The #1 Reason Your Funeral Home Facebook Page StinksMay 17th, 2012
You’ve probably heard all the statistics about the exploding, exponential growth of social media. Like this one. There are more than 800 million Facebook users, and if Facebook was a country, it would be the third largest in the world behind China and India. HubSpot tells us that that 93% of all Internet users in the U.S. are on Facebook. And 56% of consumers say they are more likely to recommend a brand after following their Facebook page.
For the moment, let’s not even talk about all of the other social media platforms such as Twitter, Google +, YouTube or those user review sites like Yelp, MerchantCircle or Insider Pages. We’ll save those for another day—let’s keep our focus on Facebook.
If you put “funeral home” into the Facebook search bar, you’ll find hundreds of funeral homes listed. But, here’s the sad truth: the majority of funeral firms don’t take advantage of all the ways to connect with their Facebook community. Ryan Thogmartin, founder of Connecting Directors and the savvy mind behind Disrupt Media Group, shares the same thinking. “Here is the deal with funeral homes and social media,” he said. “They still don’t get it!”
So guess what they do? They ignore it, or simply use it as a place to cross-post obituaries. If that describes your approach to Facebook marketing, then you’ve made the #1 mistake.
Think about it:
• How often are you posting?
• What days and times are you posting?
• What content is getting the most interaction – pictures, links, videos, questions?
• How many people post directly on your page?
• How many respond to a post?
Don’t like your answers? All is not lost. You can change things right now, with the help of three funeral firms which are shining examples for you to follow:
1. Anderson-McQueen Funeral & Cremation Centers (1,132 likes)
2. Grace Funeral & Cremation Services (1,007 likes)
3. O’Connor Mortuary (250 likes)
The point I want to make is that each of these firms uses the “real estate” on their Facebook page effectively. Here’s what they’re doing:
• Posting every day. That’s because they know if you’re only posting once or twice a week your community may miss at least one of them. And they don’t neglect the weekends, because they know that’s when many people are on Facebook.
• Staying current on Facebook changes. They’re aware that the new Facebook Timeline Brand Pages have changed the way their funeral home interacts with their followers, requiring more visual and more frequent posting. It’s content-driven, and whatever you post will go through the news feed very quickly – sometimes within hours!
• Focusing on engagement. They’re asking questions, posting helpful tips, and linking to articles that their audience will “Like” and “Share”.
• Setting aside follow-up time. They know they’ve got to follow up on posts and respond to questions on their Timeline. In fact, they check their page every day, hopefully twice.
• Providing a call-to-action. They tell people to click “Like”, comment on a post, or “share” on their own timeline.
• Striking a balance in their content. That’s means there’s a balance between funeral home-focused messages (like obituaries and special program announcements) and audience-driven content/connection posts.
• When appropriate, they’re making it fun. Facebook is a social community. People are there to connect, deepen relationships, and have fun. Remember social media is a way for you to humanize your funeral firm.
Here’s a helpful tip from our funeralOne social media maven, Emily Black. “Create an editorial content calendar. In fact, it’s good to have two types of content calendars. The first is a larger roadmap of promotions and special events throughout the year to highlight, like seminars, grief support groups, or holiday remembrance services.”
The other is a weekly calendar. “This will give structure to your exact daily content. For example, one day you could feature a 3rd party link to an interesting relevant article. The next day you could ask a question, or post a local area photo. Mix it up!”
As you develop your weekly content calendar, your community will also get to know your pattern and they will look forward to certain weekly events.
The bottom line is that it’s time to ramp up your Facebook marketing efforts. You have a huge opportunity to reach new families, and build loyalty with previous client families, using this wildly popular social media community. Don’t blow it by neglecting to do a few simple things.
What are you doing to engage your audience on Facebook? What could you do better? Leave your comments below!