Tips for Expanding Your Reach with Facebook

Do you own or operate the funeral home of choice in your community? The funeral home that’s served the longest, does the most calls and, because of its impeccable reputation, enjoys powerful word-of-mouth advertising? If the answer is yes, and if you and those that came before you have done everything right, how many years did it take to become the funeral home of choice? Fifty years? One hundred years? Some funeral home of choice clients began as early as the mid-1800s.

It takes a long time to become the funeral home of choice. But if perception is reality, how long would it take to become the funeral home of choice in your community on Facebook? There is a difference.

After auditing hundreds of funeral home Facebook pages, I found that most funeral professionals have not made a decision about the purpose of their page. Most typically post obituaries, stream services, post unboosted “hallmark” or traditional social media posts and create community or special interest posts that may or may not support the brand. While these are good things to post on your page, they are not increasing your market share or building your brand.

To appreciate the value of becoming the funeral home of choice on Facebook, it would help if you knew just how big Facebook is in your community. Having managed radio stations for 25 years, I can tell you there is no radio station, broadcast TV station, cable channel or newspaper that is bigger or reaches more people in your market than Facebook. None.

If you hear me speak or read my book, How Facebook Works for Funeral Homes, you will know that I define Facebook with a metaphor: “Facebook is the newspaper.”

Remember how big the newspaper was just 20 years ago? How thick it was? One of the most read pages in the newspaper was the obituary column. Having the most obituaries with some simple display or institutional ads would help you become the funeral home of choice.

But the newspaper is essentially gone and with it that physical display of the obituary column. In today’s advertising media mix, the newspaper has been replaced by Facebook. According to Pew Research, in April 2021, Facebook reached 69% of all adults, 73% of adults 50-64, 77% of all women and now 50% of adults 65+. Plus, boomers spend an hour a day on Facebook and another 44 minutes a day on Instagram.

If there are two or more funeral homes serving your market, and both are doing the same thing on Facebook, this is a new opportunity. If you operate the funeral home of choice, and then become the funeral home of choice on Facebook, that’s a combination that is hard to beat. But if you’re not the funeral home of choice and that is your mission, this is your opportunity to change perceptions. Because word-of-mouth advertising is instantaneous on Facebook; it can happen sooner than you think.

How to make facebook work for you.

 

  1. Define the purpose of your Facebook business page. Approach this as you would any other strategic business decision.
  2. Advertise on Facebook in a certain way to expand your connection to your community, expand the reputation of your brand and expand your call volume.

Defining the Purpose of your facebook page.

When it comes to defining the purpose of your Facebook page, one or more of the following should be included:

  • Give Facebook users the opportunity to know, like and trust your staff
  • Establish your firm as the funeral home of choice
  • Gather thousands of page likes so that obituaries and streaming have a built-in audience
  • Sell preneed and at-need services

The good news is Facebook works for funeral homes, especially when you advertise in a certain way. After posting thousands of ads on Facebook featuring the faces of funeral directors, assistants, owners, office administrators and even therapy dogs, we have discovered that Facebook users love their funeral home. Imagine that, faces work on Facebook!

We’ve identified topics that seem to resonate with consumers, from branding funeral directors and their staff to educating about cremation options and selling preneed and at-need services. When you do this consistently and professionally – and boost your ads – you will have a program designed to produce effective, local advertising results.

If you would like a copy of my book or would like to see how we can help you become the funeral home of choice, contact your Homesteaders Account Executive today.


Bill Johnston is the founder of Post and Boost, and the author of How Facebook Works for Funeral Homes. Visit postandboost.com to learn more.

Connect with more families: Get started with solutions that can help grow your firm's preneed program. Contact Account Executive

 

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