Engagement, It’s The Secret Sauce

July 19, 2012
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Social channels are not your “Field of Dreams.” Just because you build it doesn’t mean customers and fans are going to show up and start playing! You have to get them there and keep them engaged.

A phrase I like to use with clients is: “Telling is not selling, and selling is not engaging”. People don’t want to be sold to, they want to talk and be conversational.

Gary Vaynerchuk puts it in more animated terms by saying, “Everyone in social media marketing today is like a 19 year old dude: they try to close too fast”.

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When it comes to engaging with your customer, or more general, your audience, there is one major rule: DON’T BE A 19 YEAR OLD DUDE!

Research is showing that most people in social networks don’t want to talk about your services, they just want to talk. We’ve long known that inserting funeral homes into social-media channels requires a conversational touch, but many are surprised by just how conversational. There’s increasing evidence that the most effective kinds of posts on these websites are simple, random, even silly statements: What are you doing this weekend? What is your ideal vacation? What’s your favorite movie or book? What is on your Bucket-List?

As a rule: two-thirds of a funeral home’s Facebook content should be conversational in nature. Conversational posts produce 8 to 12 times the response of more company-oriented ones. It’s not always about your firm. It’s about why people are there…to connect with other people, and (getting them) to connect with you because they like you. The numbers speak for themselves.

Though not industry related, the following numbers from the Oreo Facebook Page are staggering. Oreo is masterful in handling that balance between promotion and conversation. Consider the responses from several recent questions:

  • “Ever try dunking an Oreo cookie with a fork or anything else?” Generated 8,200 “likes” and 2,300 comments
  • “Pick a flavor, any flavor! If you could create a new Oreo cream flavor, what would it be?” Generated 7,100 “likes”, 12,500 comments
  • “Pop quiz: Twist, lick, then…” Generated 6,500 “likes”, 6,200 comments

A single engaging post on a funeral home Facebook Page can reach 1000’s of people. If 98% of the posts are positive, the value is incredible.

What’s the value of all that to your firm? For the cost of $0.00 you have increased positive brand sentiment, generated a measurable earned-media value, and now have 100+ more people with whom you can share information. Not a bad ROI.

In the end it’s behavior-based – a Facebook fan has no value. Getting a Facebook fan to do something does.

Ryan Thogmartin

CEO at DISRUPT Media and ConnectingDirector.com
Ryan Thogmartin is the Owner and CEO of DISRUPT Media.

DISRUPT Media is a full-service creative agency built for the now. We partner with death care companies to drive deep-rooted brand loyalty and measurable leads through social media.

More Fans. More Conversations. More Leads.

Ryan is also the founder of ConnectingDirectors.com. ConnectingDirectors.com is the leading online daily publication for funeral professionals with a reader base of over 45,000 of the most elite and forward-thinking professionals in the profession. With ConnectingDirectors.com Ryan has created a global community through an online platform allowing funeral professionals to Stay Current. Stay Informed and Stay Elite.
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