The REAL Value of Social Memorial WebsitesSeptember 26th, 2013
Isn’t it crazy how humans are built to crave connections with others?
It’s true, a recent Blue Shield study revealed that “social connectedness” actually makes us happier.
And thankfully, the funeral industry has been supporting these social interactions for hundreds of years. As funeral professionals, its your job to bring people together to connect and share memories when someone passes away.
In fact, I think it’s pretty safe to say that most funeral services are one of the only ways people reconnect with long lost friends and relatives they’ve let slip away from being a part of their everyday lives.
This makes your role in society instrumental. You help those who have lost someone heal and reconnect through shared memories, ensuring not one person who walks through your door is grieving (or feeling) alone.
Enter: the explosion of social media
With the invention of social media websites, many funeral directors find that their role in the grieving process has been changed. You are no longer the sole facilitator of those healing conversations about the loved one. Instead, Facebook updates, Tweets, Youtube videos and Instagram photos have begun to take your place.
It’s due, in part, to people living a more mobile lifestyle. The methods many families use to stay in touch no longer require face-to-face exchanged to be meaningful. That means many family and friends who used to come to your funeral home for the services and visitations can now attend the service “digitally” thanks to many new technologies such as funeral webcasting.
While social media and technologies like webcasting have helped us become more connected, they’ve also, in a way, replaced the role of many funeral directors. So what’s a funeral practitioner to do? How do you regain your firm’s position in the community as the place to reconnect and heal?
That’s where social memorial websites come in.
What is a social memorial website?
At its core, a social memorial website is an obituary, Facebook wall, photo album guestbook, family tree, flower shop and memorial, all in one. It empowers family, friends and acquaintances to come together online—anytime and from anywhere—to honor and pay tribute to the life lived.
Through social memorial websites, your funeral firm’s website will become a virtual gathering place for sharing memories that keep people from grieving alone. This is especially true for those who can’t attend the funeral service due to time, distance or financial constraints.
In case you’ve never seen a social memorial website before, let’s take a minute to understand what it actually is, and why it’s valuable for your firm.
A social memorial website is…
A dedicated page on your firm’s website that becomes a permanent memorial that friends and family can visit for generations to come.
Your families’ social memorial website also becomes a central location friends and family to notify and invite people who knew their loved one. It acts as a “tribute wall” where people can share memories or write a condolence, like the one you see below.
A social memorial website also becomes a place where the family can get together and collaborate to create the loved one’s life story… and even a family tree!
A social memorial website is also an invitation to participate in the loved one’s memorial by lighting a virtual candle, sharing a virtual gift, or even posting (or recording) a video with a message for the family.
Last, but not least, a social memorial website is a means for your funeral home to create lasting connections and relationships with the families you serve by providing interactive, unique experiences that help them heal.
Why you can’t afford to miss out on social memorial websites
Whether you like it or not, families will figure out how to create social memorials with or without you. In fact, Baby Boomers have already quickly embraced the tools that allow them to keep up with their families, see pictures of their grandchildren and comment on the events in their relatives’ lives.
That’s why the time is now to show your families that your firm is in tune with what they want and need. Thanks to social memorial websites, your funeral home will be able to remain valuable in your community, create lasting memories, and most of all… create a lasting impression that will continue on for generations to come.
How can you start offering social memorial websites?
To learn more about how your firm can incorporate social memorial websites on your website, give us a call at 800-798-2575, ext. 5 or click here to sign up for free demo of them today!
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