By Leader Contributor Ashley Montroy, Chief Marketing Officer at FrontRunner Professional
Keeping up with social media marketing trends isn’t at the very top of the priority list for funeral homes, I know this. But there are a few quick ways you can make sure you’re not making common, easy-to-fix mistakes. That’s why we’ve created a rundown of five social media marketing mistakes that some funeral homes are making right now and how you can fix them.
See if you’re making any of these marketing mistakes on social media, so you can get back on track.
1. You Focus on Selling and Forget About Educating.
If your firm’s social media page looks like a list of ads about what families can buy from you, it’s time to refresh your marketing strategy. It’s important to promote your services, but social media is about relationships, and not many relationships today are built from transactions. Make sure you’re educating families about funeral planning, inspiring them to do more with a service, and truly helping them to earn their trust.
How can you do this? These are just a few ideas:
- Add “how-to” information to your website.
- Write a blog post.
- Make a how-to video.
Not sure where to start? We wrote this blog post a while ago, but it shows exactly how you can see what YOUR community is typing into Google to find funeral services. This will give you a ton of ideas of what they need help with.
2. You Focus on Educating and Avoid Your Products/Services.
There is still a time and place on social media for promoting your memorial products, preplanning services, and other offerings. It’s about finding the right balance between educational and promotional content.
For example, many social media platforms like Facebook let you run off-page ads. The first step is to understand the difference between your timeline and newsfeed. Your timeline lives on your funeral home’s page and ONLY includes your content, while your newsfeed includes posts from everyone you follow, as well as off-page ads.
Off-page ads are the easiest way to market your products and services without cluttering your page with promotional content. There are many places to run off-page ads, such as in the newsfeed or as a direct message. Since they don’t appear directly on your page’s timeline, you can showcase your offerings in the background while your educational content takes the front seat on your timeline.
3. You Don’t Engage with Your Followers.
After reaching out to a brand on social media, the 2020 Sprout Social Index found that 40% of people expected a reply within the hour and 79% within 24 hours. By taking a few minutes each day to respond to comments and messages, you can show your community that there are real people behind your page.
Facebook has an app where you can set up an autoresponder that tells individuals you’ll be in touch shortly, or you can give a different point of contact, whether it’s an email or a phone number. Platforms such as Sprout Social and Hootsuite also do this and have an app you can download straight to your phone, which backs up the likelihood of a speedy response.
To further put a face to the name, you could regularly feature your staff so your families can get to know you. These could be fun facts about your staff or how you’re getting involved in your community. For example, you could show pictures of an event you attended, a little league game you sponsored, or anything to show how connected you are to all the places your readers know and love. This helps you build trust with families before they even need your services.
4. You Don’t Respond to Reviews.
Platforms like Facebook let users post reviews. Whether the reviews are good or bad, you need to respond to them. According to ReviewTrackers’ 2022 Report about online reviews, after leaving a negative review, 53% of people expect a response within one week. They also found that one in three people expect a response within three days.
By responding to negative reviews, it shows you care about finding a solution. They may even update their review to a positive one after working with you to resolve what went wrong.
Don’t forget to respond to your positive reviews as well to show you appreciate their feedback. With their permission, you could even use their reviews as testimonials for your funeral home.
Facebook does allow you to turn the reviews section off if you wish. If you don’t think your staff has the time to keep up with them, then this may be the best option. However, just know that you may be missing out on valuable feedback and potential testimonials.
5. You Forget to Publish Your Obituaries to Your Social Media Pages.
Publishing your obituaries to social media is an easy way to regularly post new content. It also helps your families spread the word about their loved one’s passing and service details.
Many online obituaries have interactive tools for watching the funeral live stream, ordering sympathy flowers and gifts, and more. Sharing the interactive obituaries on social media gives families easy access to these tools.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to manually post your obituaries. Like with FrontRunner, your software could automatically post your obituaries to Facebook for you.
Let’s Get Your Social Media Back on Track by Fixing These Mistakes.
If you’re making any of these common social media mistakes, it’s easy to get back on track. Just take another look at your content strategy and spend a few minutes each day responding to your followers. Soon, it will become second nature.
Want help managing your social media accounts? Marketing automation software gives you access to ready-to-use content and posts it on your behalf. If you want to save time, it’s worth it to look into funeral home marketing companies that offer this technology.
About the Author
Ashley Montroy has been in funeral service her entire life. She is the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) at FrontRunner Professional, Vice-President of the Funeral Service Association of Canada, a member of the Exhibitor Advisory Community with NFDA, and a member of Tribute Technology’s Advisory Board. To date, she has taught close to 10,000 funeral professionals at 50+ national, state and provincial conventions. Over the past decade, Ashley has helped FrontRunner grow to be one of North America’s top technology and marketing providers, working with more than 3,000 funeral homes world-wide. To see how FrontRunner can help your firm with social media, visit frontrunnerpro.com/growthengine.