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Social Media is Worthless, Don’t Play Follow the Leader

This article was written by Ryan Thogmartin and was originally published in the June issue of The Director magazine. It will be broken down into a multiple articles for the nature of this site.

Social Media Marketing Isn’t Magic: It Could Be Completely Worthless

Social media marketing is not magic. There are no “hocus-pocus” tricks, no magic wands, and certainly no illusions. There is no stage, no black hat, and no white rabbit. There is no pretty girl (ok, this is a possibility), no throwing knives, and no fiery juggling pins.


Wikipedia gives the following meaning for the word magic: “staging tricks or creating illusions of seemingly impossible or supernatural feats using natural means.”

With social media marketing tricks and gimmicks aren’t going to work, you can’t fake it here, and a huge load of BS isn’t going to sprout roses.  It is only going to make you stink. You MUST be human, caring, authentic, and real…PERIOD. If you can’t do that then stop reading, and go put a “For Sale” sign in the front lawn of your funeral home.

If you are still reading this, I first want to apologize if the comment above was offensive. I was probably a little over the top, but I want you to understand the mindset you must have for social media marketing to be remotely successful for your funeral home.

You have learned and accepted (because you’re still reading) a key fundamental of social media marketing: Will the real Slim Shady please stand up? – BE REAL!

In the remainder of this article I am going to touch on the fundamentals of social media marketing and why the customer has to be the center focus.

Don’t Play Follow the Leader

One of the biggest life lessons we have learned is how to overcome peer pressure and not do certain things just because everyone else is doing it. Guess what, peer pressure doesn’t go away because we are now adults. We still have the subconscious need to “keep up with the Joneses.” For example (and it happens all the time), you buy a new Hearse just because your competitor down the street does, or you remodel your funeral home just because your competitor does. You lose control, and all of a sudden you aren’t running your own business any more. The competitor down the street is, and you do what ever he does regardless of the affects the changes have on your business. Social media marketing isn’t any different.

Social media is like teen sex. Everybody wants to do it, but nobody knows how. When it’s over you are surprised it’s not better.

Social media marketing isn’t something you do just because everyone else is doing it. If you don’t know what you are doing, and you don’t have a focused strategy, it isn’t going to work or deliver the results you want. You will be left unsatisfied.

Ryan Thogmartin

Ryan Thogmartin is founder and CEO of two innovative companies. Connecting Directors LLC (www.connectingdirectors.com) and Disrupt Media Group, LLC (www.disruptmg.com). ConnectingDirectors.com is the premier progressive online publication for funeral professionals. ConnectingDirectors.com is a thriving global publication with a reader base of over 15,000 of the most elite and forward-thinking professionals in the industry.

Disrupt Media Group, LLC is a social media marketing solutions firm. Disrupt MG focuses on proficiently assisting small businesses in creating engaging social media marketing strategies. Without a social media marketing strategy companies and brands are just aimlessly posting without any coherent direction. Social media marketing is more than just having a Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube page; businesses have to have a strategy to telling their story, one that opens the door and starts the conversation.

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  • Chuck Gallagher

    Ryan…you’re spot on.  Social Media is about connecting – person to person.  In my generation we would attend Chamber functions where the objective was meet and greet.  We’d connect and begin an opportunity to reconnect in the future.  Today, Social Media has replaced getting in your car…as the opportunity to meet and connect is far greater.  However, it is about the connection.  Today I am at the Texas Funeral Directors Association Convention speaking about Social Media – and the main thrust is how to use Social Media to Develop, Expand, Find and Grow your business.  You can’t grow it if you don’t connect with your potential customers…  Keep up the good work.

    • ryanthogmartin

      Thank you Chuck. You are correct, there has to be connections made and so many funeral homes and funeral suppliers are missing this. They just want to sell sell sell and that doesn’t work. They need a customer focused strategy and a process for creating that strategy.

  • Mike

    Bingo!!   Your right on Ryan.

  • Jon O’Hara

    Spot on, Ryan…..nice article. 

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