6 Ways to Use Social Media to Build Relationships with Your FamiliesJune 14th, 2012
Last week, for the first time ever, I decided to reach out to my cable company on Twitter because I was having some technical issues.
To my surprise, I received a direct message from a customer service rep asking me what I needed help with.
Within minutes, my issue was solved, and I didn’t have to sit on the phone for 30 minutes listening to cheesy elevator music. I felt connected with that company. It felt good talking to a real person and getting help quickly, on a medium that I knew so well.
Through our interactions on Twitter, my cable company successfully built a relationship with me. My experience has compelled me to share six ways you can improve your funeral home marketing by building relationships with your families through social media.
1. Listen and Learn
If you start a Facebook page for your funeral firm and expect people to appear out of thin air and engage with you, you’re mistaken. In order to interact with your families on social media, you’ll need to find out where they interact, how they interact, and what kinds of conversations in regards to your services. This could be invaluable information for your firm.
2. Be Personal
The #1 most followed Twitter account in the world? Lady Gaga. Her 21 million followers can all be attributed to her personal approach on Facebook and Twitter. Using a personal, approachable tone on your social channels will warm your families up to you, and build a sense of trust. Social media allows you to humanize your brand and “put a name to the face” for your families. Genuine, humanized content wins the race, no matter what.
(Check out our previous blog on How to Humanize Your Funeral Firm with Social Media for tips on how to be more personal on social media.)
3. Have a 2-way Conversation
Have you ever had a conversation with someone, and you couldn’t get a word in because they were too busy talking about themselves? That isn’t fun for anyone, especially your families. Invite your social media network to share their thoughts. Ask thought-provoking questions, take a poll, or even ask what they think about your latest blog post.
4. Don’t be a Salesman
Ask yourself this: would you feel inspired to follow someone on Facebook if their status updates reeked of recycled sales pitches? No. Social media isn’t meant to be used as a sales tool. However, social media is a great outlet to educate potential families on the value of your services, lead them to your funeral home website, create a sense of community, and position yourself as a thought leader in the funeral profession.
5. Respond to Everyone, and Promptly
Your families are your first priority, so help them feel that way. Set up your social media account preferences so that you receive an email notification whenever your audience leaves a comment, question or thought. Imagine the impact you can make on families if they ask you a question or bring up an issue and you are able to resolve it for them quickly and thoroughly. Social media has the power to be the ultimate customer service tool!
6. Educate with Content
If you don’t educate your families on the value of your services, who will? Because death is a difficult topic to discuss for your families, it’s your job to communicate why things like pre-planning and unique ceremonies that celebrate the life lived are important for them. Post a mix of content, videos, and pictures that both inform and engage. Make sure this content links to your funeral home website so they know where to find more information. The better you educate potential families, the more trust they will have in your firm, and the more likely they’ll be to select your funeral home when they’re in need of the services you provide.
Have you ever had a good customer service experience on social media? Or, do you practice any of these tips to create an awesome experience for your families? Share your thoughts!