Nurturing Trust Online with Senior Care Clients

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With choosing a senior living provider being one of the most important decisions a senior and their family will make, understanding how adult children and other advocates approach senior living research in the digital age is imperative to your residence’s success.  

Internet-savvy adult children are educating themselves about senior living in a completely new way—with online research. By the time they’re ready to reach out to your sales team, it’s likely that they’re much better informed about your residence than they would have been just a few years ago. 

“The way we reach [an adult child] is driven today by social media, it’s driven today by the Internet, it’s driven today by our ability to analyze and understand the data, search engine optimization, search engine marketing,” explains Pat Mulloy, Chairman & CEO of Elmcroft Senior Living. “None of that stuff existed 10 years ago.” (PointClickCare, 2017).  

Embracing digital marketing for your senior living residence can help you better connect with the loved ones of prospective residents who are curious about your community. With a little effort, you’ll be able to gain a deep understanding of what family members or senior advocates are looking for, how to communicate with them more effectively, and provide them with educational resources that help them choose you as a care provider. 

Decision Making Relies on the Experiences of Others

The latest online review statistics reveal that nearly four in five (79%) consumers say they trust the reviews they read online as much as personal recommendations (BrightLocal, 2020).  

Leveraging the positive experiences others have had in your care builds important online touchpoints for individuals looking for a senior living care provider. Each of these reviews helps lay the foundation for a positive relationship with your residence long before your sales team reaches out to prospective clients. 

Ensuring that you prioritize both the amount and the accessibility of high-quality reviews of your residence across your digital landscape benefits care providers like you in three ways: 

  1. Gives seniors and their loved ones an opportunity to gain a sense of your residence through the first-hand experiences of satisfied residents, their family members, or other senior care professionals.  
  2. Supports a strong Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy, making your residence easier to find online. To learn more about SEO for Senior Living, click here.  
  3. Supports your reputation as a trustworthy, credible care provider.  

Having and displaying reviews on your business’ website, Facebook Page, Google Listing and third-party platforms like Cared Upon work together to nurture a positive reputation for your residence, but not all review platforms are viewed with the same level of trust.  

Prospective residents and their families know that you’re able to pick and choose what appears on your own website, and reviews posted to your Google listing or Facebook pages only inspire a little more confidence. A mere 7% of consumers say they're 'not at all' suspicious of reviews on Facebook, while almost two thirds (62%) of consumers believe they've seen a fake review for a local business in the past year (BrightLocal, 2022). 

By comparison, a third-party platform like Cared Upon is already positioned as a trusted senior-focused digital information hub and review-hosting site. Without a direct affiliation to a specific care provider, prospective clients can feel confident that the residence reviews they read on are truthful and unbiassed. 

Provide Peace of Mind for Those Seeking Care

When beginning the search for care, a handful of common concerns typically arise for seniors and their loved ones. Taking a proactive approach to the content your residence makes and shares online can help ease these worries much earlier in prospective clients’ decision-making process.  

In addition to offering peace of mind to future residents and their families, your residence’s intentional approach to educational content like “how-to” blog posts, or lifestyle content like photos of events shared on social media, helps clients find the richly detailed information they need. (Especially when coupled with a bank of positive reviews.)  

83% of potential clients consider reviews for healthcare and care services ‘important’ or ‘very important’ (BrightLocal, 2022); supporting these glowing insights with behind-the-scenes snapshots of the exceptional experiences your residence provides helps support clients at each stage of their buyer’s journey

As you start developing your residence’s online content strategy, consider creating media to address these common senior living worries:  

  • “I’ll have trouble transitioning out of my home and fitting in.” Empower your current residents to build their community by sharing their experiences. Asking for reviews, encouraging referrals, and inviting them to take part in tours or digital events as community ambassadors can give others insight into the communities before they join them. 
  • “I’ll be lonely or bored if I move into a retirement home.” Highlight your residence’s five-star programming with photos, videos and well-written descriptions of activities and events on social media and your Cared Upon listing. Consider seeing these experiences as opportunities to generate specific, positive reviews for your residence to share.  
  • “I’m nervous that I won’t receive the care I need and am wary of trusting care staff.” Leverage your review platforms to give future residents and their loved ones a sense of day-to-day life in your care. Engaging with positive reviews is valuable for your residence’s reputation, but how you handle negative feedback can really set you apart. Responding to critical reviews with grace and meaningful resolutions can show your business’ commitment to outstanding care, and your management’s willingness to make things right. 

89% of consumers say they would be ‘fairly’ or ‘highly’ likely to engage with a business that responds to all reviews, positive and negative (BrightLocal, 2022). In addition to reviews on Google or your social media channels, a specialized platform like Cared Upon provides a unique opportunity for care providers to build their brand image and manage client reviews from one powerful platform.  

How Helps You Nurture Trust in Future Residents:   

  • Customizable residence profiles showcase your best photos and videos  
  • Reviews are individually vetted for honesty and accuracy before they’re posted   
  • Care providers can respond directly to reviews before they’re posted   
  • The platform caters specifically to seniors, their families, and care professionals 

Leverage Your Professional Network

While much of your digital marketing will be tailored for prospective residents and their loved ones, special attention should be paid to Senior Living Advisors, social workers, hospital discharge coordinators, and other healthcare practitioners. These senior care professionals occupy the important space between seniors seeking support and residences like yours.  

Provide Educational Material 

Social workers, hospital discharge coordinators, Senior Living Advisors and other healthcare professionals in your area are often the first people that seniors and their families interact with when seeking care. Ensuring that these professionals have access to rich, detailed information about your residence encourages them to recommend your home ahead of your competitors, as well as act as a trustworthy learning resource for prospective clients.  

Attain High-Value Testimonials from Senior Living Partners 

Senior living professionals have a deep understanding of the niche you share and often come with years of experience. Your shared clientele likely already sees them as knowledgeable, trustworthy, and credible senior care experts. Reading a positive testimonial online from another senior living authority can inspire a rock-solid sense of confidence in the care your residence provides.