Now a key feature of social media marketing, live video has long since passed the point of being used primarily by large brands. This tool can boost brand awareness and preference for local businesses such as funeral homes, earning thousands of views through content that showcases what makes them unique and giving them an opportunity to virtually open their doors to the community.
Facebook makes it easy for individual users and Pages to interact with their friends and followers on Facebook Live. Because your funeral home probably has a Facebook Page (and if you don’t, you can learn how to set one up by downloading our funeral home social media guide), the interface is fairly straightforward. Plus, Facebook Live videos often earn prominent rankings in News Feeds, which means you have a greater chance of being seen by the people who you want to engage with your content.
When you’re ready to start creating Facebook Live videos, it’s important to get it right – not just technically (you can find a guide to that here), but also by understanding when Facebook Live is the right tool to help you reach your goals. Here are four examples of how your funeral home can leverage Facebook Live to become the preferred funeral business in your community.
Feature your staff members.
Funeral home owners understand that their personal brand can become closely tied to how their firm is perceived in the community. Live video provides an opportunity for you and other members of your team to share topics that are important to you. By nature, live video is often impromptu and relaxed, so it provides a chance for potential client families (and even those you have served in the past) to get to know you.
How to do this: Consider having one member of your staff interview a colleague about the profession. Ask about their education, how they became involved in funeral service, what they find most rewarding about their work, etc. Depending on your team’s comfort level with appearing on camera, you can generate the list ahead of time to give the interview subject an opportunity to consider their responses before you start broadcasting.
Host a Q&A session.
Over the years, you’ve probably answered a wide range of questions from client families about the services you provide. Facebook Live provides an engaging way to address those questions, in real time and in a comfortable setting.
How to do this: Build a list of questions that you often hear from families. What are the most common questions? What questions do you wish families would ask to help them better understand the funeral planning process? As you brainstorm on this with your staff, you can build a list of topics to discuss during the Facebook Live video. Then engage with your audience through the comments on your video, answering their questions and addressing the comments during the live stream.
Collaborate with another local business or organization.
Your funeral home works with many other businesses and organizations in your area. Facebook Live provides an opportunity to connect your firm, those entities and your audience in a meaningful way. This not only reinforces your important place within your community by showing staff members interacting outside the funeral home, but also provides education for families about options and services they may not be aware of.
How to do this: Get creative in collaborating with another business that is linked to the services you provide. You might also consider conducting a Facebook Live interview with a representative from a local organization that your firm supports. The video could provide information about the services that the business or organization provides, and how your firm works with them to help your community.
Promote a special event.
Special events provide an excellent opportunity to leverage Facebook Live. Hosting a Facebook Live session in advance of an event can help encourage people in your community to attend. While Facebook Live certainly isn’t a good option for every event, it can be useful for community outreach and volunteering initiatives that your firm sponsors.
How to do this: Before an event, such as a community presentation, set up a Facebook Live video to provide a preview of what attendees will learn. If you’re planning to host a public holiday memorial service at your funeral home, a Facebook Live video can be used to reinforce that anyone in the community is invited to attend, and to highlight the other aftercare resources and grief support that are available through your firm. If your funeral home is sponsoring an onsite volunteer activity, such as a community cleanup day or school supply drive, you can use Facebook Live to share your efforts through interviews with participating staff members and event organizers.
Is your funeral home using Facebook Live, and if so, how was your experience? If not, what is your greatest challenge in getting started? Share your thoughts in the comments below.