Funeral Homes Should Avoid Social Media [Another Rant]

April 23, 2012
4 Comments
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I was emailed a link to an article titled; “When Social Media is Not Right For You“. The opening paragraph read, “When you have a Facebook business page, it’s all about the “likes.” You want to get as many people to “like” you as possible in order to grow your social media presence. But does this work for all small businesses? When you’re the local funeral home, for example, how many people are going to “like” you? Not too many people are that excited about death.”  I read this and immediately starting to churn a rebuttal comment in my head. I wasn’t really angry, obviously this guy didn’t know anything about the funeral profession, and frankly, i was starting to question if he knew anything about social media at all. Then I read the rest of the article.

Further down the page was a section of the article under the subtitle, “Should Funeral Homes Aspire to Have Facebook Fans?”. The following paragraph was posted:

Take the example of a funeral home. Most people don’t enjoy funeral homes. They don’t look forward to visiting them; some people think they’re creepy and morbid. A funeral home is synonymous with death and sadness. Even though one funeral home can be much nicer than another, most people aren’t going to go out of their way to “like” or interact with this type of business online. It’s not something they want to share with their friends or a page they want to visit more than once. Also, everyone will need a funeral home one day or another. A Facebook page won’t necessarily increase the appeal or necessity of that type of business.” 

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Ok, that paragraph determined for me that I would be providing a comment to the article. I mean this guy could not be more wrong. He definitely didn’t do any research on the profession or he would have saw some funeral homes were already successfully using social media. He went on to list a few other businesses he thought should stay a way from social media and even said B2B companies don’t need a Facebook Page and should stick to traditional B2B sales methods…wrong again.

After reading the article a few more times I crafted a reply comment to post below the article. Here is what I wrote:

I could not disagree with you more. I have a social media marketing company and we work with a number of funeral homes who are having great success using social media marketing to connect with client families and prospects. There are over 20 million Google searches for “funerals” each month.

You are correct when saying no one wants to talk about death, but the fact is that people are talking about death, but this is not the main focus of funeral home social media strategies. Funeral homes are making themselves available online to debunk many of the things you mentioned above like “creepy”. Funeral directors are some of the most caring individuals and are very comforting in the funeral home, the problem they face is when in public how do they become “normal” business people.

Social media marketing can put a human face on funeral directors (outside of the arrangement room and funeral home), replacing the impersonal with the highly personal. And social media can give their customers a platform to help each other.

A social media marketing strategy that embodies the funeral home in a useful and engaging way can deepen the connection between the funeral home and the customers and earn the funeral home a larger place in their lives.

In the past 20 years there were few ways that potential customers could talk to funeral homes (outside of a death). With the rise of social media, customers can talk and more importantly: Share. Comment. Watch. Listen. And that’s why social media is so important, even for funeral homes.

Please let me know below if you agree or disagree with me or the other guy (Andreas Svensson, an IT specialist and self proclaimed Internet Expert who loves to give advice). If you would like to read and provide a comment to Andreas article, please visit:

http://clearlytoomuch.info/index.php/when-social-media-is-not-right-for-you/

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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