At Homesteaders, we survey our policy owners every two years and ask how many funeral homes they considered when they made their prearrangements. In our latest survey, 74% of respondents indicated they considered just one funeral home. This response shows why brand-building funeral marketing efforts are so important for a funeral business. If you aren’t the first call a potential preneed client makes, chances are good you will miss out on that business entirely.
Social media has tremendous power to position your business as the top choice in your community. When you invest time in your funeral home social media strategy, you can increase your firm’s reach and capture more market share.
So, how can you get started on your funeral home social media strategy? We’ll share several takeaways from one of our recent preneed training webinars presented by Homesteaders’ Director-Marketing Communications Danielle Burmeister, including:
- General Best Practices
- Facebook Page Setup
- Facebook Business Page Features
- Funeral Home Social Media Videos
- What to Post on Funeral Home Social Media
General Best Practices
Because your time is limited, it’s important to focus on strategies that will be most impactful for your business. We recommend focusing on Facebook because the audience on that platform is among the demographic most likely to consider prearranging. While every firm’s experience is different, these tips can provide a good place to start until you’re able to test and analyze your own firm’s Facebook Page performance.
Create visual content.
Be sure to include a visual element with every post you publish on social media. Posts that contain only text are likely to be overlooked. Use a mix of images and engaging funeral home social media videos to capture attention and earn engagement.
Many successful Pages have new posts three to four times per week. Start with this post frequency, and then monitor your analytics to see how your engagement is affected by posting more or less frequently.
Think about the terms that consumers might use to find information about your services. Keep in mind that those terms are often different from the ones that funeral professionals use. Use keyword search tools to research keywords that will make it more likely that someone will search for (and connect with) your firm.
Schedule your posts.
Because you’re so busy, you won’t always be able to post on social media on a consistent basis in real time. Take advantage of the ability to schedule posts in advance to help you stick with your social media plan. A good strategy is to schedule your posts out a week at a time so you’re able to work efficiently but don’t risk posting content that may not be relevant by the time it is published.
Develop a post timing strategy.
Facebook’s engagement is highest between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Monday through Friday. If you're not sure where to start, aim for posting during this time and then adjust your posts as you get more information about when your audience is more likely to engage with your posts.
Facebook Page Setup
If you’re just getting started with a Facebook Page, there are several best practices to help ensure you have a professional business presence. In addition to creating a Page for your funeral home, consider creating Pages for each of your preneed counselors to give them credibility, a place to post about what they do and access to convenient features and insights that are only available when posting as a Page.
Select a profile picture.
For a funeral home business Page on Facebook, the best choice of profile picture is the funeral home logo. For a preneed professional’s Page, choose a recent professional headshot. Your profile picture should not be frequently changed, because that will disrupt your established branding.
Choose a useful cover photo.
Make use of the space offered for your Facebook Page cover photo to share valuable information that wouldn’t otherwise be quickly accessible. For example, post an image in this area that promotes an upcoming event, provides a customer testimonial or displays your mission statement.
Complete your profile.
Fill out all the fields on your Facebook Page profile. Make sure to consider keywords when writing information about your business. You can also set up a vanity URL for your Facebook Page to make it easier for people to find you.
Access your Facebook Insights.
Visit Facebook Insights to learn more about your audience and track the performance of your posts. You can learn valuable information about your followers’ demographics and note patterns for which posts earn the most engagement.
Facebook Business Page Features
As you delve further into social media marketing for funeral homes, there are several other Facebook business Page features to help you get results and provide a better experience for potential clients. Here’s a look at a few of these tools that can really make a difference.
Use your action button.
Consider how you would like to use the Facebook Page action button. It’s common to use this button to offer visitors the opportunity to call you, but it can also be customized with other actions. For example, you could use this button to drive traffic to your funeral home’s online funeral planning tool.
Set up customized messaging.
Take advantage of opportunities to customize potential clients’ experience with your funeral home Facebook Page. You can set up a personalized Messenger greeting to thank visitors for their interest in your firm and help guide their next steps. Make sure to give visitors an option to contact you by phone if they need an immediate response.
Funeral Home Social Media Videos
Burmeister recommends using a mix of live and prerecorded videos on your Facebook Page. While it can be uncomfortable to get started with video, it can make a big impact in your audience’s engagement with your funeral home and staff. These essential steps can help you create engaging social media videos that will resonate with your followers.
Prepare for the video.
Set yourself up for success by getting the right tools (and people) ready for your video. This includes:
- Creating an outline for the content you want to cover. This is often all you need, as reading from a script can take away from the natural tone of your message.
- Identifying staff members who will appear on camera. An interview-style video can be a good choice for those who are not yet comfortable or experienced on camera.
- Getting the right tools for your video. Use a camera or device that can take high-definition video. You may also want to invest in a microphone to enhance your audio quality.
- Setting the scene. Make sure the faces of the staff members who appear on camera are well lit and that your background is neutral and free from distractions.
Produce the video.
When you’re creating the video, there are several keys to help you achieve a better result, such as:
- Focusing on authenticity. When on camera, you and your staff members should present the same friendly and service-oriented demeanor that you would to a client who was sitting in front of you.
- Telling a story. People respond to emotion, so telling a story that’s relevant to what you do will help them get to know your firm and your staff members.
- Interacting with followers. Whether you’re posting a live or prerecorded video, be sure to respond to people who take the time to comment.
- Timing it well. For live videos, it’s recommended to record for at least 20 minutes. Prerecorded videos should be no longer than five minutes, but a better target to start with is one to two minutes.
Promote the video.
When putting in the work of creating a video, it’s important to give that content as many opportunities as possible to be seen. Make sure you are:
- Notifying your followers in advance. Before you plan to go live, give your followers advance notice. When posting prerecorded videos, write thoughtful posts that includes keywords and adhere to the other best practices we’ve covered.
- Adopting a schedule. When live videos are part of your social media strategy, it’s a good idea to follow a set routine so your audience knows when to expect new content.
- Asking for likes and shares. Encourage your followers to interact with your videos and share them with others who may find the information interesting and helpful.
- Sharing a call to action. Any social media content should give people an action to take next, such as visiting a website page, completing a form or leaving a comment.
If you need more tips for getting started with video, Homesteaders has created a helpful resource. Refer to our video content page to access a tip sheet, scripts and sample videos.
What to Post on Funeral Home Social Media
It’s good to have a mix of different categories of content to keep your audience engaged. Burmeister suggests six types of content to help you establish your posting routine.
Offer grief support.
Write posts that point your audience toward resources to help them during times of grief. Share information about the resources you already provide, such as support groups, counseling resources and aftercare materials.
Share industry updates.
Tell your community about new products and services that can help them plan meaningful funerals. You can also provide educational posts to help familiarize your followers with common funeral service components and terms.
Promote upcoming events.
Use your funeral home social media channels to share news about the events you host. These can include your holiday memorial services, luncheons and presentations.
Provide community updates.
Your Facebook Page provides an excellent opportunity to showcase how you are involved in the community. Share details about local events and volunteer opportunities.
Give free content.
Offer valuable information or resources that can help start the conversation about your services. These can include emergency information cards, planning guides and eBooks.
Tell personal stories.
Social media offers tremendous opportunities for your audience to get to know you and your staff. Share staff member spotlights, offer birthday greetings and celebrate milestones through engaging social media posts.
We hope you’ve found these tips helpful in getting started with your funeral home social media strategy. When you’re ready to take your Facebook skills to the next level, consider leveraging the learning materials available via Facebook Blueprint. To get more in-depth insights about topics related to your funeral business, please join us for one of our upcoming preneed training webinars.