Social Memorial Websites: Why Losing 2 Friends Made Me Realize Their ValueAugust 13th, 2012
Last weekend, I lost two of my very good friends.
One was killed by a drunk driver. One was t-boned by someone who was texting and driving.
These individuals were only 21 and 22 years old.
They were young, ambitious people with big dreams, and many people in my community were affected by their deaths.
When they passed, where do you think was the first place I went to?
Because my friend’s families didn’t seek a funeral home who offered social memorial websites, I went to Facebook.
And chances are, Facebook is the first place your community goes to show their support to the family of the loved one.
The families of today are social, and use social media to connect with one another at a time of loss. But how do you connect with them online, without “disrupting” them?
Here are 3 ways you can connect with your families and community online:
1. Help your families start a social conversation
When my friends passed away, there were many conversations happening on Facebook and Twitter. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could help your families spread the word and feel supported through social media? With social memorial websites, you can. Unfortunately, the two funeral homes who served my friend’s families didn’t use social memorial website. That means that all of the memories, condolences, and prayers will be lost in the social world within just a few months.
How to do this: Create a Facebook discussion page, or a Facebook group in honor of the loved one. Or, take it a step further with social memorial websites. With social memorial websites, you can create a permanent memorial for the loved one where the community can post pictures, memories, condolences – they can even light a candle in their honor of the departed.
And, the social memorial website integrates with Facebook, so all of the conversations going on online can be centralized in one location. Imagine how grateful your families and your community would feel if they knew you went the extra mile to facilitate a stream of memories and condolences in one spot.
2. Help the community contribute to a cause in honor of the loved one
As I mentioned before, my friend was killed by a drunk driver. And, I want to contribute to a higher cause in honor of her life. So, this week I pledge to make a small donation to an organization against drunk driving. Why? Because I don’t want others to have to face the same tragedy I had to. And, most people I know feel the same way.
How to do this: With social memorial websites, family & friends have the option to make a donation in honor of the loved one’s life. If the person who passed away was involved with an organization, you can choose to donate to them. If you don’t use social memorial websites, you can always post a link to websites like JustGive.org, where family and friends can choose from hundreds of organizations to donate to.
3. Create something that friends & family can share throughout the community
A friend of mine created a picture to honor the 2 lives that were lost last weekend. For the sake of this blog, let’s call it a “Photo of Honor”. In one night, the “Photo of Honor” went viral on Facebook. It received hundreds of comments, dozens of shares, thousands of likes. Creating a photo to be shared on Facebook is invaluable because it allows people to show they care – and display their support. My friends’ parents were so touched by the fact that hundreds of people were making that photo their profile picture, and sharing it with everyone to honor their children. They felt comfort knowing that their children created such an impact on their community.
How to do this: You can help your families feel this sort of comfort by creating your own “Photo of Honor” using something as simple as the Paint application on your computer. Simply copy and paste a picture of the loved one, or find a picture that represents their life. Then, you can paste a quote, or a condolence message on the picture. Save the photo, upload it, and tag family and friends of the loved one in it. Then, watch as your community spreads the legacy of the departed online.
Looking back on the situation, I wish that the funeral home’s who helped my friend’s families had used social memorial websites. With this information, I hope that you, too, can realize the value in them, and provide it to your families.
If you want to serve your families and provide an extra level of service through technolgoy, our website platform, f1Connect, is the perfect solution. With f1Connect, your funeral home can provide the following your families:
- Social memorial websites
- Sympathy and gift store
- Pre-planning tools for families
- Grief support with eAftercare
To learn more about f1Connect and social memorial websites, click here or call 1-800-798-2575.
Krystal Penrose is the content marketer and funeralOne blog manager. As content marketer, her role is to research the changing needs of today’s families, and present them to funeral professionals through educational content. Krystal also engages with thought leaders in the industry to help create an online community for funeral professionals across the country. funeralOne’s solutions include:website design, aftercare, eCommerce, and personalization software. Connect with Krystal on Google+
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