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Protect Your ALF on Social Media

By brian barrick
January 28, 2014

Social media websites provide online spaces where different types of businesses, including assisted living facilities, can promote their services. The use of social media can lead to an increase in residents over time and give others a glimpse into the types of amenities you have at your facility.  When you and other administrators create and use these sites, you have to be careful about the content and messages that you put on them. While the websites can allow you to better communicate with others about your services in direct and indirect ways, you could upset residents and their families or face greater issues, such as lawsuits, for content posted on your social media pages.

When you set up social media pages, you need to think carefully about the content that you are putting on the pages from the start. As you post new messages or pictures on the pages, reflect on how they could affect your assisted living facility. Administrators for assisted living facilities and other types of businesses often look at the layouts and content on businesses’ social media websites to get ideas for how to handle social media. With your social media page, you want to be especially careful when posting pictures because you don’t want to put any resident’s or staff member’s picture online without consent or written permission. When you post any description or information about your company, read over it closely to ensure that it doesn’t contain any false or misleading content or information that could get you in trouble later, such as names of residents or their families.

After your social media page is up and running, you can use it as a tool to communicate with residents, their families, medical personnel or other business owners. You can also speak with individuals at other assisted living facilities to get ideas on how to make your company better for the residents. When you communicate with anyone on social media websites, think carefully about your messages and how they could be taken. Don’t incriminate yourself or others in your messages or talk negatively about your facility or other companies. If you need to respond to negative publicity on your social media site, use a pre-written, well-thought-out statement. You want to make sure not to post any comments or messages without consideration because others could be offended or upset by what you write.

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