By Leader Editor Kara Apel & Contributor Emma Horton
The rise of social media has given local business owners in all industries a new outlet to connect with their communities.
Many funeral homes across the country have used this opportunity to not only build their brand but also to connect with specific groups of people, including veterans.
Ahead of Memorial Day of this year, MKJ Marketing ran a veterans Facebook video for clients across the country promoting their use of military honors and veterans’ benefits. This post found massive success with audiences around the country. The video was used in a variety of markets, consisting of wildly different demographic groups. In one region, this post reached more than 130,000 people and generated over 4,000 engagements on Facebook.
What these terms mean:
- Reach – The number of individual people who see your post
- Engagement – The number of likes, shares, comments, or other reactions on your post
While the use of patriotic messaging on social media may seem like a no-brainer for holidays like Memorial Day or Veterans Day, have you considered creating content that focuses on veterans during the rest of the year?
When creating social media content, think about what matters the most to veterans and their families. Many veterans, along with their loved ones, may not understand all of the benefits that they are entitled to receive. Maybe they are concerned about how they’ll be able to complete all the paperwork. Perhaps they think their loved one has to be buried in a national cemetery and can’t be buried anywhere else.
You’re an expert about this topic. Think of these posts as a way of simply sharing what you already know with the public – consider this to be a public service announcement. The services that your firm offers are not only appreciated by veterans and their families – but also your entire community.
Want to get started? Here are some ideas:
- If you don’t already have a section about veterans’ benefits on your website, you will want to consider creating a specific page. In your social media posts, you’ll be able to link directly to this page.
- Create Facebook posts about the specific and unique services you provide for veterans and their families at your firm.
- Consider spotlighting the local military groups you work with the most and explain the services they can provide for families.
One potential issue to look out for is Facebook’s sometimes-glitchy algorithm, which often flags content as political even when it’s not intended to be. Last year, many of MKJ’s video ads about veterans were flagged for being political, even though they were about Veterans Day. As a Facebook Marketing Agency Partner, MKJ Marketing was able to successfully navigate this issue, and all of the posts ran.
For whatever reason, the algorithm often detects political rhetoric within patriotic messaging, which triggers its alert system for ads. When planning out a content calendar for your page, it is best to anticipate this ahead of time. Make sure to track all posts, ensuring they make their way to publication. Also, be prepared to ask the platform to manually review any content that gets flagged.
Some of these issues can become difficult, which is why relying on a partner like MKJ, whose team has connections and a relationship with Facebook, can be helpful.
Here’s what you need to watch out for:
- Be careful about word choice. Facebook’s algorithm scans all the words that are used in ads and could flag any posts that seem to have overly political connotations.
- Be strategic about the images that you’re using with your posts. For example, you may want to avoid using photos with guns because the algorithm could think your page is trying to sell guns and flag it.
Navigating social media is difficult, especially when you are not sure how people will react to certain posts. Whether you decide to share a local news story, a heartwarming photo, or a short video, posts about veterans help your firm connect with your community and also earn respect and trust. After all, political beliefs aside, we can all agree that veterans are America’s heroes.