In 2010, Ben Silbermann posted the first pin on the visual bookmarking website Pinterest. It was a milestone step in what had been a long journey to create a new online experience. Silbermann and his business partners wanted to take the personal activity of collecting to the internet – and it worked.
Users began “pinning” images they found on the internet to create customized online “boards” for any topics they desired. Word spread about the usefulness of Pinterest as a tool to help users do everything from planning trips to selecting the perfect gifts for loved ones to compiling research in a collaborative environment. Late last year, the company announced that it had 100 million monthly active members.
Pinterest’s mission is to provide ideas that people can use offline in their everyday lives, including their jobs. Bloggers use the site to get inspiration for projects and share their own tips. Designers use the site to get feedback on new ideas, gauge which concepts are the most popular and eventually publicize their creations for sale. Wedding planners create accounts to collect ideas for their clients and collaborate on creating memorable events.
It’s easy to see how Pinterest can be a valuable tool for funeral professionals. Planning an exceptional memorial event requires creativity and organization, both of which are strengths of the site. Pinterest features an entire category for funeral ideas, for example, in which users pin images for floral arrangements, memory boards, eulogy tips and funeral attire.
Site users are demonstrating that funeral planning is a topic that is important to them, and your firm has an opportunity to participate in the conversation by sharing and curating ideas. Here’s how you can get started with Pinterest as a tool for funeral home marketing.
1. GET FAMILIAR WITH THE TOOLS.
If you’ve never used Pinterest, the first step is to learn about the site’s key features and how to use them. The site features A Guide to Pinterest, which is a helpful starting point for new users.
2. LEARN ABOUT THE SERVICE’S RULES.
Pinterest recognizes how useful its tools can be for businesses and has set up guidelines and rules about how the site can be used and how content may be shared. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the site’s copyright/trademark rules, terms of service and brand guidelines.
3. SET UP BOARDS AND START PINNING.
Brainstorm the topics that will be most useful and interesting to members of your community, and then create boards to curate information about those topics. Potential board topics include “Grief Support Resources,” “Creative Obituaries,” “Memorial Photo Displays,” “Advance Funeral Planning,” etc. You can also set up boards that are specific to your funeral home locations and showcase the facilities and amenities that are available at each one. As you gather more content, you’ll be able to rearrange your boards and create new ones.
4. BUILD YOUR COMMUNITY.
Start connecting with your community by “following” accounts for other local businesses and organizations. For example, your firm could follow accounts for local newspapers and radio or TV stations. Be sure to follow your firm’s preferred local vendors such as florists and catering companies. If your funeral home is part of the area chamber of commerce, connect with other participating businesses that have Pinterest accounts. Once you’ve started adding content to your Pinterest page, publicize it through your firm’s other established social media accounts. If a family is looking for unique memorial service ideas, you can show them your Pinterest pages and encourage them to spend some time perusing the inspirational images you’ve provided.
5. STAY CONNECTED.
As is the case with other social media channels, Pinterest is most effective if you’re regularly sharing new content. Make a point to periodically update boards with new pins, especially ones that are directly related to your community and your firm’s offerings. Create new boards to reflect questions and requests from your client families. Update boards related to your firm’s product offerings to showcase the latest options.
When Pinterest’s founders set up the site, they had no idea how it would take hold and the many creative purposes its users could find to utilize its tools. Similarly, your firm can find many different ways to share content related to your funeral home for the benefit of client families and your business.