9 Tech Trends That Your Funeral Home Should Embrace
Article originally appeared on funeralOne
My job here at funeralOne is not just a blogger, but to also to be a funeral trend hunter. I am constantly doing research, attending educational conferences and reading up on the latest news in the industry to uncover the next big trend in the funeral world.
Do you want to know the biggest trend that I’ve seen in the last year? Don’t worry… it’s not the the idea that the internet is going change the way that we approach funerals. It’s scarier than that… the online world already has changed everything.
Funeral professionals are no longer at the point where we need to start adapting to growing internet trends in order to keep up with changing funeral demands. We’re already past that point. Yet many funeral directors are still talking about the internet as if it’s some far off villain in the distance.
But when those in the funeral profession stick to the traditional ways of the past, they are not only losing out on a new (and better) way to connect with their families… they’re also looking past a whole host of tools that can actually help them better their business, and bring more productivity to their day. Don’t believe us? Here are nine tech tools that are trending in the business world, and will revolutionize your funeral business… if you just give them a chance.
Social Media Tools
1. Social media accounts: Thanks to websites like Facebook and Twitter, it has never been easier to connect to your families and engage in authentic, educational conversations with them. And the best part? These social media sites are free to use, and allow you to have total and complete control over your funeral home marketing. At the very least, your funeral home should be using Facebook, Google + and Twitter to connect to your families. However, if you want to take the conversation one step further, tools like Instagram and Snapchat are wonderful for giving families a behind-the-scenes look at the goings-on of your funeral home. LinkedIn is also a great social media account to have if you’re looking to build more professional connections.
2. Social media management: You may be looking at all of the social media websites above and wondering how you could possibly find time to manage them all. Well, no worries. There are a number of social media management tools out there, like Hootsuite or SproutSocial, that allow you to pre-schedule social media updates and plan out your entire week, month or year all at one time. That way, you only have to devote an hour a week to updating your profiles, rather than finding time every single day to check in.
3. Google Alerts: Social media pages are a great way to be active in the conversation happening about your funeral home. However, there may also be conversations happening outside of these websites, which is why it’s important to also be reactive when interacting with your families online.Google Alerts is a great tool where you can sign up to be alerted when people mention phrases that you are interested in tracking. For example, if I signed up to be alerted anytime someone mentioned “XYZ Funeral Home,” I would recieve emails if that funeral home was mentioned in a news article, or if someone talked publically about that funeral home online. This is a great tool for reputation management, and just for keeping track of the conversation happening about your funeral home.
4. Custom, SEO-friendly website: One of the single best investments that you can make for the online future of your funeral home is to create a custom website for your business. The majority of families who are looking for local funeral homes in their area will go to search engines first… and many people say they will not even consider going to a business that does not have an online presence. Therefore, be sure that you are creating a great website for your funeral home that educates your families on your services, and allows them to connect with you easily.
funeralOne’s f1Connect is a great all-in-one website platform that is specifically created for the families that you serve, and is custom designed for your funeral home. Our websites are also built with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in mind, so that your families can easily find you when searching online. Click here to find out more about f1Connect today.
5. FAQ page: Do you receive a lot of calls and emails each day asking similar questions about your funeral home? A great way to cut down on these inquiries (but still help your families) is to create a Frequently Asked Questions page on your website. By putting a link to an FAQ page prominently on your website, you will encourage your families to look for answers to their questions online first, before they pick up the phone to call. This will free up more time in your day, and answer common questions more conveniently for your families. A win-win!
6. Online web forms: Similar to FAQ pages, online web forms are also an invaluable resource for gathering family questions and information, all without having to spend extra time on the phone. You can create specific web forms, such as a Pre-Planning form, where families can share detailed info about what they are looking for, and then you are able to respond back at a time that is convenient (and less hectic) for you. Many funeral directors also find that they receive more leads when they have a contact form on their website (f1Connect users typically find a 600% increase in pre-need leads when they use our form on their website), simply because families would rather fill out a form online than call a funeral home.
7. Blog platform: I’m a big believer that every funeral home should have a blog where they can connect directly with their audience… and I’m not just saying that because I’m a blogger myself! The truth is, blogging is a great way to personally connect with the people in your community – not just the families that you serve. By blogging about different funeral topics, such as funeral personalization, grief and healing, and even local funeral resources, the families in your community will see you as an expert in the world of funerals… and you’ll be the first one that they think of when the time comes that they do need your services.
8. Freelance writers and researchers: Don’t have the time to blog yourself? No worries! There are a number of great freelance websites out there (WriterAccess and Upwork are good places to start) where you can connect with writers, editors and researchers who will write blog posts for you on your behalf! This is a great way to get educational content to your readers regularly, all without having to put in the time commitment that blogging requires.
9. Google Surveys: If you’re stumped on what kind of content to write about for your blog (and you’ve already exhausted my list of 7 blog post topics that will bring families to your website), Google Surveys is a great resource for getting a pulse on people’s interests. This tool allows you to gather market research on any topic you could imagine, like what people think of funerals, what aspect of funerals matters most to baby boomers, what types of flowers people prefer to receive in sympathy gifts, etc. You can customize the audience that answers based on location, age and gender, and ultimately gather a truly insightful look at what people think about the funeral business – creating a really interesting point of conversation for your blog!
Are you looking for more great internet tools for your funeral business? Be sure to keep an eye out for a Part Two of this blog to be published on ASD – Answering Service for Directors’ blog in early December!
Also be sure to check out f1Connect to get your funeral home online and connecting with families in your community immediately. Click here to schedule a demo today!
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