platforms takes consistent effort. However, it’s well worth your time. Remember, the goal is to support current patients and families while also being top-of-mind with family healthcare decision makers and caregivers when the need for senior living, home care, skilled care or hospice arises. Great content will increase brand awareness, position your organization as the expert and build brand loyalty. If you’d like to discuss ways to elevate your social media efforts to create more engagement with your followers, reach out.