One of the most valuable gifts funeral professionals have to offer families is the ability to facilitate important conversations about final wishes. Your expertise allows you to educate people about the value of planning ahead to ensure their memorialization preferences will be honored.In addition to the discussions you have with families every day, there are many other ways to reach out to members of your community. Your funeral home’s social media channels offer another place to encourage those important conversations. The content you post could be the starting point for a family to contact you for further information about your services.
Social media posts are intended to be brief, so you’ll need to get creative in how you use them to share the benefits of advance funeral planning. Rather than including many different points in a single post, think about how you can break up the content to provide information that will resonate with your audience. Below are a few ideas to help you get started.
Introduce your staff members.
Planning a funeral – whether it occurs in advance or at the time of need – is a deeply personal experience. In order for client families to have a positive experience with your funeral home, they must be able to establish relationships with the staff members who assist them.
Social media allows your community to learn about the people who can help them make advance funeral plans. One way to introduce your pre-need staff members is to produce short funeral home marketing videos in which they share who they are, what they do to assist families and why their work is rewarding.
Because social media posts must be short, consider providing links to your funeral home blog for additional information. Ask funeral home staff members to answer a series of questions about their professional backgrounds, what they do, why they’re passionate about funeral service, etc. This simple question-and-answer format is easy to complete, and their responses can become blog posts that allow client families to “meet” individual members of the staff before ever setting foot in the funeral home.
Explain why pre-need funeral planning matters.
Your firm’s social media channels offer opportunities to educate your community about the services you offer and why they are valuable. This includes the ability to craft posts explaining the many ways your advance funeral planning services can help families.
In each post, focus on one key benefit. Here are a few prompts to help you get started:
- Individuals who prearrange can make their own decisions about funeral arrangements.
- Advance funeral planning can help prevent conflict between family members.
- Prearranging can help relieve loved ones’ financial burdens.
- Planning ahead can provide peace of mind that one’s wishes will be carried out.
- When advance funeral plans are in place, families are spared from making memorialization decisions during an emotionally difficult time.
Resources such as FAMIC’s Have the Talk of a Lifetime® campaign can also help you share the benefits of funeral planning. The program maintains an active social media presence and generates posts that you can share on your firm’s social media pages to encourage families to discuss end-of-life issues. (Click here to get more tips for using this program at your funeral home.)
Describe the process.
For some people, the biggest barrier to taking the next step in prearranging may be a lack of understanding about the process. Your funeral home social media presence can help address this issue by answering some of your firm’s most frequently asked questions. These topics could include:
- What information do I need to gather to help me make advance funeral plans?
- What can I expect when I meet with you to discuss prearrangements?
- Can I make changes to my advance funeral plans after completing the paperwork?
You can address these questions with a link to a blog post related to the topics or, even better, a short video from a member of your funeral home staff. Be sure to invite members of your community to submit their own questions so you can answer them in future posts.
Share stories from people who have prearranged.
One of the most powerful ways to share the benefits of prearranging is through the stories of people who have already experienced them. People who have prearranged their funerals can share why the process gave them peace of mind, loved ones can explain how much easier prearranging made things for them and funeral professionals can talk about why advance funeral planning helps them provide exceptional service to families at the time of need. As with other types of posts, testimonials can be shared via a series of short quotes, in videos or through links to longer stories on your funeral home blog.
Homesteaders’ Think of Me When…® program is designed to help share the benefits of advance funeral planning through real stories from people who have prearranged. In addition to a video presentation with testimonials, the program kit contains a discussion guide with questions that can be used as conversation prompts in social media posts. Contact your account executive to learn more about this program.
Promote an event.
Social media channels provide excellent opportunities to promote events to your community. For example, Facebook pages include an Events tool that allows you to publish information about open houses, seminars, charity events, etc.
If you’re hosting an event related to your firm’s pre-need program, such as a lunch and learn, don’t forget to share details about the event on your social media channels. Post several reminders about the event on your page as the date approaches to ensure that those who may be interested have the opportunity to attend.
One final (very important) note: Social media posts that do not contain information about the next steps are not beneficial to your firm or helpful to client families who are ready to discuss advance funeral plans with you. Be sure that each post related to prearranging ends with a call-to-action that explains how families can learn more and/or contact your funeral home to get started.