10 Reasons Why You Should Not Hire This Company

Funeral Industry News Marketing Social Media Marketing November 3, 2014
Ryan Thogmartin

Ryan Thogmartin is the Founder and CEO of DISRUPT Media, a Funeral Home Marketing Company specializing in social media. Ryan is also a deathcare entrepreneur who has launched; DeathCareJobs.com, PriceMyFuneral.com and Funeral Nation TV.

10 Reasons Why You Should Not Hire This Company

Article by: Ryan Thogmartin, DISRUPT Media and ConnectingDirectors.com

I’m not sure if I have ever written an article advising you on the reasons why you shouldn’t hire one specific company, but today I am and I feel I can do that because I know the ins and outs of this company, its very personal to me.

I have a passion for funeral directors and funeral service – even though I am not a funeral director, I have the utmost respect for you. I have dedicated the last 9 years of my life building a platform and business around helping funeral professionals embrace change and I become very sensitive and overly passionate when I see other companies profiting off funeral directors who don’t know any better – your lack of knowledge becomes your biggest enemy, but its not your fault. You’re a funeral professional – you’re required to be proficient at that – not marketing trends, website building or even sales tactics. You should be able to trust in other professionals to navigate you through these hurdles. This includes social media marketing – a form of marketing that didn’t exist when most of you entered the business – heck, it didn’t exist 10 years ago!

See, this is the part that gets personal for me. There are many so called ‘social media experts, gurus, masters’ in this profession now – it seems every marketing, consulting or website company also offers social media services. The problem is many of the ‘experts’ were experts in something else 5, 3 or even 1 year ago. They’re only experts because they read a few Mashable or Techcrunch blog articles on social media or because The Director magazine gave them a 4-page spread to discuss social media – many hold no real world success with social media.

You see, there is a huge difference in offering social media services and actually really having a social media business that has a proven process for success. Social media is a lot like boxing – there is a science to it – it takes strategy to be successful.

What fighter do you want to be (analogy borrowed from Gary Vaynerchuk):

Fighter #1: The boxer who just comes out at the bell swinging with no real plan of attack, just hopes to land a right hook or two, yet you do nothing to set up the right hook – no jabs, just distributing right hooks that hit nothing but air (sounds tiring).

Fighter #2: Or do you want to be the fighter how has a game plan? The fighter who knows what his strengths are, you know that you can last by throwing jabs strategically waiting for the right moment to slide in with the right hook. You have a strategy that is calculated and proven successful.

The far majority of companies offering social media services in the funeral profession are like fighter #1 – they are just distributing content (right hooks) in an automated, co-pilot process – there is no plan or strategy – just pushing content. Content that is generic and not tailored to your specific firm or aligned with your company values and business goals. It’s just content being distributed and it’s achieving nothing.

This is where you separate having a social media presence and actually embracing social media to achieve business goals. Social networks aren’t distribution channels – they are engagement platforms – they work when you can engage in a two-way conversation with an audience – not when you are just pushing automated, scheduled content in a one-way conversation. You have heard the saying ‘content is king’, well guess what ‘context is God’ and God rules the king. If you don’t know your audience and don’t have a formulated plan to engage with them then your content is useless because its not personal to them. As I said above, it’s just content being distributed and it’s achieving nothing.

Social media is about caring and caring takes time, you can’t buy or automate caring. A funny thing happens when you care about your audience, they, in return, care about you.

Here is an example of how a social media content strategy works and it works because there was a plan for the context of the content:

Case Study Funeral Home: Hillis, Combs and Nestor Funeral Home – Zanesville, Ohio

This Week’s Social Media Content Theme: Funerals aren’t boring or cookie cutter

Social media goal: Show that humor has a place in funeral service and a funeral doesn’t have to always be sad and traditional or cookie cutter

Post 1 Goal: Plant the seed and get audience engaged hillis-1

Post 2 Goal: Follow up and turn conversation to humor Hillis-2

Post 3 Goal: Now that we know humor is accepted add a post that shows humor in a funeral service (might be over the top but makes a point and will set up post 4) Hillis-3


Post 4 Goal: Make a post that is humorous and relatable to the audience but not funeral service related (the context of the post makes more sense when set up by posts 1-3). Make sure to add the funeral home logo to image for branding. *By getting great engagement and reach from the previous 3 posts it ensures that this post will have better organic reach and by making it relatable to the audience but not funeral service specific there is more likelihood that the image will be shared. Hillis-4

These posts wouldn’t have had the same positive results without being posted in this order or if they had been posted randomly and not in a formulated timeframe. These posts couldn’t have been scheduled or automated either because post 2 was set up by the success of post 1 and posts 3 and 4 were preset by the audiences acceptance of humor demonstrated by the answers to post 2.

Without a formulated strategy and content game plan this social media humor campaign would not have been successful and the audience wouldn’t have been engaged. Social media channels are a place to story tell and people love stories, it’s our human nature. In these posts we told the story of why funerals can be humorous. It was successful – how successful you ask?

This short 4 day campaign generated 7,000 impressions reaching 3,700 users within ten miles of the funeral home and resulted in 13 new page likes. hillis-results-1

There were 97 stories created by 68 users from these posts. Hillis results 2

Stories Created: A story on Facebook is created when a user likes your Page, posts to your Page’s Wall, answers a Question you posted, RSVP’s to one of your events, mentions your Page, phototags your Page, checks in at your Place or likes, or comments on / shares one of your Page posts.

Users: The number of people that created stories about your page over the duration of your report.

Disclaimer: Hillis, Combs and Nestor Funeral Home is a social media strategy client of DISRUPT Media. DISRUPT Media handles all social media strategy, content creation and management of Hillis, Combs and Nestor Funeral Home social media channels. HCNFH’s social media strategy was created to focus on achieving 5 measurable business goals over a 12 month period – HCNFH is currently 9 months into the strategy implementation. 

Now that you have read through the above example I want to ask this question:

Is your social media presence this strategic and focused? Is every post thought out and created with the optimization needed for maximum reach and efficiency (Ex: Image size optimized for the FB newsfeed, logo on image for branding, post text 80-120 characters in length)? Yes, these are real determining factors of maximizing post reach on Facebook and there are many more.

I’ll say it again; social media marketing is a science, it’s much more strategic then simply embarking on co-piloted automation. Cutting corners doesn’t work, the consumer BS meter can see right through social media that is automated.

So, back to my original topic – 10 Reasons Why You Should Not Hire This Company: DISRUPT Media.

Why am I encouraging you not to hire my own personal company? Because many of you aren’t ready to really ‘DO’ social media.

To clarify even more I have listed below 10 reasons you shouldn’t hire DISRUPT Media:

  1. If you think social media is a content platform and not an engagement platform
  2. If you think pushing pre-need sales content is the primary goal of social media marketing
  3. If you don’t want to understand why social media works and how it influences your client families’ purchasing decisions
  4. If you think social media can be automated and doesn’t take real live human interaction
  5. If you think social media for funeral homes is ‘one size fits all‘ and content that works for one funeral home will work for all
  6. If you don’t think your target audience is present on social media
  7. If you don’t care about measuring social media results
  8. If you don’t care about achieving business goals through social media marketing
  9. If you don’t care about having social media content created and optimized for Facebook
  10. If you don’t care about having content tailored to the individual values of your target audience

Bonus: If you still think social media is FREE. Just because the platform is free to join doesn’t mean correctly and effectively using it will be. You consistently bash “discounters and their ilk” for “cheapening the profession.”  So why would a “traditional & professional” funeral director hire a “discounter” social media advisor.  The analogy is the same;

professional funeral home = DISRUPT Media – a full service social media strategy and management company.  

discounter/store front = take your pick, there are dozens of so called ‘social media experts’ in this profession who can help you automate and co-pilot your social media for cheap.