Having a hard time with social media marketing for your funeral home?

The truth is, most funeral home directors want to talk about social media just as much as people want to talk about pre-needs and the rise of cremation services over dinner.

I get it! No judgment here.

But Facebook has yet again sent another reminder that “...your audience hasn’t heard from you in a while.”

By now, it’s normal and it doesn’t affect you like it used to. But it lingers in the back of your mind until finally, you decide to go and post something. Anything!

As long as you publish something today you’ll be able to say that you tried your best, but the funeral home industry just isn’t meant for social media.

As your fingertips touch the keyboard, a sinking pit forms in your stomach and your mind becomes a black hole for creativity.

You have no idea what to write.

This was the whole problem in the first place. You’ve been neglecting your facebook page because the community doesn’t want to talk about death. You only started the page because someone told you that all businesses need one.

Well, similar to your own ingenious icebreaker for talking about Pre-Needs to a 25 year old, let me try to help you understand why Social Media isn’t as scary as you might think.

With these three tips you will have more confidence in leveraging the power of social interactions online.

  1. Know Thyself
  2. Be Sociable
  3. Act Strategically

Know Thyself and Your Brand's Position Online

Do you know who you are and why you matter?

This question was first brought to my attention in Andy Cunningham’s book, “Get to Aha! Discover Your Positioning DNA and Dominate Your Competition”. I highly recommend this book!

In order to become comfortable and confident in social circles, you must first be comfortable and confident in yourself. Social media platforms like Facebook are no different than a dinner party.

What is your calling? What makes you want to get up in the morning, even on the hardest of days? 

Which of these brings you the most joy?

These are 4 core drivers that most personality types fall into. This theory was first developed by a Swiss Psychoanalyst named Carl Jung.  Psychologists and brand strategists alike have used his work as a foundation to help us better understand who we are as individuals and why we matter to the rest of the world.

Your brand has a personality all on it’s own. While it is often an extension of the founder or the CEO, it doesn’t have to be. This could be your chance to express a side of yourself that doesn’t always get opportunities to shine.

This core understanding of yourself will guide all of the things you will chose to express online. It is not easy to come to a conclusion and often takes professional guidance to help walk you through the process.

If you’d like help defining who you’re brand is in the community and why you matter, reach out to me for a Brand Identity Workshop. I will spend half a day with you to dive deep and bring clarity to your position in the marketplace.

Be Sociable on Social Media Platforms

The biggest mistake I see with social media campaigns is how unsociable they are.

Remember, online social platforms are a place where people come to relax, escape, share silliness with friends, schedule dates, coordinate weddings, contribute insights and opinions… hence the term social media.

Would you attend a wedding reception and only talk to people about your service offerings and benefits of a pre-needs package? Absolutely not.

Please, tell me you said no.

Think about how you would interact with people. How does your presence affect others at the party?

Would you...

I’m sure there are too many scenarios to keep going, but I hope you get the point.

Now it’s time to think about your Facebook audience. How could your presence on Facebook positively impact your community?

How could you empower or inspire your community to...

See what I did there? It all starts with that first tip. Don’t get too hasty and skip the homework. Otherwise that pesky notification “your audience hasn’t heard from you in a while…” will NEVER go away.

BONUS: 4 Questions you must ask yourself before publishing an ad or social post:

  1. “Will it emotionally affect someone?”.
  2. “What will they feel by experiencing it?”
  3. “Does it truly reflect my mission and my purpose?”
  4. “How do I want people to feel when I walk into a room? how is my online presence projecting what I hope people feel?”

These questions are helpful for you to begin to grow in confidence when it comes time to sit down and actually write a meaningful social post.

Act Strategically

Now that you know who you are and why you matter to your community, and you know how to act sociable online, you can start to run ad campaigns that will actually work!

One fundamental idea surrounding effective marketing is known as mindshare. You want your community to think of you more than they think of your competition. Buckle up because building mindshare is not easy.

Your community must get to the point where they say things like, “Wow, they must be really great because I see them everywhere.”

A study cited in the book called “The Advertising Effect: How to Change Behavior” by Adam Ferrier found that consumers will most often pick a brand that they are most familiar with, even if they’ve had a bad experience with the brand. This means that you cannot rely on the fact that you are better than your competition. You must become more familiar.

How do you increase your mindshare and phone calls? Glad you asked.

Many marketers will throw the 80/20 rule at you. 80% of your content should be adding value to the audience and 20% of your content needs to ask them to give back to you. This is a widely used rule in almost every industry and for almost any purpose. It’s not always true, although it’s always plausible.

If you are able to offer onsite cremation services then I’m going to suggest a different ratio for your funeral home. Your services are in high demand and there’s just not that much competition in comparison to many industries. This means that you can focus on adding 90% value and only ask them to buy something 10% of the time.

Let me be clear. This is controversial among marketers.

Think of it this way; you’re not selling shoes or seasonal packages to Hawaii. You’re selling something no one wants and everyone needs. You must be a positive and inviting brand.

Leverage technology to the fullest.

Social media platforms and other advertising services such as Google Ads, Display Ad Networks, and much more are now at your fingertips. Now you can have the confidence to be online and spend advertising dollars that will yield results.

With all of the choices, it’s hard to start when you don’t know what technologies you’ll need.

BONUS: 3 Social Media Technology Essentials

  1. Facebook Business Manager

This is where all ads are managed for both Facebook and Instagram. It’s important to understand the metrics and reports you can get from this robust management tool.

  1. CoSchedule Headline Analyzer

This free tool will give you an idea of how successful your ad headline will be. It gives basic tips on how to improve for the best chance of engagement. To some extent you’ll need to use your industry specific knowledge and intuition because a score of 100 isn’t always the most effective headline. It should be used as a guide, not a bible.

  1. Hootsuite, Buffer, or Loomly

Organize and schedule posts in advance for multiple social platforms with any of these options. These services make it easy for you to quickly respond to social media engagements from one screen, which means you’ve always got an eye on your online reputation.

There are more resources than I could possibly cover that can help you create social media content, editorial calendars, organization platforms, publishing tools, and help you manage your online reputation.

And hey, if it’s all just too time consuming, check out my services to see how I can continue to empower you to grow in community engagement and profits!

I hope this empowers you to go out in the world to be your authentic self. Inspire someone and let me know how it goes!

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