Facebook. Twitter. Pinterest. Yelp. In today’s world it’s not just word of mouth that affects how your clients’ perceptions of your business are shared. With the expansion of social media not seeming to slow down, homecare agency owners must be aware of their online reputation and take proactive steps to maintain a positive image in social media outlets. While you may be thinking, “Seniors don’t Facebook!” you’d be surprised to find out just how many senior citizens engage in social media. In fact, a 2009 survey by eMarketer found that 46% of Baby Boomers using the internet maintained a social media profile. Consider that family caregivers are also apt to browsing the web, and social media holds major potential to help or hinder the perception of your homecare agency.
However, there are ways that you can help control your social media image online:
1. Create Your Own Profiles:
Keeping official profiles on prominent sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn allows you to create your own social media image. Upload your agency’s logo, photos of your administrative staff and caregivers, send out posts about homecare software or homecare systems you use, and use your profiles as a way to communicate agency information with current clients as well as prospects researching your agency online. This is your chance to shine the spotlight on the positive facets of your homecare business!
2. Monitor Social Media Profiles:
Having social media pages also provides clients, prospects, and employees a place to voice their opinions on your agency. While you may find positive reviews and customer testimonials, don’t be surprised to find the occasional negative review from a disgruntled client or former employee, as well. On some sites, such as Facebook, these posts can be deleted. However, with review sited such as Yelp, these reviews will be forever available on the internet for everyone to read. Unfortunately, that’s the reality of the internet. However, by checking your profiles often and keeping them up to date, you can be proactive in knowing how people perceive your agency and perhaps even heed criticism that could use reform.
3. Ask Clients & Referral Partnerts to Get Socially Involved Online:
The people that you most want involved in posting on your social media sites other than you will be those clients and their family members who are pleased with your services. Let your clients and family caregivers know that you’re online – send links to your profiles with a monthly newsletter, and use tools such as contact reports in your home care software or home care system to get in touch with referral partners and family caregivers to notify them of your online presence. Ask your supporters to post testimonials, positive feedback and more. Try simple online contests, like photo caption contests, to get folks interested in what you’re saying and show an active presence on your social media sites. However, remember to keep confidential conversations to phone, email, or messaging via your homecare software or homecare system!
While you utilize computers everyday in your work for scheduling and accounting via homecare software and homecare systems, other aspects of the computer – like social media – can also have a positive effect on your business. For more information on using social media in business, check out our prior post here: Easy Ways to Use Social Networking to Grow Your Business