Over the years, the internet has become the primary resource of information, education, and entertainment. Research shows individuals using social media more than ever before to perform their research, get recommendations, and help them to make decisions about the products they will buy and the companies they will do business with.
For aging services communities, social media has become a quick and efficient way to disseminate information – connecting residents to their families, families to staff, and staff to their residents. Additionally, many aging services communities have turned to social media to share information, training information, best practices, and general collaboration among employees through closed or private channels.
While it is a good thing for aging services communities to be able to showcase their organization, staff, events, activities, and even drive traffic to their websites for an uptick in search engine optimization, there is a downside that needs to be considered.
Privacy tops the list. Residents and families do not expect that the staff within the aging services communities will always protect their privacy.
There are horror stories all over the internet about aging services community personnel posting things they shouldn’t. There are also stories all over the internet about aging services communities excelling in their use of social media to connect residents to families, families to staff, and staff to residents, as well as enhancing their community outreach to referral organizations.
The benefits can far outweigh the risks, but a delicate balance is required.
Employees should never post photos or videos of residents without their permission. No medical advice should ever be provided on social media channels, adopt both internal and external social media policies and make it clear to staff members that all social media activity is being monitored on an ongoing basis (and do it).
Understanding that employees of many aging services communities wear multiple hats, consider outsourcing your social media marketing, management, and training to a third-party who has not only the experience, but the track record in managing social media in the aging services space.
For more information on how e-Merge Online Marketing can help your Aging Services Community better establish a comprehensive social media program, contact us.