For many funeral homes, the world of social media remains mysterious and uncharted territory. Though it is widely understood to be a valuable asset that helps drive business growth, funeral professionals are still intimidated. We understand. Social media takes organization, commitment and creativity. Most crucially, it takes plenty of time. And time can be a rare commodity, as any funeral home employee will tell you. As a result, dedicating hours to social media may be more than just daunting. It can be downright impractical for some firms.
Although reviews matter to all business types, it is a far more serious affair for funeral homes. Families will always want to provide their departed loved ones with the best service they can afford, and will therefore turn to the experiences of others to make their decisions. Findings show that 59% of consumers look at two or three review sites before making a big purchase. Given that a funeral is one of the biggest financial considerations made by a family, reviews are a key part of their decisions making process.
Funeral service has changed more in the last 3 years than in the rest of its history, combined. Consumer’s expectations and habits are changing at lightning-fast speed. Years ago, Families chose your firm because a family member before them did, they read newspapers with your obituaries in them and they actually spoke to each other – not just via text message.
Now, their entire world fits in their hand through a connected, little device known as a smartphone. They use it to Google the answers they’re looking for, they fast-forward through TV commercials, stream music and only use the Yellow Pages book to start a campfire – not to get in touch with local businesses. They keep up with the world around them through Facebook and other social media networks. As a funeral professional, your head is left spinning and you’re left wondering how to keep up and stay in their forefront.
It was just a little over two years ago when we first introduced our funeral home social media marketing program to the death care industry. Since then, we have worked with over 100 funeral homes around North America to help them establish more meaningful relationships with the communities they serve, connect with younger demographics and showcase the more relatable side of their business.
The results have been nothing short of fantastic, with our clients growing unprecedented audiences and becoming more visible online. And as much as I would like to dedicate a post to revelling in the successes our program has had, it may be more fun to look at where the world of funeral home social media marketing is headed two years from now.
In February, I went with our social media team-lead Madi Harker and video marketing specialist Sky Bonner to San Diego for Social Media Marketing World 2018 hosted by the Social Media Examiner. It was quite the experience. From the eventful trip down there to attending sessions hosted by some of the premier speakers and thought leaders, we had an absolute blast! There was so much going on and over the course of our trip, we learned so much about the way marketing and social media are changing the business landscape. It had us saying “wouldn’t this work for our clients” or “that would be a great strategy to connect with families” at every chance we got. So we have put together some of our most valuable and actionable takeaways from the conference to help improve your funeral home marketing this year.
By now, you should be no stranger to the idea that social media is a key part of any successful funeral home marketing strategy. But did you know social media is going to be more important than ever in 2018? With a marked increase in active users, there are more eyes than ever on social channels like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn – which has made social media the single most useful marketing and communication platform for businesses. This is largely due to the amount of influence that social media has on the buying journey of today’s consumers. According to Forbes, 78% of consumers say that they are influenced by social media. Similarly, 71% of consumers are likely to recommend a brand that they have had a good interaction with on social media. No matter which way you slice the pie, social media has more influence now than it has ever had before.
Imagine a young woman preparing to plan a funeral for one of her parents. “Alexa, who offers the most affordable cremation service near me?” she says to her Amazon Echo, as she walks in the kitchen. The answer to be provided by the popular digital assistant, of course, is a matter of search engine optimization. However the query will not go through Google, the world’s most popular search engine. Instead it will be answered by Bing – the long overlooked “other” option. Chances are, the funeral home that gets recommended will also be receiving a call from this young lady. Is this what you picture choosing a funeral home to be like? Probably not.
If this scenario has you a little lost, listen up. Because this is what funeral home technology looks like in the very near future. And it may not be easy to spot the changes that are taking place.
Since being founded in 2004, Facebook has become the world’s single largest community. What started as a Harvard student vanity project in a Cambridge, Massachusetts dormitory has become a platform actively used by over 2 billion people. The social media network is an integral source for news, communication and has also become a large online marketplace for which businesses of all shapes and sizes can advertise to the public. In many ways, the influence Facebook has on consumers is the social giant’s most significant innovation. You see, Facebook advertising allows businesses to target consumers based on who they are, what they care about and their tendencies, creating a venue for which businesses can share content with an audience that is already interested. When it comes to death care, Facebook has become one of the fastest growing components of a solid funeral home marketing strategy. Firms can connect with the community and stay top of mind long before their services are needed. But everything has just changed.
Although last year was touted as our best ever, 2017 was truly special for our company and raised the bar even higher. We added more experienced professionals to our team, welcomed many new clients to our family and developed new technology to help funeral homes not only grow their businesses but better serve families as well. In short, the past 365 days were spent redefining what it means to be a FrontRunner. As the death care industry changes, it has never been more important for firms to keep up with consistently evolving consumer demands and adapt to the needs of younger generations. Enter our goals for 2018: to push the limits of what is possible even further. But before we go there, let’s first take a look back at some of what made the last 12 months simply unforgettable.
I have some good news. You no longer need expensive equipment or expertise to create high quality professional videos. In fact, all it takes is your smartphone or tablet and some affordable gadgets to start producing great video content. For any business getting in front of the camera is a great way to reach the community and build trust. And when it comes to funeral home marketing, there is simply no better achievement. So, let’s talk about how to get your firm started with video marketing. In this post I am going to go over some great tools, equipment and tips for you to make the most of your handheld devices. Even better, you will learn how to do it in an efficient way, without taking away from your service to families.