Steps to Social Media Success for Your Funeral Home
In 2022, social media is no longer considered "the new frontier" of marketing. Social media is now a critical (and necessary!) component of any marketing strategy, with many people choosing social media over more traditional forms of advertising.
As a funeral home director, learning to adapt and leverage social media to fit your specific needs is critical to your success. There are challenges and opportunities in creating a marketing strategy for a business in the death care industry.
However, finding the right balance of empathy, care and strategic marketing is integral. By effectively integrating social media into your existing funeral home advertising strategy, you will be able to access a wider network and perhaps even lower your marketing costs, as digital marketing often costs much less than traditional forms of advertising.
Why Use Social Media?
When making the decision to integrate social media into your marketing strategy it is important to consider where your target audience is spending their time. With the advent of the smartphone, apps like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are becoming increasingly accessible for people of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds. Many people use social media to find local services.
Still not convinced?
Here are some facts and statistics that may surprise you.
- The average social media user has 7 different social media accounts on various platforms
- Approximately 97% of adults aged 16-64 visited a social media website in 2017
- The number of active social media account continues to grow at a staggering rate
- 62% of American adults use social media as their primary news source
- The average social media spends over two hours a day on social media in 2020
- Globally, YouTube and Facebook are the primary social media platforms, with other sites like Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and Pinterest each representing a slightly smaller share of the market.
It is undeniable that social media platforms like Facebook are a helpful tool for funeral home owners in connecting with new families and clients, sharing photos and videos about your industry, and forming great relationships with your communities both on and offline.
Steps for Social Media Marketing Success
Step One: Create a Strategy
When using social media for funeral homes, it is important to have a clear and defined understanding of your goals and expectations for a social media marketing strategy.
We highly recommend focusing on one social media channel and earning a return on investment before moving on to another. For example, if your funeral home is already established on Facebook and generating leads consistently, then you can move on to focus on Instagram as well.
Before creating your social media campaign, we encourage owners of funeral homes to ask themselves these questions:
- What do you hope to achieve via social media platforms?
- How many social media accounts can you effectively manage at once?
- Is there a social media channel you prefer over others?
- How much time can you allocate towards maintaining your social media posts? Is this something you'd choose to manage in-house or contract out to a freelancer or agency?
- Do you currently have a digital marketing strategy that social media will be integrated into? Or is this a new strategy overall?
- Do you have a funeral home website already created? If so, is your website accessible and easy to use?
These are all important questions to help determine your readiness for integrating social media into your current marketing strategy.
Step Two: Create Meaningful Content for Your Audience
Now that you have created your social media accounts and have begun gaining followers, it is important to consider the content you want to represent your funeral home services online. As a general rule, content you post on social media should be a mix of videos and photos, it should be unique to your business/industry, it should represent your values, and it should provide value to your social media audience.
While you should definitely post about your own funeral services, you should also post more general, informative content.
As a business that deals with sensitive, and sometimes uncomfortable content, it is even more important to take great care when you post social media content for your audience.
Some ideas to help you post great, engaging photos and videos include:
- Focusing on the local. This means focusing on your role in the local community. Charitable initiatives, community events and other local partnerships are all great ways to attract new customers online.
- Sharing insights and information. Death can be an uncomfortable topic for many, and funeral planning may be a difficult conversation for individuals to have with their loved ones. By sharing timely and accurate information about your funeral services, you can help to break conversation barriers and provide more information to those who may be too uncomfortable to seek it.
Step Three: Build Relationships
The true purpose behind any social media strategy (in addition to sharing about your services) should be to build meaningful relationships with your audience, network, and client families. These relationships should be based on trust and engagement. Contrary to more traditional forms of marketing, social media is a two way dialogue between local businesses and their followers.
When creating a social media strategy, be ready to engage with consumers one on one through comments, live videos, likes, and direct messages. These forms of communication allow for important, direct access to your followers, but they can also pose challenges for any business through bad reviews, hackers, spam, or trolls.
Social media truly is a 24/7/365 way of interacting with your communities and this time commitment should not be overlooked when creating a social media workflow that fits your funeral home and your team.
Step Four: Adapt and Adjust
A common mistake made by small business owners, particularly those who manage their social media in-house, is not reviewing helpful social media analytics. Social media analytics data, particularly data on engagement, is helpful in creating effective social media content that captures users' attention. A social media content marketing strategy should be constantly evolving as you learn you target audiences preferences.
By following these four simple steps, you are well on your way to post effective and engaging social media channels for your funeral home business. While funeral homes are not traditionally a business that consumers would think to interact with online and on social media, there are unique opportunities for your business to create meaningful (and profitable!) relationships with your community and customers through social media.
If you'd like help with your funeral home's marketing strategy, reach out to us at Funeral Home Media and we'd be glad to help! We offer dedicated marketing services for funeral home owners.