Out of all of the social media platforms, Facebook is undoubtedly the top choice for a lot of care home operators.
This platform is easy to use and enables homes to communicate quickly and effectively with resident families, friends and locals.
However, some care homes have opted not to use it, as it compromises residents’ privacy and is a lot of work to maintain.
While there’s nothing wrong with the reasoning, there is also an argument to say that it can make a big difference to the service you provide and in the recruitment of new care professionals.
The choice is theirs
If you’re worried about the privacy of patients at your care home, just remember that you can implement a written agreement with every resident and family.
In introducing this process, you’ll know that they’re happy to be featured on Facebook or any other social media platform, without causing any issues further down the line.
This also gives residents an opportunity to opt out at any time, giving them the power to make executive decisions for themselves.
Do care homes really need Facebook?
The Care Quality Commission in the UK doesn’t have any regulations or guidelines surrounding care homes using Facebook or other social media platforms.
However, the CQC’s chief inspector, Andrew Sutcliffe, has previously stated that social media “can have a positive impact in so many different ways” and that it “should not be seen as standing in the way of creative and innovative activities that enrich the lives of people who need care.”
Naturally, social media will always come secondary to the service a care home offers their residents.
But there’s no doubt that it can definitely serve a purpose when the time is right.
Recruiting via Facebook
Utilising Facebook can also help benefit a care home’s recruitment drive, raising awareness of vacancies and boosting the profile of the home itself.
By posting engaging content, replying to comments and keeping followers up-to-date, your care home will soon start to build a solid reputation as a great place to be – leading to a word of mouth effect.
Examples of relevant posts include:
– Telling your audience about what residents have for lunch.
– Showcasing all of the fun activities residents get to take part in.
– Information about weekly activity classes.
– Staff profiles and positive messages.
– Sharing interesting topical pieces from other organisations.
By doing this, you’ll not only make your care home attractive to potential residents and their families, but you’ll be advertising it to potential professionals too.
This means, when it comes to posting a job vacancy, you’ll more than likely receive more applications from highly-qualified care professionals.
As a result, this will save you money on agency fees and job boards.
Plus, you won’t have to spend as many hours rummaging through hundreds of CVs.
This is especially important when you’re looking to fill one or multiple roles quickly – which is a common occurrence in this industry.
Essentially, Facebook is a PR tool for building brand awareness – meaning the more likes, shares and comments you get, the bigger the reach of your posts will be.
Once again, this could encourage potential residents and care professionals to take note of your organisation for future reference.
Rules to remember
If you’re starting to come around to the idea of using Facebook for recruitment and brand awareness reasons, it’s vital that you consider introducing strict guidelines.
By doing this, you’ll successfully protect the privacy of your residents and maximise the social media platform’s potential too.
For starters, you should only give Facebook admin rights to senior staff who know the rules when posting.
This includes not sharing any of the information on their own personal accounts without prior consent.
Limiting access across your care home will keep the operation professional, on brand and safer for all involved.
Creating admin rights when posting about residents and the events within a care home, will also give you the chance to review every single post before it’s published.
Give yourself the control and you can safeguard the privacy of your residents and their families.
If you’re ever unsure when posting, you can always change the privacy setting of the post (or even the group), so that just certain people and families can see it.
This way, you can separate the recruitment based posts from the more personal ones involving the residents.
Is Facebook right for your care home?
The answer to this question predominately depends on whether you have the right personnel in charge and the time to implement Facebook.
There’s no doubt that Facebook is a great platform for boosting recruitment and engaging with families via digital means.
However, if you’re unsure, there’s no harm in just privately emailing families with updates on the resident and acquiring the expertise of a care industry recruitment specialist like us to deal with the hiring side of things.
Our vast experience and knowledge of the care sector have enabled us to build up a huge pool of care professionals, meaning we can help you place temporary placements quicker than any other form of advertising.
For more information, register your details with us today.