Senior Living Social Media: Facebook’s change to News Feed

Facebook doubled-down on its commitment to connecting people when it publicly announced changes to its algorithm on January 11th. The changes will result in a reprioritization of the content users see on their respective News Feed.

So, what does Facebook’s algorithm update mean for your senior living community’s social media strategy? If you’re the admin of your senior living community, you may notice over time:

  • More personal content getting prioritization in the news feed
  • Fewer posts from businesses, brands, and media

That’s not to say posts from Pages will disappear entirely from News Feed; just that you’ll gradually observe less of them.

This ranking change is an effort to return to News Feed’s original intention: promoting meaningful interactions with the people you care about. While that benefits users, how will it impact the senior living community with a business Page on Facebook?

Facebook Fallout: What Your Senior Living Community Needs to Know

Over the years, organic reach for Pages has shrunk, so expect that trend to continue with the latest update. Facebook was transparent about that fact within the announcement, so it shouldn’t come as a shock.

Social Media Examiner urges Pages to get strategic with their posts to combat the hit its organic reach will take. This shift from quantity to quality will create a challenge for savvy senior living social media teams that used to repost content ad nauseum.

Before panicking, know that this algorithm update also presents an opportunity. We’ll share several tactics your senior living social media team can take to be proactive with your Pages.

Top Tactics to Encourage Engagement

1. Create Original, Fresh Content on a Consistent Basis:

What makes your senior living community unique? Are there amenities that set your community apart? Content that gets people actively engaged will be what determines distribution on the News Feed. Showcase your community’s authenticity with ‘slices of life’. A day trip to the movies, residents embracing the jovial side of senior life, and daily happenings at the community are all opportunities for social sharing that spurs engagement. Resident perspectives and stories will build loyalty and organic sharing will be an added benefit. Focus on serving your followers quality content that sparks discussion on your community’s Page.

2.Be Conversational and Ask Questions:

Passively posting an article won’t cut it any longer. That doesn’t mean your senior living social media strategy has to be boring. Quite the opposite. Get your followers actively involved with your brand. Be thoughtful. Ask questions that prompt unique insights. Doing so might require your community to weigh in on a controversial topic every now & again. The main point being, if your community wants to succeed after this algorithm update, it will need to facilitate conversations with lots of comments to create quality interactions. Remember: if your posts are more meaningful to people, it will be more meaningful to Facebook’s algorithm, and your community’s Page will benefit by extension.

3.Embrace Live video and go “Live”:

If part of your senior living social media strategy before the update involved sharing videos from other publishers (e.g. YouTube), expect to see a steep decline in views. To prevent mindless scrolling and a passive user experience, even videos that previously served the function of educational or entertainment value have been pushed to the back burner. That doesn’t mean video on Facebook is dead. In fact, it’s an opportunity to shine a spotlight on the happenings at your community in real time. Facebook has recently improved their video categorization and playlist functionality. Facebook is also encouraging live videos, as they receive a greater level of interaction between users. According to the newsroom press release, live videos get six times as many interactions as regular videos. So, next time you give a tour at your community, consider making it a live one!

4.Continue Ad Buys:

Even after Facebook diminished business Pages organic reach? The low barrier to entry with advertising cost still makes Facebook a lucrative vehicle for driving awareness. As we’ve previously mentioned, the 2 billion active users on the platform provide ample opportunity for engagement. Given the fact Facebook still provides the greatest ROI among social media platforms, the case for keeping budgets intact is strong. Adweek reached out to thought leaders from media and social agencies, and while opinions are mixed, it isn’t necessarily the time to pull the fire alarm. Facebook’s ad algorithm hasn’t been impacted yet, so until that changes, it’s a platform worth keeping in your community’s media mix.

Another Day, Another Algorithm Update

Facebook’s News Feed update reminds both brands and publishers: at any time, one algorithm update can impact revenue and create confusion. That’s why it’s so important to leverage channels your community OWNS, like your website. For additional perspective, Wired had a sit down with Adam Mosseri, Facebook vice president, and head of News Feed. Mosseri provided context as to why Facebook’s algorithm changed.

Do you think this change was a smart move on Facebook’s part? Sound off with your comments. We would love to hear from you. And we’ll continue to provide updates as this plays out. But if you have questions about your senior living social media standing after this, don’t be shy and contact us. We’ll try our best to help.

Until then, keep your ‘thumbs up’, your head held high, and keep engaging with your followers. Post on!

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