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Which Social Media Work in Home Care?

According to an article in the January 31, 2013 small business section of the Wall Street Journal, “Six out of 10 small business owners say they believe social media tools are valuable to their company’s growth – but most aren’t impressed with Twitter.”  Just 3% of 835 business owners surveyed by The Wall Street Journal and Vistage International said Twitter had the most potential to help their companies.

According to the same survey, 41% of those surveyed said LinkedIn has the most potential, followed by You Tube at 16% and Facebook at 14%.

The results of this WSJ survey reinforce the results of a survey conducted by Leading Home Care and Private Duty Today which shows that social media has not yet caught on as a marketing vehicle for private duty home care.  However, anecdotal examples of home care companies that are having some success suggest the following priorities for using social media to promote your company.

1.  Blogging.  Add a blog to your web site, and write articles regularly.  Content is king in internet marketing, and a blog is the easiest way to add content to your web site.

2. You Tube.  Using video is a great way to communicate your message to consumers and referrals sources explore the options for home care services.  Produce your video and upload it to You Tube.  Then link the video to your web site, your blog, and your email newsletter.  You Tube is the second most popular search engine after Google.

3. LinkedIn.  Use LinkedIn as part of your networking strategy to make personal connections with local referral sources.  We are hearing more and more examples of high performing sales people in home care who are using LinkedIn to connect with prospective referral sources.

What Doesn’t Seem to Work

In our surveys and experience with hundreds of home care companies, there is no evidence yet that other social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google +, and Pinterest are working to bring in inquiries or referrals that turn into admissions. If you can use Facebook or Pinterest to drive people to your web site, that’s great.  But we track referrals and admissions more than “likes” or web site visitors. 

What say you?

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