7 Deadly Mistakes Funeral Homes Make On Social Media

December 4, 2013
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Article by Ryan Thogmartin, DISRUPT Media and was originally published on the Frontrunner Professional blog.

If your funeral home is on Facebook, it’s crucial to make sure you aren’t making any mistakes that could hurt your firm’s social presence. You might not even be aware that what you are doing is wrong. If you’re unsure of what you should or shouldn’t be doing on social media then take a look at these 7 Deadly Mistakes Funeral Homes Make On Social MediSocial_Media_Collagea.

No Planning: So you’ve got a Facebook Page. Do you know how many times a day you’ll post? Do you know your overall tone or who will manage? If you don’t go in with a plan, there’s a chance that everything will fall apart.

Not Socializing the Funeral Home: This applies to internally and externally. Communication is key and if there is an utter lack of it within the company and without, then there is less of a chance that everything will run as efficiently and effectively as possible. Who is posting updates and is there clear guidelines on what they should be posting?

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One way to approach writing a post is to represent yourself as a person, not a business. It can be a way of showing others that you aren’t a faceless company and that you are also a member of the community like they are.

If this is how you wish to present yourself, don’t use it like you would on your personal Page. Complaining about a bad day or using crude language can be a fast way to lose clients. Remember that even an informal post must be treated with the same professional manner as you would with the rest of your business.

Almost as bad as making an unprofessional post is not posting at all. If you fail to make updates to your firm’s Facebook Page you risk people losing interest. Or worse, they might think that the business doesn’t exist anymore and go somewhere else.

Having No Content Strategy: (Or the wrong one.) Your content must have some sort of value or it shouldn’t be there. It needs to be interesting and relevant to your audience. (Hint: A stream of obits is not it.)

Something any business user of Social Media should know is how important it is to come up with a strategy. If your posts are falling flat, why are they? If you want to gain more followers how do you do that? It is only when you stop to analyze what’s working and what isn’t, that you can move forward and make it better.

Not Understanding the Hard Work Required: At first glance, Social Media seems like an easy and free (depending on your usage) tool to advertise your brand. But nothing comes easily, especially something that makes you money. Social Media Marketing requires planning, measurement, time, rework and lots of effort; otherwise it’s doomed to fail.

Here’s a shocker – for social media to be done correctly; having a plan with goals, a content strategy, daily monitoring and engagement and most importantly, measuring the analytics of what’s working and what isn’t – can take 30-40 hours a week! Seriously.

Not Investing in Owned Assets:  It’s not enough to simply invest in your Facebook advertising or your conversations on Twitter. You should be able to connect everything back to a website or blog. Create a stronger focus on your owned assets.  Your website should be able to plug into your social media strategy.

To help address this issue Frontrunner and DISRUPT Media have partnered to create the ‘Socially Acceptable’ program. This program is designed to build a successful social media plan and strategy for your funeral home that begins with a socially acceptable website foundation.

(To learn more about the Socially Acceptable program from DISRUPT and Frontrunner Professional – http://frontrunner360.com/sociallyacceptable/)

Using it to Broadcast a Preneed Sales Message Not to Start Conversations: Don’t just go on to a Social Network to post obits and spout off about preneed and preplanning – the consumer doesn’t want to hear it and it will turn them off.

So if you’re pushing hard for preneed sales you could be coming across as un-caring and money-grabbing. Remember, you’re a business that cares and you need to be there for your clients, no matter what services they need.

Social Media works best when there is engagement – don’t be a used car salesman.

Forgetting the Human Element: There might be a few bots out there but Social Networks are filled with real people. It’s easy to forget that behind every username and profile picture is an individual person and that person took the time to follow your funeral home. There is great value in that action and therefore that uses deserves your best.

Social media that is on autopilot, co-pilot, my pilot, whatever it is doesn’t work. Humanizing your brand in real time and having real time conversations with your followers is what provides value – not scheduling a mass of images and hoping something happens.

We included an example below of real human interaction.

Pray Funeral Home SM1

Pray Funeral Home SM2

Just think if this funeral home was putting their social media on autopilot and didn’t have a real live conversation with their audience – all the value would be sucked out of this post. What good is a one-sided conversation?

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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