Social Media and the Customer
Social media expert Gary Vaynerchuk says this about social media and the consumer:
“To have the cost of entry be zero and to make excuses for why you’re not building and why you’re not caring is crazy. Everyone talks about how real and transparent it is (social media), and it really is. Because we have the ability to engage with people on a one-to-one level now, whether virtual in our underpants at home, or what, is very powerful. For my brand it has been successful and for the brands that have gotten their hands dirty and gotten over themselves and gotten into the trenches it’s been successful.
Most of all, the consumer has changed. I don’t see a pretty girl and grab a club and hit her over the head and drag her home by the hair. We have evolved as humans and so have the consumers. They don’t want to be sold to the way everyone is use to, they want a piece of it, they want you to give a crap, and they WANT to engage. If you don’t adjust to that and you draw lines in the sand of what you want, instead of what they want, you have absolutely no shot at winning in this game.”
Gary is right on, the consumer has evolved, their BS meter is sophisticated, they don’t want to be sold to anymore, and they want to be a part of the conversation. In many ways they are selfish, they want to be the focal point, and they want you to engage them. Your funeral home’s client families and prospects are no different. Even when they are shopping for deathcare services, they are still using the same tools and practice the same buying habits as they do when shopping for everyday consumer items.
We already talked about having a customer-focused social media strategy developed before checking into the social media game, but to create a strategy that is going to speak directly to them, you have to KNOW your customer.
Understanding your customer’s attributes is crucial to social media success. These traits drive not only how your customer perceives your firm’s social media content but also how they interact with it.
Here are a few statistics from MySendOff.com that shine a light on the next largest generation of funeral home customers, the Baby Boomers. Of approximately 313 million Baby Boomers alive today:
- 245 Mil – 78% are regularly online
- 203.6 Mil – 65% use social media
- 25 Mil – 8% will pass away in the next 10 years
In May of 2010, there were over 20 million searches for “funerals” on Google. Research shows us that 65% – 75% of people shopping for deathcare services are women. Here are a few interesting facts focused on this group of customers:
- 79% of all women use the Internet
- Over 79% of women ages 35 -65 use the Internet
- The largest growing group on Facebook is 45 – 65 year old women
Are you starting to pick up on some of the attributes of your target customer? Need a few more facts to make it “slap you in the face” obvious? Here comes the open-palm cheek slapper:
- 93% of adult Internet users are on Facebook
- The average Facebook user spends 11 hours a month on Facebook
Ok, here are two more statistics I gathered from “Facebook Insights” (Facebook’s built-in analytics platform) from the funeral home clients served by DISRUPT Media Group:
- 67% of people who “Like” the funeral home’s Facebook Page are women
- 21% of those women were 55 years old or older
Disclaimer: Though the statistics above are focused solely on Facebook, which is the largest social network, there are many other social channels that make up the social media universe, and should be included in your social media marketing strategy. For purposes of this article I focused solely on Facebook.
It’s not rocket science. The proof is in the pudding. The numbers don’t lie. Your client families and prospect customers ARE USING social media daily, for multiple hours! You have to be where your customers are. You have to meet them on their turf and on their terms. If you’re not meeting them there, then your competitor probably is. The good thing for you is they (your competition) most likely don’t have a customer focused social media strategy developed using a proven Social Media Design Process. This is great news for you, because this means they also aren’t engaging the customer, leaving unmet needs to be fulfilled. Are you going to fulfill those needs?
About the author
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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