33 Ways to Use Social Media to Build Relationships With Families

Social Media

As a funeral director, you’ve been building relationships with families long before the relationship marketing buzz. Relationship marketing is all about conversation, communication and community. And these days, one of the ways to encourage all three is via social media. Around 75% of Americans use social networking sites every day, according to Pew Internet. So if you’re going to connect with families, you need to be there too. Done right, building relationships on social media can enhance your authority, increase brand recognition and turn families into brand advocates who recommend your funeral home to anyone who needs a funeral service. 

I get it; the sheer number of social networks is confusing, let alone figuring out what to do on each one to make them effective. To help, here’s a snapshot of seven of the biggest social networks (hat tip to CNNMoney and The Next Web), with practical suggestions for how you can use them to connect more with client families.



Let’s start with Twitter, where you can make 140 character updates. With 58 million tweets sent per day (source: Textmarketer), it’s a hugely active network, which everyone can use. Twitter works well for responding to queries and showcasing expertise, and you can even show some humor and personality with the right hashtags. You can pretty much guarantee that your customers will be talking about your funeral home and matters relating to funerals on Twitter so it’s up to you to be part of the conversation by posting regularly and monitoring the conversation. Here are some things to try:

  1. Post short tips or quotes relating to funerals and memorials on Twitter.

  2. Drive traffic to your website by posting links to your obituaries or memorial websites.

  3. Use the site search function to find out what questions people have about funeral service, then either answer with a tweet or post the answer on your blog and share the link on Twitter.

  4. Encourage your Twitter followers to share their experiences and viewpoints on funeral services.

  5. Use hashtags to identify and brand your updates and to find related matters that you can discuss.

  6. Use Twitter lists to segment the people that you are interacting with (client families, other funeral directors, and so on) so you can tailor your updates to particular groups.

  7. Hold a Twitter contest around an experience relating to funerals or honoring life.



With 71% of online adults using Facebook, your funeral home can’t afford to ignore it. It’s the most popular choice among those who only use a single social network. In some ways, Facebook seems to have it all – you can share photos, videos, links and status updates and there doesn’t seem to be any cap on length. Your Facebook page also gives you the chance to use your branding so that customers associate your page with your site. Here are some tips for building relationships on Facebook. 

  1. Use Facebook Graph Search to discover connections and identify those who might have the same interests as you do.

  2. Post a photo of a unique funeral service (in good taste of course) and have a caption competition – this shows your personality and connects with those baby boomers who favor personalization at the same time.

  3. Share meaningful content, either from your own blog or from others, to provide a useful resource for families. This is not about self-promotion, but about being helpful.

  4. Give an insider’s guide to what’s happening in your business with text or photo updates.

  5. Highlight the latest social memorial websites, which are integrated with Facebook and provide a modern way of remembering a life lived.

  6. Use memes – the combination of images and humor does well on Facebook and is sure to connect with families.



Even if you’re still wondering what it is, you can’t ignore Google+, Google’s own social network. Google+ will help you build authority for your blog content and will help you rank in search results. Google+ combines some of the best features of Twitter and Facebook. It’s great for sharing images and long form posts as well as short snippets, links, videos and interesting images so you can do anything you have done on the other social networks on Google+ too. Here are some additional tips for building relationships via this network:

  1. Set up circles (a bit like groups or interest lists, but private) for people whose content you want to share and those who are or could be potential families.

  2. Add hashtags to the content you share to make it easy to find.

  3. Use your business page to give client families a peek behind the curtain and answer their questions.

  4. Set up or join relevant communities and participate in the discussion.



Though it has many social elements, LinkedIn is more a business focused network with 259 million users. The company has recently focused on boosting the creation of business pages, so this is another opportunity to connect with potential client families where they are. Here are some things to try:

  1. Setup or join a group related to dealing with grief and share the solutions that you know are effective for healing. Participate in any discussions.

  2. Use LinkedIn as an online version of an industry networking event and post-a couple times a week to share content that you know others will be interested in. Be sure to respond to any comments.

  3. See where your competitors are hanging out on LinkedIn – there could be an opportunity for you to connect with families there.

  4. Create a Slideshare presentation about funeral personalization or interesting statistics about your funeral home and share this on LinkedIn (and other social media sites).



Visual media has become very important, and Pinterest leads the way with 2.5 billion monthly page views. All the stats suggest that the site skews heavily towards women, so if you want to connect with the women in client families, this could be the place to be. It works by creating boards around themes and pinning images to them. You can also add a description, comments and hashtags. Here are some tips for building relationships with Pinterest:

  1. Create interesting boards. These could include for writing eulogies, great funeral music, personalization themes, interesting outfits people have worn to funerals, hats, quotes – you name it. Don’t be afraid to use your imagination!

  2. Use the site search feature to find related content and post them to your own boards, making sure to comment on the original pin. That gets the conversation going.

  3. Run a contest – inbound marketing company Hubspot has some examples to inspire you.



Don’t forget about Instagram. Now owned by Facebook, it’s a great network for sharing visuals and short videos. You don’t have to post often but you do have to use hashtags to help people to find your content. Some of the same visual imagery that you use on Facebook can also be used on Instagram. Here are some tips:

  1. Search for interesting images and like and comment on them.

  2. Post images of personalized funeral services.

  3. Take people behind the scenes of your funeral home with employee photos.

  4. Use humor where appropriate – it works well on Instagram.



Video marketing is hot and is a great way to showcase the services that your funeral home offers. You can also share those videos on other social networks. Try these types of videos to connect and build relationships with client families. 

  1. Videos showcasing your company’s facilities and services (make them fun!)

  2. Videos highlighting the unique funeral services you have held.

  3. Video testimonials from families.

  4. Videos done by funeral home employees to showcase your brand personality.

  5. Explainer videos for your products and services.


Recap: Tips for Relationship Building on Social Media

You’ll see that there are a lot of common threads in these tips. Beyond the content you share, building relationships on social media is about:

  • letting families see what you are all about.

  • being available to answer questions.

  • sharing updates your audience will find interesting or valuable.

  • being part of a social media community.

Once you do that, you are sure to connect more with client families. Then you can measure your success by checking on social media engagement metrics…Stay tuned! We’ll be looking at that in a future post.


Leave a Reply

Note: You can use basic XHTML in your comments.

  1. Thiago

    What makes this so interesting is that no one expects this kind of thing, this kind of service, from funeral companies. At least not until they need it. Then imagine their surprise, and relief, when the information they need is right there at their fingertips. Great suggestions. Thiago |

  2. Funeral Blog. The official blog for the funeral & cemetery professions. » Blog Archive 12 Tools to Measure Your Social Media Impact – funeralOne Blog

    […] home should have a social media presence.  Not sure where to get started? In a recent blog, 33 Ways to Use Social Media to Build Relationships With Families, we outlined actionable tactics to help you focus your efforts and highlighted the benefits that […]

  3. Funeral Blog. The official blog for the funeral & cemetery professions. » Blog Archive 20 Easy Ways You Can Grow Your Funeral Home’s Social Media Following… Right Now » Funeral Blog. The official blog for the funeral & cemetery pro

    […] Tweet If you haven’t been hiding in a cave for the last five years, you know that social media is an incredibly important piece of your funeral home’s marketing plan.Just getting started with […]

  4. Funeral Blog. The official blog for the funeral & cemetery professions. » Blog Archive 5 Remarkable Marketing Campaigns Your Funeral Home Can Learn From Today » Funeral Blog. The official blog for the funeral & cemetery professions.

    […] something new. Don’t be afraid to take a risk and embrace a new way of marketing (cough cough, social media, cough). The second lesson? If you do good in your community, make it known. Let people know you […]

  5. Funeral Blog. The official blog for the funeral & cemetery professions. » Blog Archive The Ultimate Who, What, When Where And How Guide To Funeral Social Media – Funeral Blog. The official blog for the funeral & cemetery professions.

    […] this year we posted a roundup of themain social media sites to help you decide which ones would work best for your funeral home. Here’s a quick […]