January 17, 2017

Sneak Preview: Senior Care Industry Report Shows Conversations Happen In Known Communities

Our first industry report is due out any day now. The Conversation Report: Independent Living to Nursing Homes: Understanding the Buyer Journey for Senior Care looks at online conversations over the course of a calendar year in which people discuss senior care facilities and services with some level of intent to buy. We’ve researched, indexed and analyzed over 19,000 conversations, surfaced almost 1,200 that are true voices of the consumer and have a laundry list of insights to share with those buying the report.

To ensure you get first chance to download the executive summary and purchase the full report, be sure to join our list. The report is due out any day now.

Our exploration surfaced many insights about senior care shoppers we didn’t expect to find, as well as some we did. While I personally had not explored the conversation set in the senior care industry much before the endeavor, my experience with conversation research as a whole tells me that consumers have conversations in exactly the types of communities that social media marketing often ignores: forums and message boards. And for senior care, that is accurate.

So while we can all agree that Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social networks are the sexy, consumer-driven platforms that quickly surface as popular for social media, as brands we should understand that consumers often turn away from them and to known and more intimate communities for recommendations, referrals and support during buying decisions. In my experience, the more personal and private the decision, the more this hypothesis proves true.

Forums and message boards make up more than 80% of the online conversation about the senior care space. Consumers there turn to communities they trust built around the topic at hand (AgingCare.com was popular) but they also turn to known communities — ones which they are already a member of for other reasons (WeightWatchers.com ranked high as well).

For brands this means to truly engage potential customers, you have to be more aware of social media than most seem to be. Facebook and Twitter alone won’t cut it. Minding your own social profiles doesn’t scratch the surface of where your audience is engaging around the topics most likely to lead to new business for your brand. It also means investing in true community managers who go beyond minding the social profiles and assimilating into existing communities to be a formal or informal representative of the company could be a smart play.

While charts like this have existed for years and the knowledge that forums and message boards play a big part in any brand’s online conversations is not new news, it is shocking how poorly brands have adapted to it. We found no instance of a brand representative responding to these forum posts.

Don’t miss more insights in the upcoming Conversation Report: Independent Living to Nursing Homes: Understanding the Buyer Journey for Senior CareSubscribe to our updates on the form on our home page.

 

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