Why Outsourcing Social Media is a Better Option for Funeral Homes
Funeral homes are constantly being told to get in to social media and with good reason, this is where the customer is. I am one of the main “preachers” of the need for social media marketing . Utilizing the various social networks can benefit a funeral home in so many ways. It can improve a funeral home’s reputation, maintain client loyalty, widen your potential audience, drive communication and engagement and bring the funeral home to the forefront in an enjoyable way .
The problem for funeral homes however, is that time spent on social media can eat in to valuable time that needs to be spent serving families. Let’s face it, funeral directors and most staff don’t have much “free time” while in the funeral home. In this situation the funeral home has two options. The first is for the funeral home to work on social media only when they have the time to. This is what most funeral homes do at first and it really isn’t a good idea.
In order to make the most out of the social media, it is essential to spend time on them. Posts need to be updated regularly otherwise you lose reach and followers. Questions need to be answered swiftly and conversations need to be replied to or your just spinning your wheels. And strategies need to be put in place so that time isn’t wasted on something that is doomed to fail.
The second option is to outsource all of the social media duties to a separate company. For funeral homes this would be a huge benefit. For one thing they have the experience to understand what goals are attainable, what generally works and what might just be a waste of time.
Disclaimer: When outsourcing, working with a company that knows the funeral profession and understands the consumer habits when it relates to death conversations and social media is highly recommended).
Why is Outsourcing a Better Option for Funeral Homes
When done properly, taking care of the social media work flow is a full time job. That might sound like a lot but let’s take a look how the work flow breaks down.
40 Hour Social Media Work Flow
Blogging: This is the biggest time consumer. 7.5 hours a week is spent on planning, writing and publishing blog posts. In many respects it is the most important part of the work flow. Insightful, entertaining and interesting posts will ensure that customers keep coming back for more and increases the chance that they will go on to browse more of your website.
Updating Social Networks: On average, 4 hours a week is about right for this job. It consists of creating text posts, uploading photos and videos and queueing posts to be published at regular times. You might think that this and blogging is all you need to maintain a presence on social media, but actually, there’s so much more.
Conversations: This is another 4 hour job. It is important to maintain a dialogue with the people that are following you. Responding to mentions, questions and comments can do wonders for a company’s reputation.
Research & Planning: 4 hours should be spent on sourcing internal and external content for use across your social media activity. There should also be an editorial calendar to maintain to keep everything organized.
Contingency: Sometimes things can go wrong. It’s wise to set aside 5 hours a week in case things don’t go as they should. What if something you do gets an unprecedented reaction? Or what if something happens in the news that suddenly makes the next blog post highly inappropriate? It’s crucial to deal with these problems straight away and employ a bit of damage control.
Curation: 2.5 hours a week for this one. This consists of reading RSS feeds as well as filtering and sharing content.
Community Building: 2.5 hours again. It’s important to reach out to new people and work on building your audience.
Listening: Another 2.5 hours a week. This one is all about monitoring your brand mentions and keyword searches.
Campaigns: Contests can work wonders for bringing some positive attention to your brand. 2.5 hours a week can go towards developing the contests and promoting these across your Social Networks.
Analytics & Strategy: 5 hours a week should be spent measuring the success of your work with social media. If something isn’t working then you need to know so that it can be fixed. Alternatively if something was highly successful you will want to replicate it. After analysing reports it’s important to create a strategy on how to move forward and improve on what you’ve done. This is one of the most important 5 hours of the social media week. Most funeral homes, and small business for that matter, don’t measure social media efforts. You have to know what is and isn’t working for social media to even have a chance to be successful.
All of that combined comes to a grand total of 40 hours a week. Spending an hour or 2 on Twitter and Facebook might get you a few more followers but it just doesn’t compare to the possibilities outsourcing can provide for your funeral home.
When done right, managing a social media presence is extremely time consuming. By passing on these duties to someone who is knowledgeable about them and the funeral profession, it not only means better results, but also that your own time can be spent on the things that are important to you and your business.
A picture is always worth more than 1000 words, and this one explains it more clearly than I probably did: [Infographic] Social Media Workflow – from Digital Strategist Mark Smiciklas.