ICCFA 2013: Social Media May be Meaningless

April 24, 2013
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Article By: Krystal Penrose, FuneralOne

“Social media is like teenage sex… everybody wants to do it, but nobody knows how. And when it’s over, you wonder why it wasn’t better.”

That’s how Ryan Thogmartin, founder of DISRUPT Media and Connecting Director’s, described social media during his presentation “Social Media May Be Meaningless” at ICCFA today.

Ryan’s case was pretty clear: social media is the foundation of many of today’s largest corporations… and without it, you could be missing out on more than you know.

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It’s no secret that today’s consumer is changing at a rapid pace, and it’s almost impossible to keep up with their needs. In fact, this inability to evolve has been given it’s own term called “digital Darwinism.” We’ve seen companies like Border’s Bookstore, Blockbuster, and Circuit City face this “digital Darwinism,” and close their doors forever.

Is the funeral profession headed down the same path? According to Ryan, the answer is no. Through the successful use of social media, funeral service has a bright future. In fact, social media will create 7 business drivers for funeral service. Let’s dive into exactly what they are:

Build a community

One of your funeral home’s biggest priorities is connecting with your community. Social media allows you to build a following and position yourself as a resource in your community, reaching more people than ever before.

Brand awareness

Social media allows funeral home’s to put their name out in their community and reach more potential customers than ever before. Before social media, we only had the ability to touch a family once every 15 years. Now, through social media, you can interact with current and past families every single day, keeping your firm top of mind.

Public relations

Social media allows you to answer questions and be the go-to source for local media outlets. Don’t you want media outlets calling you and not other “experts”?

Customer service

What if you could answer potential families’ questions about your funeral home before they ever walk through your door? Social media gives you the perfect opportunity to answer those questions in a timely manner. It’s a great alternative to taking customers service calls at 3am.

Research and development

What better way to find out what your families like, how they behave, and what drives them to choose your funeral home than to engage with them on social media? There are many ways you can use social media to do research… try posting questions asking your families what their favorite thing about your funeral home is to find your competitive advantage, or post pictures of new products on Facebook and see how potential families like them!

Brand reputation

Many people worry about social media opening up the floodgates to people bad mouthing your funeral home, but this is not necessarily true. Social media is a great way to manage all comments, both good and bad, about your funeral home – quickly and transparently. It’s more detrimental to NOT be on social and manage those comments than not know they’re happening.

Drive sales and leads through engagement

Social media isn’t going to drive preneed sales immediately, but it helps you build that relationship with your potential families, making their decision easier when the time comes. But think about it… our target customer is the Baby Boomers and they’re the largest growing age group on Facebook!

After Ryan showed us the 7 business drivers of funeral social media, he showed us some stats that truly painted the opportunity for us.

Knowing that 93% of adult Internet users are on Facebook, it’s time to stop ignoring social media and start using it as one of your best business tools. You’re already paying money for advertising and marketing, so why not use social media to market and advertise your funeral home? It’s FREE!

The future of funeral service comes down to relevance and the ability to understand how technology affects consumer decision making and grieving. And according to Ryan, “funeral homes that recognize and adapt to you and customers like you will quickly learn how to entice you through shared values and meaningful experiences and services.”

So what did you think of Ryan’s presentation? Is your firm ready to embrace social media? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Krystal PenroseABOUT THE AUTHOR

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 designaftercareeCommerce, and personalization software. For more information about funeralOne, visit www.funeralOne.com.


View Ryan’s Prezi Presentation – Cutting Through The Hype: Social Media is Worthless


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 social media agency specializing in social media strategy, management and reporting for funeral companies. DISRUPT Media is the creator of the FUNERAL Social Design Process which is the only full service social media strategy program crafted specifically for the funeral profession.

Go to http://funeralsocial.com to find out more about the services we offer. Our clients who are apart of our FUNERAL Social Design Process are seeing an increase in post reach and engagement of over 300%.

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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