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Facebook COO Talks About The Surprising Interaction Users Have With Posted Obituaries

There are thousands if not millions of obituaries posted privately and publicly on Facebook everyday. Are people really interacting with these obituaries? I believe so, and I have been a big advocate for funeral homes embracing social media and streaming obituaries through their social media channels. Anytime there is change involved in a funeral home marketing concept there will be pushback, I hear it everyday. But what if the idea that people ARE interacting with obituaries and the topic of “death” on Facebook could be validated by Facebook themselves? Would that make you a believer? Keep reading, I dare you!

In a recent interview with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg she was asked what she is most excited about right not at Facebook. Her reply, “the impact we are having on people’s lives.” For an example to prove her statement Sheryl talks about the surprising interaction with Obituary postings.
Jesse Draper, whose kookified online interview show, “The Valley Girl Show,” recorded this interview with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. This is a portion of the interview when Sheryl talks about the death of her grandmother and the surprising realization she had about the impact Facebook is having on people’s lives.

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.

  • Dale Clock

    Ryan, this was a very interesting video.Did you catch that she said she was not running an obit in the paper? This once again shows that the social networks are replacing existing form of communication to the public. What is hard to figure out is how we as a business do this. She posted the obit as an individual   and the public responded to her an individual. We can get some of that response on a funeral home web site but the trick will be how to automatically connect the business web site with the individual’s social network.

    • Jonathonohara

      Dale, I may have some insight on this for you.  See you next week!

      • ryanthogmartin

        Thank you for replying to this Jon. I think you have some great insight on Dale’s question 🙂

    • ryanthogmartin


      Yes, I did notice that she said they did not put an obit in the newspaper, and I think that is one of the most important points from the video clip. I am working on an article surrounding this.

      One reason I think this holds big implications is her age (mid 40’s). I don’t think the reason the Obit wasn’t in the newspaper had to do anything with her working for Facebook. I think it had everything to do with the fact that almost everyone she is friends with and needed to notify about the death is connected to her Facebook page. Why spend $400 on a newspaper obit when you don’t have to?

      This is a big topic that funeral homes need to be paying attention to.

  • The funeral industry needs to automatically search for clients on the social media sites
    after they are contacted by families  and offer to be added to their sites,and offer online obituaries for these familys

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