Funeral homes have a tough job. Given the sensitive nature of the business, the industry does face some marketing challenges. However, these challenges shouldn't keep a funeral director from using marketing tools such as social media.
According to statistics from Pew Research Center, 69 percent of Americans use social media. With that kind of reach, funeral home directors have to find ways to embrace social media effectively and appropriately.
Here's a look at four social media mistakes that funeral homes are making, and how to fix them:
Using social media like traditional advertising
Many funeral homes lean on print advertising, which promotes a product to a customer. It's obviously promotional, but it's also one-sided. Customers can't respond to a print ad.
Social media gives funeral homes the opportunity to create a two-way flow of communication. Also, social media isn't all about selling. The goal is to talk with your audience and build a relationship, which is drastically different than print advertising.
Not posting valuable content
Most funeral homes don't offer valuable content to their clients.
Most families don't know what to expect after losing a loved one. By providing useful content, a funeral home can help families handle this difficult time.
Content could offer grief management advice, funeral planning guides, ways to customize a service, testimonials from previous clients, and financial tips.
Ignoring visual imagery
Funeral homes tend to stay away from using images because of the sensitive nature of the business. It's understandable, but there are ways to use appropriate images that engage clients.
Images that show employees interacting with family members, pictures of heartfelt tributes to a loved one, or a graphic that displays a touching quote can all be used to educate the public about your services.
Of course, if you plan to use any shots that include clients, be sure to get their permission first. Stock photos from online sites may also be an option.
Many businesses — not just funeral homes — tend to fall into a social media rut and post the same type of content over and over again.
To avoid this pitfall, take a quick inventory of the posts on your social channels. Make sure that every channel has a good variety of content. Include pictures, quotes, questions, links to articles, and information that clients will find useful.
By avoiding these mistakes, funeral homes can utilize social media in a way that's respectful, while still engaging and educating potential clients.